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#2: Post edited by user avatar laserkittens‭ · 2020-11-19T06:14:40Z (8 months ago)
that -> than (minor typo that altered meaning)
  • > it is possible (somehow) for God to make a place where we both have free will and yet cannot sin (as hard as it is for us to understand)
  • To understand whether this is possible or not, it is helpful to first look at our terms. What do we mean by "free will"?
  • In a bizarre, self-contradictory way it seems accepted wisdom that "free" means "free from all constraints". That's not a very useful concept, and is an oxymoron. We are better off asking questions like "what are we free from?", "what measure of freedom do we have?".
  • A more useful way to define "free will" is the freedom to follow our desires (our 'will') without coercion. Although we obviously can never have *complete* freedom in this regard, we certainly have *some* freedom. If we are rich and powerful we may even have more freedom that others do — though even the rich get ill (and die) when they do not want to. Conversely in some places and times, freedom is constrained, but still exists to a lesser degree.
  • Defined like that, we can see that a change in desire does not negate 'free will'. If we want to sin, we are free to sin. If the desire for sin is taken away from us, we are free to follow our *other* desires, without sin — especially if sin is fundamentally understood as being rooted in desire (see James 1:13-15 and 2 Peter 1:3-4).
  • > Why doesn't that same logic apply to us in heaven?
  • The exact same logic applies in the new creation, if you allow that our desires can be altered without altering our freedom to live them out. This is the concept of Jeremiah's 'new covenant':
  • > For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, declares the LORD: I will put my law within them, and I will write it on their hearts. And I will be their God, and they shall be my people. (Jeremiah 31:33 ESV)
  • The law written *on their hearts* denotes a change of heart; a change of desire. We were, are and always will be, free to follow our heart. We never were, are not and never will be, free from the power of God to change our heart.
  • > it is possible (somehow) for God to make a place where we both have free will and yet cannot sin (as hard as it is for us to understand)
  • To understand whether this is possible or not, it is helpful to first look at our terms. What do we mean by "free will"?
  • In a bizarre, self-contradictory way it seems accepted wisdom that "free" means "free from all constraints". That's not a very useful concept, and is an oxymoron. We are better off asking questions like "what are we free from?", "what measure of freedom do we have?".
  • A more useful way to define "free will" is the freedom to follow our desires (our 'will') without coercion. Although we obviously can never have *complete* freedom in this regard, we certainly have *some* freedom. If we are rich and powerful we may even have more freedom than others do — though even the rich get ill (and die) when they do not want to. Conversely in some places and times, freedom is constrained, but still exists to a lesser degree.
  • Defined like that, we can see that a change in desire does not negate 'free will'. If we want to sin, we are free to sin. If the desire for sin is taken away from us, we are free to follow our *other* desires, without sin — especially if sin is fundamentally understood as being rooted in desire (see James 1:13-15 and 2 Peter 1:3-4).
  • > Why doesn't that same logic apply to us in heaven?
  • The exact same logic applies in the new creation, if you allow that our desires can be altered without altering our freedom to live them out. This is the concept of Jeremiah's 'new covenant':
  • > For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, declares the LORD: I will put my law within them, and I will write it on their hearts. And I will be their God, and they shall be my people. (Jeremiah 31:33 ESV)
  • The law written *on their hearts* denotes a change of heart; a change of desire. We were, are and always will be, free to follow our heart. We never were, are not and never will be, free from the power of God to change our heart.
#1: Initial revision by user avatar Jack Douglas‭ · 2020-11-16T19:59:56Z (9 months ago)
> it is possible (somehow) for God to make a place where we both have free will and yet cannot sin (as hard as it is for us to understand)

To understand whether this is possible or not, it is helpful to first look at our terms. What do we mean by "free will"?

In a bizarre, self-contradictory way it seems accepted wisdom that "free" means "free from all constraints". That's not a very useful concept, and is an oxymoron. We are better off asking questions like "what are we free from?", "what measure of freedom do we have?".

A more useful way to define "free will" is the freedom to follow our desires (our 'will') without coercion. Although we obviously can never have *complete* freedom in this regard, we certainly have *some* freedom. If we are rich and powerful we may even have more freedom that others do — though even the rich get ill (and die) when they do not want to. Conversely in some places and times, freedom is constrained, but still exists to a lesser degree.

Defined like that, we can see that a change in desire does not negate 'free will'. If we want to sin, we are free to sin. If the desire for sin is taken away from us, we are free to follow our *other* desires, without sin — especially if sin is fundamentally understood as being rooted in desire (see James 1:13-15 and 2 Peter 1:3-4).

> Why doesn't that same logic apply to us in heaven?

The exact same logic applies in the new creation, if you allow that our desires can be altered without altering our freedom to live them out. This is the concept of Jeremiah's 'new covenant':

> For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, declares the LORD: I will put my law within them, and I will write it on their hearts. And I will be their God, and they shall be my people. (Jeremiah 31:33 ESV)

The law written *on their hearts* denotes a change of heart; a change of desire. We were, are and always will be, free to follow our heart. We never were, are not and never will be, free from the power of God to change our heart.