Greg Koukl - Free Will and a Loving God?

Greg Koukl of Stand to Reason answers the question, "What is the problem between free will and a loving God?"

I feel uncomfortable with answering the problem of evil by saying, “Free will is necessary because, if there was no free will, there couldn’t be any love. We would just be machines and machines don’t love.” So there’s this equation of free will and love. 

Notice the way free will is characterized. It’s tied in with the problem of evil and moral actions; that is, unless we have—and this is one characterization of freedom—the ability to do otherwise, we could be good or we could be bad. If we didn’t have the ability to be good or to be bad—the ability to do otherwise—then we wouldn’t have the kind of freedom that is necessary for true love to be expressed. 

Okay, I have a question: Does God display genuine love? Yes. 

Second question: Does God have the ability to do otherwise where morality comes in? Can God do evil? No.

Will we be able to do evil in heaven? I don’t think so. Most people don’t think so. We will be immutably good at that point. Does that mean heaven is going to be bereft of love because now we can’t choose to do evil? No. Obviously it’s going to be thick with love and God is fully love, He defines love, He’s the ground of love, yet He is not capable of evil. 

This is why I think it is a mistake to tie the free will/ability to do evil question in with the ability to love. Because if that works then God can’t be loving—because He can’t be evil; He can’t choose evil and there’s not going to be any love in heaven. Obviously this doesn’t work. 

Greg Koukl