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Faith and Philosophy

Volume 28, Issue 4, October 2011

Steven B. Cowan
Pages 416-431
DOI: 10.5840/faithphil201128441

Compatibilism and the Sinlessness of the Redeemed in Heaven

In a recent issue of Faith and Philosophy, Timothy Pawl and Kevin Timpe seek to respond to the so-called “Problem of Heavenly Freedom,” the problem of explaining how the redeemed in heaven can be free yet incapable of sinning. In the course of offering their solution, they argue that compatibilism is inadequate as a solution because it (1) undermines the free will defense against the logical problem of evil, and (2) exacerbates the problem of evil by making God the “author of sin.” In this paper, I respond to these charges and argue that compatibilism can offer a satisfactory explanation for the sinlessness of the redeemed in heaven. I also raise some problems for Pawl’s and Timpe’s incompatibilist solution.