Switching gears here. Let’s go from the topic of strong wills to free wills, shall we?
I no longer have any doubts as to God’s sovereignty over all things. The question becomes, How far does God take His sovereignty? (Well, sovereign is sovereign).
And I’ve heard questions and defenses like this: “Oh, but what about free will? God wants people who choose to love Him. He doesn’t want robots. You can’t have a personal relationship with God if He controls our wills. His greatest gift to us is freedom to choose.”
I’m not sure where to begin. I did not intend to write this particular post. The kids and I are memorizing the questions and answers regarding providence, so it’s on my mind. In a fit of frustration with myself, I sat down to share my feelings about how nice it would be for God to just completely take over my will. I’m sure there are problems with that line of thinking, but in too much thinking I’ve opened a can of worms for myself. Now I’m playing with them.
First worm, what is free will?
Free will involves the question of whether or not thinking people have real control over their decisions and actions. We could also discuss what “free” means in this context, but it is moot to me because our wills are not totally free in that we are bound by sin. This is Wayne Grudem’s definition in the glossary of his Systematic Theology:
Free will with respect to man: The ability to make willing choices that have real effects (however, other people define this in other ways, including the ability to make choices that are not determined by God).
As evidenced by our own experience, I doubt that anyone would argue that we definitely have the ability to make willing choices that have real effects. We make real decisions that have real consequences all day long.
Second worm, how does my freedom to make real choices reconcile with God’s real sovereignty over all things?
This is a big worm, and I have too much real life going on right now to stop and play with it. I am choosing to walk away from this screen and keyboard. Talk amongst yourselves. I’ll be back tomorrow.