From a recent Ref21 article by Andy Naselli, my buddy:
Non-Christians and Christians alike often give the same answer to difficult questions like these: Why did God allow sin in the first place? Why does God save some people and not others? Why does God send people to hell? Why can living like a Christian be so frustrating? The immediate solution often suggested is simple: “free will.” To many people, it’s a satisfying answer: “Oh, that makes sense. Yeah, God does x because he has to preserve my free will. Yeah, OK. Next question.” I’d like to suggest that re-think this important issue.
The title of this short essay is a question: “Do We Have a Free Will?” That question may be jarring to you because it asks if something exists that most people assume exists. My short answer to that question is that it depends on what you mean by “free.” The longer answer is the rest of this essay.
Free will is one of the toughest issues around. Philosophers, theologians, and everyday folks have been dealing with it for millenia. (This is a pretty big set-up for my recommendation of Andy’s piece, isn’t it?) Andy’s piece will do a great deal to help with questions along these lines.
Read the whole thing–and check out the other resources related to a talk he just gave at our church, Crossway Community Church of Kenosha, WI (which has a brand-new website that looks great and works nicely–bravo!).