The Evangelical Universalist Forum

I don't understand the free will debate


1 Like

If it were as simple, as you paint it…then the theologians and philosophers of the world - contemporary and historical - would be in agreement.

Well we were not with Adam And Eve & scripture says through Adam “mortality” came to every man not sin. But IMO they were ordinary people , not perfect people and just as they were inclined to sin, so are we inclined to sin. But that’s why Jesus sacrifice for our sins was planned before the foundation of the world because God knew us better then we know ourselves. As to freewill , it depends on your definition of it. The usual definition is it means the ability to make choices so that much we can do, but if it means uninfluenced choices , even Eve didn’t have that luxury thanks to Satan, so again it depends on the definition.

1 Like

Even God does not possess libertarian free will. He cannot lie or deny himself. How could man do what even God cannot?

The Irenaean theodicy says that God created Adam and Eve good and upright (Ecc 7:29) but not impeccable (incapable of falling.) I agree that the penalty for the first sin was physical death, and this penalty is transmitted to all. SO all die in Adam. Adam would have continued to live if he had not disobeyed the explicate command not to eat that fruit.

Until Mt SInai and the Mosaic law, no one else was guilty of an overt violation of the law because no explicit law was given. But all were still sinners, although (Nevertheless, death reigned from the time of Adam to the time of Moses, even over those who did not sin by breaking a command, as did Adam). (Rom 5:14)

Yet Paul says all died because all sin, not because Adam sinned. I think the idea is that God granted man immortality i the garden conditioned on obedience to that one edict to not eat fruit from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. But Adam broke the law and was expelled. Outside the Garden there as no access to the tree of life and so he and al his posterity die. The phrase all die because all sin suggests that if a man ever lived sinless he would not die because God would grant him access to that tree. but in that we don’t get that access it shows us to be sinners too just as much as Adam. Not that his sin was transferred to us but that by his sin we are all also revealed to be sinners.

Anyway that’s my take on it.

1 Like

“Free will” does not imply that you can do anything you want or do that which is contrary to your nature. I cannot kill another human being. It is utterly against my nature. That fact does not imply that I do not have free will. God cannot lie since that is against His nature. That fact does not imply that He does not possess free will.

“Free will” means “the ability to choose.” Often we cannot do what we choose to do because of external constraints. But that fact does not imply that we do not have the ability to choose.

Though I do not take the story of Noah’s Ark word for word literally, according to the story God gave seven commandments.