Tuesday, November 30, 2010

The Compatibility of Free Will & Sinlessness in Eternity

Steve Lichty & Al Willingham in Nairobi
My friend Steve asked me these questions, in regard to one of my recent posts.

"What we will be doing on the new earth? Will it be similar to the pre-Fall Eden, but that presupposes the idea that we could somehow still sin. If the redeemed inherit the new earth and our capacity to sin is removed, how do we maintain a relationship with God based on free will? Is there something beyond free will that humanity cannot comprehend due to our dimmed view of God's cosmos?"

I now speculate, thinking I can demonstrate the compatibility of free will and sinlessness.

We will live everlastingly in the new, restored, redeemed creation; the new heaven and earth. The idea of "restoration" implies a return to pre-Fall Edenic conditions. I believe we will have free will, without which love would make no sense. But does this mean we could choose to not love God, and thereby sin? I think (I speculate...) the answer is: yes. But we will always choose the good since:
  • we have chosen Christ while in this life, our hearts this longing for and experiencing God and the good
  • we will one day see, no longer through a glass darkly, but face to face
  • such face-to-face seeing will be what we would in this present life call "coercive"; viz., one would not choose against God in the face-to-faceness of the overwhelming glory and being of God
  • we will gladly and easily choose God and the good, much in the same way one would easily choose to breathe rather than suffocate
  • there will be no demonic evil in life everlasting seducing us to sin
It seems to me that these reasons show the compatibility of free will and sinlessness.

Steve, I'm not certain this was what you were asking. Anyway - blessings to you in Nairobi!