Some thoughts on freedom of the will as supported by Christian theology:
An argument for it:
Man is made in the image of God. One of His characteristics is that he is free. He has a free will. We, therefore in some real sense have a free will.
Another argument for it:
1. The highest principle is love, in that God is love. You might be able to name a few more “highest” principles, but love is certainly one of them, and arguable the highest of them. For this argument, it will do.
2. Love has to be voluntary. You can’t force some one to love you. Under those conditions they can only obey you, not love you. They can only pretend to love you. They really want to do (love) something else, or you are not forcing them. Hence the saying, that “if you love someone, you set them free; if they love you they will be back.”
3. The freedom to love is the highest form of freedom, since love is the highest principle.
Free will now and later:
The bible teaches that we are only free in Christ. This freedom exists in two forms. It exists now in a proto-form (or seed-form); and it exists later in an eternal form (mature form).
All creation is now in proto-form. It does not now exist in its permanent “heavenly” state. And it is fallen. God came into this fallen creation to save us, and we who have accepted this gift have been saved, but we are in proto-form and have our being in the proto-form world. We “see through a glass darkly” the eternal form/eternal life that we have through Christ.
So during our time in the proto-form creation we are only free in Christ. To the extent that we interact with the world outside of Christ we are acting as slaves to it. To the extent that we interact with the world through our life in Christ this expression of our will is free. In that expression, we love the world as God loves the world, and we let free. It hates God, and it hates us, and it will crucify us.
The only way to do this, I think, is through the power of the Holy Spirit. So we strive to acquire the life of and to live in the presence and power of the Holy Spirit, who is within us since we have been born again.