Why Don’t Doves Cry?

Because they can’t.

And so begins Part 2 of the “Pictures of Birds Perched on Our Fence” series.


The above picture came to my mind after reading a passage from A.W. Pink’s breathtaking treatise, The Sovereignty of God.

Pink quotes J. Denham Smith in the chapter titled, “God’s Sovereignty and the Human Will” (emphasis mine),

Man is impotent as to his will. He has no will favorable to God. I believe in free will; but then it is a will only free to act according to nature.

A dove has no will to eat carrion; a raven no will to eat the clean food of the dove. Put the nature of the dove into the raven and it will eat the food of the dove. Satan could have no will for holiness. We speak it with reverence; God could have no will for evil.

The sinner in his sinful nature could never have a will according to God. For this he must be born again.”

5 Responses to Why Don’t Doves Cry?

  1. Luke says:

    Hey Laz,

    Unfortunately, free will as described by Pink/Smith isn’t free.

    Also there is the fact that man was given free will, among many other blessings, that the beasts of the earth were not given. So I’m not sure the bird analogy holds.

    If Satan could have no will for holiness then how and why was he elevated to a position of prominence amongst the angels before he fell?

  2. Laz says:

    Luke, thanks for checking in.

    A disclaimer: I’m not a theologian, I only play on the ‘net.

    My understanding is that we have free will, that’s not the question. The question is one of inability.

    To stay with the bird motif, and I admit that the analogy breaks down eventually, but the fact that I cannot flap my arms fast enough (etc.) and fly like a bird does not mean that I have no free will to want to fly like a bird. It means that I’m unable to.

    It’s about inability. Our inability to come to God on our own.

    Where my analogy breaks down of course, is that I would like to fly like a bird, where as the sinner has no desire to come to God.

    As for Satan, I’m guessing Smith refers to his condition after his fall. Adam, prior to his fall, was in a different situation than he and his progeny find themselves post-fall.

    Before, Adam had the ability to choose and he did, most unwisely of course.

  3. Luke says:

    Thanks, Laz. Both for the post and for the response.

    I am no theologian either, brother. But it is important for us to do our best to sharpen each other as steel, eh?

    I think I do see what you are saying, but I am a little confused by one of your statements. If a sinner has no desire to come to God, then how does a sinner become saved? I understand the actual salvation was accomplished on the cross at Calvary, but how does an individual come to taste of the salvation of Christ, if they are unable to?

    Do you see Adam’s ability to choose being different after the fall?

    Take care, bro.

  4. Laz says:

    A sinner becomes saved through and in Christ. As you pointed out, He died for us.

    Just because we are unable to save ourselves, does not of course, mean that God is equally powerless.

    I am em, unable to say it any better than Paul did in Ephesians 1-2.

    Yes, I think it’s clear that post-fall, Adam’s ability changed.

    Augustine, I think, put it in terms of ability/inability. Before the fall, humans had the ability not to sin and the ability to sin. Adam chose to sin.

    After the fall that changed, and we were left with the inability not to sin. Adam’s choice tainted everything, including his progeny. In Ephesians 2:3, Paul says that we “were by nature children of wrath”. In Romans 5:12, he ascribes it to our first ancestor.

    Later, theologians called this innate corruption, ‘original sin’. In nutshell, we are not sinners because we sin but we sin because we are sinners.

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