f The Wittenberg Door: Do We Have Free Will?

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Commenting on Christendom, culture, history, and other oddities of life from an historic Protestant perspective.

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Do We Have Free Will?


The term “free will” is ubiquitous in the Arminian/Calvinism debate. But what does it mean? Geoff Ashley at the Merely Theological blog answers this important question . . .

Do we have free will? It depends on what we mean by free will, and it depends on who you mean by “we.” The freedom that Adam and Eve possessed prior to the Fall is different from the freedom which is experienced by all humanity after the Fall. Furthermore, these two types of freedom are different from the freedom that is experienced as a regenerate believer and what a regenerate believer will experience in the eternal state.

It might be helpful to distinguish between two terms in understanding this. This distinction boils down to a differentiation between “true freedom” [1] and “freedom of choice.”

True freedom consists of the ability to act without the hindrances of sin, whereas freedom of choice consists in the ability to do as you wish.

Here is a helpful way to remember the four different eras and the types of freedom experienced within each:

  1. Human beings as created had both true freedom and freedom of choice.

  2. Human being as fallen forfeited true freedom but retained freedom of choice.

  3. Human beings as regenerate have regained a measure of true freedom while retaining freedom of choice.

  4. Human beings as glorified will be perfected in true freedom and will retain freedom of choice.

You can read the rest here.

HT: The Contemporary Calvinist

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