Tuesday, 13 January 2015

John Goldingay on Free Will in the Bible

Christians often appeal to the “free will defense” to explain the existence of evil in the world. The argument is that God wanted to create beings who would freely choose to live good lives, but this necessarily involved giving them the freedom to do the opposite. Whether or not this is a good argument, it does not appear in the Bible. The Bible refers to human freedom (e.g., here in Gen 2) and seeks to grapple with the problem of evil (e.g., in Job), but does not bring these two into relationship.

John Goldingay, Old Testament Theology, Volume One: Israel’s Gospel (Downers Grove, IL: IVP, 2003), p. 133

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