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Bible Dictionaries

Charles Buck Theological Dictionary

Free Agency

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Is the power of following one's inclination, or whatever the soul does, with the full bent of preference and desire. Many and long have been the disputes on this subject; not that man has been denied to be a free agent; but the dispute has been in what it consists.

See articles LIBERTY and WILL. A distinction is made by writers between free agency, and what is called the Arminian notion of free will. The one consists merely in the power of following our prevailing inclination; the other in a supposed power of acting contrary to it, or at least of changing it. The one predicates freedom of the man; the other, of a faculty in man; which Mr. Locke, though an anti-necessarian, explodes as an absurdity. The one goes merely to render us accountable beings; the other arrogantly claims a part, yea, the very turning point of salvation. According to the latter, we need only certain helps or assistances, granted to men in common, to enable us to choose the path of life; but, according to the former, our hearts being by nature wholly depraved, we need an almighty and invincible Power to renew them.

See NECESSITY.

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Bibliography Information
Buck, Charles. Entry for 'Free Agency'. Charles Buck Theological Dictionary. https://www.studylight.org/dictionaries/eng/cbd/f/free-agency.html. 1802.

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