Free-Will Moral Agency
God created humans having the distinctive feature of being free-will moral agents, but this freedom has its limits. We did not choose to be born. We did not select in advance our unique abilities and character traits. None of us can independently choose through free-will volition to live morally perfect, mistake-free lives.
Free-will moral agency divides into the widest possible gulfs in the practical applications of Darwinian evolution…and the fiat special creation of becoming Spirit-born Christians.
After Adam’s fall in the Garden of Eden, man is incapable of living a perfectly righteous life using free-will moral choice (Rom. 3:23; 7:14, 19, 20, 23). Man cannot satisfy God’s law requiring perfect righteousness on our own. We cannot evolve to this elevated character level. This is a discontinuous gap in the moral realm.
By accepting Jesus Christ into our lives, Christians are admitting that we are incapable of living perfectly righteous lives by our own autonomous, free-will moral agency, apart from Christ’s divine input.
This is the direct opposite of the notion of evolutionary progress by totally naturalistic causes through self-realization, or a program of self-propelled works, or things simply falling into place by mere random chance.
Like the debate between Darwinian evolution and special creation in the natural world, there exists an unbridgeable gap between the idea of humanistic progress through purely naturalistic means…and the divine creation of a Spirit-born Christian instantly becoming a new creature “in Christ” through salvation faith.
We do not evolve into becoming Christians over long periods of time through good works, self-effort, or self-realization. Survival of the fittest does not produce Christ-like character traits.
Christians are born-again by the Spirit of God into becoming new people “in Christ” (John chapter three). The new birth in the Spirit is a divine creation of God. Born-again Christians become sons and daughters of God, and thereby take on the nature of God through the gift of the indwelling Spirit of God.
A biblical-quality journey of faith composed individually for every follower of Christ is a highly specified life-script that accomplishes the plans of God and beneficially transforms the believer. The biblical-quality, journey-of-faith life-scripts composed by God are discontinuous from the horizontally conventional, conforming-to-cultural-norms life-plans conceived through agnostic self-autonomous individualism.
The key point here is that God-crafted journeys of faith occur through intelligent design and not random chance. To become who and what we were created to be…requires the active participation of God in our lives, completely and totally contrary to the random chance model of humanistic naturalism prevalent in our present-day, cynically skeptical culture.
Random-chance processes do not work when attempting to produce function in complex systems of any type…a college research paper, an outboard motor for a small boat, or a detailed schedule for new building construction.
A random-chance search strategy likewise does not produce optimum function for exceedingly complex purpose, direction, and meaning in life…while we are autonomously sitting on the decision-making thrones of our lives.
Evolution by blind, mindless, indifferent, random-chance is the diametric opposite of intelligent input. Just as there is a huge discontinuity between the non-living world and the living world of plants and animals, there is an unbridgeable discontinuity between a self-directed life and a God-directed life.
Today’s Christian must grasp the enormous importance of stepping into our predestined, God-composed journey of faith. The New Covenant promise of Jeremiah 31:31-34 says that every believer from the least to the greatest will all know God personally. A personal walk with God through this life via precisely crafted events and circumstances beyond our capacity to imagine…is the God-blended solvent that dissolves the destructively subtle mixture of cynical unbelief allied with philosophical naturalism.
If science itself is discovering evidence for the existence of intelligent design in our natural world, then the materialistic basis for a liberal, hyper-critical, non-supernatural interpretation of the Bible no longer has a rational leg to stand on.
This purely philosophical approach of naturalism…based upon unbelief in God…is then unhooked from its undeserved false connection to the prestige and authority of the empirical scientific method.
If Jesus Christ lived a perfect life as the spotless Passover Lamb of God sacrifice for our sins, this then means that the expression of unselfish love through the cross is at the very pinnacle of the precision of design in the moral realm of truth.
The cross of Jesus Christ in the moral realm is the equivalent of the creative precision found in a solar eclipse in the natural realm. Like a solar eclipse is perfectly crafted to open up the discovery of the cosmos, the cross of Christ is perfectly crafted to open up an understanding of eternally valid moral themes.
If our journey of faith leads us toward becoming more Christ-like, then the cross is in actuality a positive component of this imaginative moral engineering…just like the positive aspects of the fine-tuning of the laws of physics and chemistry are perfectly designed to support complex life.
The cross in our lives is therefore not something to avoid or to be afraid of. In Jesus Christ the cross is the divine expression of the utter lack of any self-centeredness, in pure and perfect love for us.
The good detective work of recent scientific investigation, revealing the presence of intelligent design and the mathematical improbability of random- chance as the cause for our existence, restores order and sense to our universe.
It reinstates the legitimacy of a biblical journey of faith following the capable leadership of God. This has enormous consequences for Christians, the gospel message, and evangelism. It has the potential for partially or completely overturning the present naturalistic worldview responsible for the modern-day cynicism towards life.
If people can see that God is as close to us as His design of a perfect solar eclipse, as well-intentioned as the precise placing of our earth in the “habitable zone” in our solar system, has the capacity to create the indescribable precision of the activities we see inside a living cell, and has clear purpose behind our optimum location in the Milky Way Galaxy for both survival and to be able to view deep into outer space…this means that once again our world has meaning and purpose.
Like the scientific acceptance of the evidence for the Big Bang beginning of the universe, at some point in the near future the accumulation of evidence for design may also establish the existence of a Creator God as a given.
A naturalistic world without meaning, purpose, and hope…based upon the arbitrariness of relative truths without any connection to absolute truth…gives way to the true reality of a universe managed by a brilliantly creative God.
To our amazement and admiration of God…as Christians…we now discover that this recent concept of a world designed both to support complex life and to encourage scientific investigation, also dovetails beautifully with the biblical idea that God has also set up a perfectly orchestrated way to discover eternal moral truth in this broken world.
This comes to us through the investigative lens of a biblical journey of faith following Jesus Christ our Savior.