Sunday, March 13, 2011

The Meaning of the Will – F. Leroy Forlines

This concise and logical explanation of the will of man represents the classical Arminian perspective of the will and is an excellent reply to the Calvinist inquiry regarding what a great many non-Calvinists adhere to. Forlines distills the thoughts on this matter to an undeniable and logical simplicity.

The New Testament does not use the noun form of will to refer to the faculty of choice in man. However, the verb form (thelo) is used (Matt. 16:24, 21:29, 23:37; Mk 8:34; John 7:17; Rev 22:17; and others). By will, we mean power of choice. Every command, every prohibition, every exhortation, and every entreaty in the Bible made to people presupposes they are capable of making choices.
Whether we want to think of the act of willing as the function of a faculty of the person or simply the person making a choice, the fact remains that the ability to choose is part of being a person. That ability of choice is what we call will. In his totality, man is a thinking, feeling, acting being. He thinks with his mind, feels with his heart, and acts with his will.
Classical Arminianism, A Theology of Salvation, p.6, F. Leroy Forlenes, ed. J.M. Pinson, Randall House, Nashville 2010