”When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom, she took some and ate it. She also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it.” -Genesis 3:6 NIV
Every time I’ve heard the word Freewill with regards to man’s nature, I saw some mysterious faculty within the mind of man that made the choice between different actions. But one has to wonder: How can God be Sovereign and man be free and yet the two be juxtaposed without contradiction? If God is sovereign, than man is under complete control. If Man is free, how could God even stop us?
Let’s play Protagoras; and assume that Man is free. What does that mean? Man is free to choose between any action without a reason? No; everything man does is because of some reason. Whether one from a wounded heart, or from logos. If man chooses anything for no reason that reason is either because of some hurt or an inclination to prove this notion wrong. So man isn’t free to choose outside of his nature; e.i. he can’t do anything he doesn’t have a reason for; and that reason is to satisfy some desire.
Perhaps my point will be made clear with this: If Man was initially Good how did we fall? I don’t believe in letting contradictions slide, so this must be examined. Say the choice came out of no where, than it both violates man nature and man has no reason to be blamed. So it came out of man’s nature; yet If man was initially good than it couldn’t have happened.
But let’s say man wasn’t per se ethical in nature, but was shown the ropes; the statutes, the Law. Let’s say Adam and Eve were like any other human being; let’s say they sought after what looked good.
So they weren’t objectively ethical, but they sought it like any other child of God. This allows for slips and slides. This allows them to fall; albeit by either some faulty reasoning or facts not taken into account. By the Serpent instigating doubt, their worldview falters and flat-lines; they then learn the horrors of unbelief.
Now we enter the depths of something very intriguing; They fell because of their unbelief; we entered sin, death, and judgement because of unbelief. Now judgement in hell for eternity for seeking good? No! God forbid- Something is amiss. I wouldn’t even punish my kids if they tried to seek good and failed. So what did the heart look like? How could that faculty even have been altered in the first place? Perhaps the doubt did more than question the validity of God in his statement of death. Perhaps it questioned his very goodness. And the heart rejected him in that; it rejected the only thing that would ever satisfy.
But how? If the heart rejected him, it had no good reason to. If there was no reason, than God can’t blame him. How does evil that is punishable enter a world of goodness and truth?
But wait… Were they punished? Where Adam and Eve punished for what they did?
To the woman He said,
“I will greatly multiply
Your pain in childbirth,
In pain you will bring forth children;
Yet your desire will be for your husband,
And he will rule over you.”
17 Then to Adam He said, “Because you have listened to the voice of your wife, and have eaten from the tree about which I commanded you, saying, ‘You shall not eat from it’;
Cursed is the ground because of you;
In toil you will eat of it
All the days of your life.
18 “Both thorns and thistles it shall grow for you;
And you will eat the plants of the field;
19 By the sweat of your face
You will eat bread,
Till you return to the ground,
Because from it you were taken;
For you are dust,
And to dust you shall return.”
It doesn’t appear to be punishment at all… but simply letting the fruits of their labor be shown for what they are. They doubted the goodness of God; they shall now see the alternative. They will see where their choices lead.
Now, to answer the first of my qualms; it would be with God’s Sovereignty and Man’s freewill. But I have shown that man’s choices are chosen out of a nature; and who controls man’s nature? Who hardened the heart of the Pharaoh and gives each man the life in his lungs? Who has “established his throne in heaven and his Kingdom reigns over all”? YHWH.
But this raises the question of how we are justified in being punished if Adam and Eve weren’t punished for their sins. But, this will have to be dealt with at another time.