The Folly of NOT Engaging in the Election/Free Will Debate: Response to Paul Dohse

Paul,
I have great respect for your intelligence, but in this issue your logic is flawed.  What you are trying to suggest is a metaphysical and physical impossibility.  You are suggesting that election has everything to do with man, yet has really nothing to do with man.  Again, you must concede that your argument rests solely upon the idea that you accept contradiction (what some call “paradox”) to define your theology in this matter.
You are right in your assessment that all of life is DOING something, for even merely being is doing.  There is, in reality, no such thing as NOT doing; for that is merely an abstract way to qualify the doing, the abstract opposite of a particular action.  Since that is the case, everything having to do with man must involve man’s doing.  That is, man, IF it is truly HIS life, MUST logically be complicit in anything involving him.  Even “election”.  For  it is, again, impossible that God can do anything involving man that operates utterly outside of man’s doing/moving/being/existing, which is precisely what your definition of election (or your framing of the election/free will debate) attempts to do.  That constitutes a total contradiction in terms; a mutually exclusive idea that makes, again, man moot (which is ALWAYS what the doctrine of election does, I might add, because “election” always seems to get divorced from man, the OBJECT of the election. Which makes little sense).
Even in the most oppressive dictatorships the subjects to the leader/leaders must be complicit in their will.  They can resist, or comply.  There are consequences, truly, but nothing ultimately happens outside of man’s free choice in any matter, even if the choice is life or death.  Therefore, even in his “election” man must agree freely to the relationship, and this freedom can by no means and at no time become moot.  Man must freely engage his relationship with God, of his own will and choice, forever.  This is the faith that saves.  This is the faith that says that man is actually involved in a relationship with his God, and is not at any time compelled against his will, which is man’s VERY ESSENCE.  If the end of man is not his free ability to always been himself, then he cannot possibly exist. To say that God compels man outside of man means that God, in fact, usurps man’s very existence, possesses him, and becomes him, in order to save him.  This of course, as I have often said, a metaphysical impossibility.  This puts man outside himself, and this is what reformed theology also does.
Unfortunately, and no offense, but your view of election is much closer to that of the Calvinists that you seem to think.   The root of the argument is free will/election and how we reconcile them.  If you get that wrong, then, as I said before, it ultimately boils down to whose irrational theology is more…er, rational.  If at any point we cede man’s will to God, then man ceases to be relevant.  And thus, man ceases to exist.
And it isn’t a matter of who is going to hell for their theology, necessarily.  If you decide what you believe based on “will I go to hell for thinking this”, then I would argue that EVERY belief should be thoroughly analyzed, the logical consistency found, and ideas based on rational conclusions.  Otherwise, you really cannot be sure what is truly “disputable” or not.  We cannot take “won’t go to hell for this” at face value.

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