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Reformed Thought on Freedom: The Concept of Free Choice in Early Modern Reformed Theology

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Discover the philosophical sophistication of the older Reformed position on divine sovereignty and human will. The texts in this book highlight the positive aspects of the Reformed tradition, and contributors demonstrate that traditional Calvinism cannot be easily dismissed as a form of philosophical determinism. Reformed Thought on Freedom will be valued by Reformation scholars, professors and students, and research and theological libraries.

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“Essential freedom is implied in the consideration of the potency of willing. The will is thus viewed in respect to the willing subject. Moral freedom on the other hand designates the potency of good or rightly willing (that is, in accordance to an objective norm). The will is thus viewed in respect to the desired object.” (Page 211)

“In addition to general logical arguments, the Reformed also used some kind of what we, in modern terms, would call a form of modal logic. A modal term is an expression (like ‘necessarily’ or ‘possibly’) that is used to qualify the truth of a judgment.” (Page 28)

“Sinners still presume that their object is a good object, but it isn’t.” (Page 142)

“There he took ‘all requirements’ in a loose way and restricted their range such that it would include only those requirements that are temporally prior to the act of will.45 These requirements thus would not include the divine acting involved. For this divine action is not temporally, but only structurally, prior to the human action, and ‘it is so intimate to the act of the creature that it cannot be separated or excluded from it.” (Page 157)

“First, the contemporary notion of freedom in an autonomous, libertarian sense does not allow any creational dependence or divine guidance in human acting. In this sense, divine willing must exclude human freedom. As we will see, however, the Reformed dismissed autonomy as a proper interpretation of freedom.” (Page 15)


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