I have to return to an earlier point that was made in my discussion of the situation in the garden with A&E. In reference to God knowing beforehand that A&E would make the choice to sin, I have to throw out a thought here and see if any one can offer me an answer that I find acceptable. (This is not a challenge, but a request.) By the way, thanks for your input on the last post, Cory; I hope you can help me with this one as well.
A few weeks ago in the midst of a discussion on the fall of man I put together this scenario in my head. To begin, we have to place ourselves pre-creation. God, who we all know exists eternally, was putting together a plan in his head to make a created place called earth and place a man in a garden. I have no idea what he was really doing, but my guess is that he has always been creating and working. I don't have a picture in my mind of him just sitting around waiting for the time when he would create us. Back to the plans that he was putting together in his mind. So God, in his infinite wisdom thinks up the laws of the universe, the rules that make everything work. He comes up with a design for all of the many varieties of life that exist on our planet, and perhaps other planets. Once he has planned it, all he must do is speak and it will be. In the midst of his thinking it out, he already knows how it all will go. He sees the end and the beginning together. He knows exactly what will happen to each and every atom of his design. He knows his son will be sacrificed to ransom a rebellious race. My question is the question of every two year old that speaks, "Why?" He knew before he made A&E that they would fail and fall based on their disobedient choice. And that fall would resound throughout all of the time of man. All fall short, all sin, all suffer because of it. Who is responsible? We are. I am not trying to shirk responsibility for sin. I choose to sin, A&E chose to sin, all save one have chosen to sin. But who set it all in motion? Could it have been any other way? The first answer resorted to is typically the robot argument. "God didn't want to make us robots, he wanted us to choose to love him." Agreed. We all want someone to choose to love us, not be forced by design or dread. God gave us choice, but why, when he knew what a disaster we were going to make of that gift. If I give my boys a box of tools and turn them loose in the house, I do not know what would happen. I am wise enough to their machinations to realize that they will not use those tools for good, however. For every screw they tightened, there would be two doorknobs or light fixtures missing. They are not mature enough to handle that gift yet. Mankind, in the same way, is not mature enough to handle the gift of choice. Look at the nightmare of human history. Death, destruction, disease, war, famine, enslavement; where does it all begin? In the garden, with man's choice. But pre-garden, God chose to create beings that could choose. Wouldn't a different design have been preferable? I speak as a fool, I know. I am asking questions beyond my ability to comprehend perhaps. It does seem to me, however, that non-existence for man would have been preferable. Or even robotic man, who would have done what God wanted, thereby avoiding the colossal mess of human history. Why was choice so necessary a part of his design that knowing in advance the heartache it would cause, he still chose to do it this way? I have to believe that the final outcome will be so great, so fantastic, so unfathomable, that all will look back and praise him for setting it in motion. What other choice do I have?