Monday, January 2, 2012

Guest Post: A Few Thoughts on Free Will

Good friend and brother, Richard, sent me "A Few Thoughts on Free Will."   What a great way to begin the new year by thinking deeply concerning the things of God.  So with permission and to honor my own friends meditations below are "A Few Thoughts on Free Will" by Richard.

First what is the will? (link to the definition of will.)
I am going to define it as our ability to make a decision, and then carry it out to fruition. 
So we when make a decision about anything how do we do this? Lets look at something that seems trivial like what socks to wear. It seems that a decision about sock choice would be made freely. Or is it? When we make decisions we always do so based on some intellectual or emotional factor (or both). In picking socks most people consider style, matching outfits and so on. Someone that would flippantly say, "I don't care about what the socks look like, I just wear whatever have," at the very  least have some thought concerning comfort. They would not wear socks that would hurt their feet. The point is that even the most trivial decisions we make are influenced by something. So then how "free" are these choices? I would say no choice we make is free in this sense.
Does it seem likely that the most important decision we make, that of our eternal destiny would not be influenced by some factor. We most likely agree that the Holy Spirit plays some role in our salvation. Most of us have prayed for the soul of a lost loved one. Are we not asking God to influence their will? Does it not seem true that He would influence our decision to follow Christ. If the Holy Spirit does influence the heart in this decision how can it be called "free."
The truth is, the part of our salvation that is "free" is the Grace that is given to us and the Faith to accept this free Grace. Grace must be given to us freely for our salvation. If we could be saved based solely on our decision or in other words something we do. Would not the glory of our salvation be ours and not Gods? The "freedom" of our will is not really what is at issue here. The ability of our will is what needs to be considered. Do we have the ability to come to Christ on our own terms? NO! This ability is given to us by the Holy Spirit. We have the freedom to choose salvation only after we have been given the ability. The Holy Spirit makes our will willing.

So after reading Richard, have you any thoughts of your own concerning the freedom of the will?

For more information I suggest you check out the following article:  (please click on title for link)
Human Nature in it's four-fold state. 
LBCF commentary on Fair will 
Free Will vs. Free Will   I found this article especially helpful. 
Freedom of the Will by Jonathon Edwards
Bondage of the Will by Martin Luther

No comments: