Thursday, May 8, 2008

The Paradox of Freedom

I came across this quote from Thomas Hopko, the Orthodox theologian I've been referring to a fair bit. In this paragraph he endorses freedom but distinguishes it from choice:

In [the Orthodox] understanding of things, unlike our modern American view, the freer a person is, the less they choose. Thus a person who would be perfectly free by God's grace would never "choose" anything at all. They would see, know, and will what is good, true, and beautiful, and do it.

In other words, Hopko seems to be saying that the more we become like God, the more we will (super)naturally desire what God desires. As we walk in tune with the Spirit, we will desire the things of the Spirit. Therefore, no "choice" is necessary. What do you think?

This reminds me of a favorite verse, Psalm 119.32:

I run in the path of your commands,
for you have set my heart free.


1 comment:

  1. I'm taking a break from gardening, to get a glass of water and read blogs. Yours is the most interesting so far today.

    I think the idea of freedom and choice relates a little to your story about the church that turned into a coffeehouse. Wouldn't it have been a revelation that if they continued on, having fun and making great lattes, eventually they would have a ministry anyway? That the relationships and conversations that would come about as they brewed the coffee might result in people becoming saved or growing closer to salvation?

    When Dennis and I first got married, we decided not to pursue "ministry" and get involved in the church. It seemed to stressful anyway. We preferred to cultivate friendships, invite people to our home and have fun. To our surprise, all this led us to serving, discipling and witnessing.

    Ministry isn't something we do, it's about Who we live for.