Does Heaven Destroy Liberty?

As long as I am lingering over the value of Jonathan Edwards’ essay on the Divine Decrees, here is one more quote that is worthy of extended biblical reflection. It comes from Section 19.

Objectors may say, God cannot always prevent men’s sins, unless he act contrary to the free nature of the subject, or without destroying men’s liberty. But will they deny, that an omnipotent and infinitely wise God could not possibly invent, and set before men, such strong motives to obedience, and have kept them before them in such a manner, as should have influenced all mankind to continue in their obedience, as the elect angels have done, without destroying their liberty? God will order it so, that the saints and angels in heaven never will sin: and does it therefore follow, that their liberty is destroyed, and that they are not free, but forced in their actions? Does it follow, that they are turned into blocks, as the Arminians say the Calvinist doctrine turn men?

John Piper (@JohnPiper) is founder and teacher of desiringGod.org and chancellor of Bethlehem College & Seminary. For 33 years, he served as pastor of Bethlehem Baptist Church, Minneapolis, Minnesota. He is author of more than 50 books.