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November 5, 2007 / Daniel

God’s Plan for His Creation

Is there "free will" in heaven? What...

I believe that God, in His great wisdom, has a marvelous plan for His creation (Rom. 8:18-30; 11:33-36; Eph. 1:9-11). By creating man in His own image, God has made man morally responsible (Gen. 1:27; 5:1; 9:6). Just as God has freedom, He has endowed man with freedom in order that man might freely choose to know and enjoy Him.

I distinguish between moral freedom and metaphysical freedom. Fallen man does not have moral freedom since his will is enslaved to sin, but he does have metaphysical freedom. God delights in the loving worship of free creatures. In giving Adam moral responsibility, God chose to ordain the fall of man and permit sin and death to enter the cosmos (Rom. 8:20-21).

Yet in His great mercy, God has committed Himself to the renewal of His creation from sin and death (1 Cor. 15:20-28, 42-57). God guides and directs the course of history according to His sovereign plan (Gen. 50:20; Job. 12:23; Ps. 22:28; Prov. 20:24; Jer. 10;23; Dan. 4:34-35; Acts 17:26). Nothing happens that is outside of His control.

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15 Comments

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  1. Matthew C / Nov 5 2007 8:45 pm

    Perhaps you will explain your distinction between moral and metaphysical freedom?

  2. Daniel / Nov 6 2007 2:17 pm

    Moral freedom refers to the idea that the human will has been bent by the original sin. We have a sinful tendencies that influence all of our choices.

    Metaphysical freedom refers to our self-determinism. We are primarily responsible for our choices.

    Sorry, that’s a pretty brief explanation.

  3. Bryan L / Nov 6 2007 6:27 pm

    Daniel,

    You said, “Moral freedom refers to the idea that the human will has been bent by the original sin. We have a sinful tendencies that influence all of our choices.”

    This is something I’ve been wondering about lately, the whole fallen nature idea (I just brought it up on my blog). I just don’t get it. It seems Adam and Eve were bent towards disobeying God before the fall which lead to them eating the wrong fruit. What’s the difference now after the fall?

    Blessings,
    Bryan L

  4. Daniel / Nov 6 2007 9:22 pm

    But they weren’t predisposed towards evil. Adam and Eve were morally free creatures.

    Post-fall humans are predisposed towards rebellion against God. We are enslaved to a sinful predisposition.

  5. Daniel / Nov 6 2007 9:25 pm

    BTW, the word “nature” is necessarily the best word, since sin is unnatural to God’s original creation.

  6. Bryan L / Nov 6 2007 11:36 pm

    How can you tell they weren’t predisposed? What do we read that makes them sound like they weren’t? Really they don’t seem much different to me. God tells them don’t eat and they question him and desire to be like him and disobey him.

    If you could use another word besides nature what would it be? When you say sin is unnatural to God’s original creation what do you mean? The ability to disobey God was part of Adam and Eve’s creation and if they disobeyed God that means they sinned.

    I kind of get what you are saying (because I’ve said the same things) I’m just wondering how much of this stuff we came up with ourselves to make our theology fit where there was holes and gaps and how much of it actually has it’s source in scripture.

    Blessings,
    Bryan L

  7. Bryan L / Nov 8 2007 2:05 am

    Did you see the Bauckham lecture? If so how was it?

  8. Daniel / Nov 8 2007 3:48 am

    It’s actually tomorrow night. I’ll take some notes on it and post them.

  9. Bryan L / Nov 8 2007 11:41 am

    It’s the 21st century Daniel! Take recorder post it as an MP3!

  10. Bryan L / Nov 8 2007 1:33 pm

    Wow my last sentence sounds like caveman talk. Kind of ironic considering I was going on about it being the 21st century.

  11. Daniel / Nov 8 2007 3:21 pm

    Heheh. I didn’t even initially notice what was wrong with that statement. BTW, I bet that Wheaton puts the talk online afterwards.

  12. Ken / Nov 19 2007 4:19 pm

    There are several ideas to keep in grasp at once.

    1. God pronounced his finished creation “very good.” I maintain a created predisposition toward sin in Adam would not have qualified as “very good.”

    2. Creatures are by their natures mutable–“subject unto change,” as the Confession puts it. Adam and Eve were created righteous but because they were also mutable there was the possibility of disobedience.

    3. The exact origin of sin within Adam’s heart remains a mystery. That he could sin was part of being made creaturely. Why he sinned being originally righteous is another matter altogether.

  13. Idetrorce / Dec 15 2007 12:05 pm

    very interesting, but I don’t agree with you
    Idetrorce

  14. Daniel / Dec 15 2007 2:44 pm

    Idetrorce,

    What in particular do you not agree with?

  15. defeatingdefeaters / Apr 12 2008 9:13 pm

    Daniel, I ran across your site here by accident. I remember you from a long long time ago when you, myself, and a good friend of mine defended a not so calvinist position. I can’t remember the name I previously used, but I see your still writing very good stuff. Take care.

    Jon

    p.s. I’m thinking my old screenname was zoolander ???? something.. don’t know.

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