Sharing an essay.

Discussion in 'The Confession of Faith' started by reaganmarsh, Aug 7, 2017.

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  1. reaganmarsh

    reaganmarsh Puritan Board Senior

    Greetings PB brethren,

    I thought you might enjoy reading an essay I contributed to the Founders Journal's ongoing exposition of the 1689 Baptist Confession. I hope you find it edifying.

    Grace to you.
     
  2. Ask Mr. Religion

    Ask Mr. Religion Flatly Unflappable

    Nicely done, Reagan.
     
  3. reaganmarsh

    reaganmarsh Puritan Board Senior

    Thanks, Patrick. It was a joy to contribute it. I pray it will bring help to Christ's people, and glory to his name.
     
  4. reaganmarsh

    reaganmarsh Puritan Board Senior

    I will welcome your feedback, brethren. It's been a while since I attempted a more academic essay like this one, and I wish to improve my writing, reasoning, and theologizing. So, if you have feedback, please share it!
     
  5. Timotheos

    Timotheos Puritan Board Freshman

    I enjoyed it immensely!
     
  6. reaganmarsh

    reaganmarsh Puritan Board Senior

    Thanks, brother, for your kind words. I will certainly welcome any suggestions as to how I might improve my writing or argument!
     
  7. Jack K

    Jack K Puritan Board Professor

    If I were your editor, I would ask you to put something at the start of the article helping the reader see why he should care about the topic, or showing him why continuing to read will help him in his daily pastoral duties.

    The applications in the final section are good. Perhaps you could tease these a bit in the opening. Imagine a pastor sitting across from a parishioner who admits struggling to rest in God's purposes, or to pursue holiness. Explain that you'll show how a better understanding of free will can help. Then you get into the meat of your essay, and close by showing how the pastor might end up counselling his parishioner. Or something like that.
     
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  8. reaganmarsh

    reaganmarsh Puritan Board Senior

    That's very helpful input, Jack! I've always struggled with how exactly to do proper introductions in more formal/academic writing such as journal articles. This particular expository series, however, is somewhat of a hybrid: both formally-researched, and pastorally-applied.

    Your suggestion would certainly help to tie the essay together as a whole, and I think it would certainly be appropriate given the FJ's frequent ecclesiastical focus. I often utilize that basic approach in my preaching...not sure why I didn't think of it for this essay.

    I'll definitely keep it in mind for future writing, though. Thank you so much!

    Any other ideas/input/suggestions (Jack, or anyone else)?
     
  9. Ask Mr. Religion

    Ask Mr. Religion Flatly Unflappable

    I like Damer's principles summarized here:
    https://reformedreader.wordpress.com/tag/edward-damer/

    I find that articles that happily discuss the "Yeah, but.." that arise to short-circuit them in rebuttals are often the best to use in apologetic circumstances. The most excellent versions have the opponent thinking to himself, "He really understands my issues and actually stated them better than I could have done." PB's own Contra_Mundum (Rev. Buchanan) exemplifies this approach often when he is taking another's position under consideration and then pointing out the deficiencies therein.

    The topic of free will usually requires some motivating principles.

    The mind chooses and the will is the power by which this is accomplished. The will and desire never run counter to each other. "Freedom" is the power, opportunity or advantage that people have to do that which they please.

    The will is that by which the mind chooses something. Hence, when we speak of willing we mean to say the mind choosing. The whole of that which moves a person to "will" something is called the motive. The strongest motive is always the driving force behind the will. Motive is the ground or cause of the will—the will is not self-determined, but rather the will is determined, or more properly speaking, the will is as the motive is. Our inclinations (motives) arise from conjunctive elements such as: circumstances, upbringing, maturity, degree of sanctification, the means of grace we avail ourselves of, and so forth. Motives are the antecedent causes which give rise to the act of willing.

    Arminians, open theists, and others, claim that the will can come to action without a cause. Well, if we agree God is the necessary first cause of all things, it must be concluded that that which exists without a cause is eternal and the property of eternality can only be ascribed to God. Clearly, we are not gods, hence when we will there is a cause for our willing. The driving cause behind our willing is our motives. The lost possess no motives to glorify God, hence all their willing is at enmity with God.
     
  10. reaganmarsh

    reaganmarsh Puritan Board Senior

    Very helpful, Patrick. Thank you!
     
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