A few thoughts about free will

When we think about will, it’s helpful to think about it in the context of desire. To will to do a certain thing, the person who wills it, must desire that thing. Granted, this desire can be because of a gun to the head, or because of the influence of drugs, etc. but regardless of the reason, the person who is willing, must desire to do the thing he does.

This is useful when we think about free will in the context of salvation. Before a man’s heart has been changed by the Spirit of God, I would hold that he has free will, in that he may try to achieve anything he desires. The point of difference between a man before his heart has been so changed and after, is what he is capable of desiring.
Before a man has been regenerated by God, he is unable to truly desire God and he is completely free to do the things he does desire, which is to sin. It is only when God begins to change his heart, that a man has the capability to seek after God.

And this is consistent with how the Scripture describes a man moving between an unregenerate and a regenerate state. Before we are saved we are dead to the things of God, and a dead man is of another world from the living. The dead man cannot desire or will to do those things that are of God, he is dead to them. But then the Spirit comes and puts flesh and blood upon the dead bones and breathes new life into them, he is made alive unto God.
The other way that scripture talks about salvation is being born again. Before birth, a child cannot desire anything in the living world. It is not something he can even conceive. But when he is born into the world of the Spirit, when He is brought kicking and screaming into the world of light, he can know and desire the things of that world.

Does this make sense?

A question about the scriptural basis for free will

Free will can be defined in a number of different ways, but lately the definition that I hear most often goes something like this:

Free will is the ability of a man (or woman) to choose what he will do or what he will believe, and while certain situations may limit the number of options he has at any given time (for instance, all men can not choose to be able to dunk a ball, or fly an airplane), there must always be at least two options (one of which may be the choice to do nothing at all).

It will come as no surprise to regular readers of this blog that I do not agree with this definition. To those who do hold to this definition I would like to ask the following question:

From where in Scripture is this line of thinking about free will derived?

I will freely acknowledge that Scripture talks about choice, but it doesn’t define choice in such a way that each person must always have two options. When God called Abraham there was no requirement that the possibility of Abraham saying no existed, and it is not obvious from the text that God chose Abraham because God knew Abraham would obey. If anything it makes more sense to say that Abraham obeyed God because God chose him.

Any takers?