2 Questions

Fist, we know that Jesus was “there in the beginning”. If Jesus was there in the beginning, where was He before time existed? I am assuming here that we are made in the likeness of Christ specifically, but don’t know how to reconcile the idea of Jesus always existing in human form and where he was.

Secondly, a possible solution to the problem of evil? I don’t know. It goes like this: God cannot do the logically impossible. Therefore he cannot create a being as great as Himself. IF Man was not created “perfectly” BUT we have free will, THEN it makes sense that Adam and Eve were destined to sin. IF Adam and Eve were destined to sin, THEN God “had a reason” all along to sacrifice Himself for humanity creating the perfect sacrifice and atonement for us.

And as an added bit of skeptical analysis, is it possible that Satan’s sin was something like disagreeing with God’s perfect plan all along? So in a way Satan produced a self fulfilling prophecy in that Satan, in his pride, didn’t want Jesus to sacrifice Himself, so tried to prevent Him from doing that, thereby fulfilling the role God had for Satan all along in that Satan was the fulfillment in why Jesus had to sacrifice Himself. I don’t know if I am saying that right.

Thoughts?

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In my opinion the “where” didn’t exist until God made the decision to create. This is why it makes sense that God is immaterial because in order for there to be a “where” there would have already had to have been some type of space created. I hope I’m making sense to you. So when you think of it that way Christ more than likely was immaterial like the Father, which makes sense since they share in the Godhead and in divinity. I personally don’t believe Christ had a human form until the incarnation but since he’s God I don’t limit him from being able to show up in a human-like form prior to the incarnation since that looks like what happened in the old testament. If you read these passages I posted below the only way to really reconcile it is that Jesus was able to show up in a physical form.

Three Special Visitors

1 The Lord appeared to Abraham by the oaks of Mamre while he was sitting at the entrance to his tent during the hottest time of the day. 2 Abraham looked up and saw three men standing across from him. When he saw them he ran from the entrance of the tent to meet them and bowed low to the ground.

3 He said, “My lord, if I have found favor in your sight, do not pass by and leave your servant. 4 Let a little water be brought so that you may all wash your feet and rest under the tree. 5 And let me get a bit of food so that you may refresh yourselves since you have passed by your servant’s home. After that you may be on your way.” “All right,” they replied, “you may do as you say.”

6 So Abraham hurried into the tent and said to Sarah, “Quick! Take three measures of fine flour, knead it, and make bread.” 7 Then Abraham ran to the herd and chose a fine, tender calf, and gave it to a servant, who quickly prepared it. 8 Abraham then took some curds and milk, along with the calf that had been prepared, and placed the food before them. They ate while he was standing near them under a tree.

9 Then they asked him, “Where is Sarah your wife?” He replied, “There, in the tent.” 10 One of them said, “I will surely return to you when the season comes round again, and your wife Sarah will have a son!” (Now Sarah was listening at the entrance to the tent, not far behind him. 11 Abraham and Sarah were old and advancing in years; Sarah had long since passed menopause.) 12 So Sarah laughed to herself, thinking, “After I am worn out will I have pleasure, especially when my husband is old too?”

13 The Lord said to Abraham, “Why did Sarah laugh and say, ‘Will I really have a child when I am old?’ 14 Is anything impossible for the Lord? I will return to you when the season comes round again and Sarah will have a son.” 15 Then Sarah lied, saying, “I did not laugh,” because she was afraid. But the Lord said, “No! You did laugh.”

Then the LORD rained down burning sulfur on Sodom and Gomorrah - from the LORD out of the heavens. Thus He overthrew those cities and the entire plain, including all those living in the cities - and also the vegetation in the land
(Genesis 19:24)

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Hi Jesse :slightly_smiling_face:

I will make an attempt to give a possible answer to your second question on the problem of evil. You are right that it is a logical impossibility for God to create Himself. God who has existed eternally cannot create another being who has existed eternally. However, I think it is possible for God to create a being with some of His attributes. God is good, and so God could create a being with all of His goodness. God is immutable, and so God could create a being who is unchanging. However, if God created a being who is fully good and unchanging, all God has done is replicate His character in a created being. In essence, God has made a robot that can only be and do what it is made to do. It will be a being that expresses love, but not by choice.

The reason God is immutable, unchanging, is that change is due to a deficiency in character. If God is the Greatest Conceivable Being, it is illogical for Him to change, because by definition He can’t be deficient. As humans, we can either do things to improve ourselves, or things to make ourselves worse. This is because we lack the nature of immutability.

So to your question, God could have made humans who were less likely to choose to sin. In the garden of Eden, God could have been present in person with Adam and Eve at every moment of every day. Imagine a child wanting to eat a cookie from the cookie jar against his mothers instructions. If the mother was sitting by the cookie jar all day, guarding it, it hasn’t stopped the child’s free choice to go and steal a cookie, but has greatly impacted the freedom the child ‘feels’ it has to do so. Likewise, Adam and Eve probably wouldn’t have sinned if God was standing right next to them by the tree of knowledge and giving them a glaring look.

So why did God give Adam and Eve so much freedom from perceived pressure to act a certain way? I believe it is because God wanted them to choose to love Him freely. God wanted them to choose to live in His grace through faith, to allow them to grow in holiness and grow in love. God didn’t want to just replicate His nature, He wanted people to choose to become like Him. God could have made a free-will being, who under the right amount of pressure would always choose the right option- but that is not what God wanted.

Therefore, God knew in His foreknowledge that man was going to sin, and He knew that Christ would have to suffer and die. 2 Timothy 1:9: “who saved us and called us to a holy calling, not because of our works but because of his own purpose and grace, which he gave us in Christ Jesus before the ages began”. I believe God created us in such a way that we have the greatest capacity to grow in love, but this gives the downside that we also have a great capacity for disobeying Him and for doing incredible evil.

I hope that is some form of an answer to part of your question :slightly_smiling_face:.

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Hi @Jesse_Means_God_Exists,

Thank you for your questions.

On the first one, you can’t really talk about a “where” without a “when.” Space and time form a continuum, similar to electromagnetism. You can have a charge without a magnetic field. They go hand in hand. So asking “where” Jesus was before time existed would be akin to asking what the voltage is on a current without a charge (you can have something that has voltage without a cumulative charge, but that just means the charges balance, not that there are no charges).

You cannot move through time without moving through space, nor can you move through space without moving through time. This is part of the reason we say that God lives in (which is a spatial term) eternity (which means “absence of time” or "not subject to time). This is one of the ways of describing God via negativa, or coming to an understanding of what God is not rather than what God is. So what does it mean to be eternal? Well, all we can really say is that it doesn’t mean to live in time. The rest is mostly mystery.

On your second point, it would really mean what you mean by “free will.” If you are talking about a compatiblist view of free will, then one, in oder to have free will, must be able to “do otherwise.” I really don’t think there is any other true form of free will. So, in that sense, Adam and Eve were either destined to sin, or they had free will, but not both.

The only thing with your last point is that it would need to take into account that it was Satan’s actions which led to the situation where a sacrifice was necessary. His rebellion led to the fall which led to Christ’s sacrifice.

Would love to hear if you have any follow up questions.

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Hi, thank you all for your posts. I think all the answers I have gotten are good answers, but it took me some time to see that, admittedly.

I want to touch on something because I think it is important.

My idea of free will is probably different than what is the norm. It seems the common view of free will is that we can choose for or against something. I think sometimes we take things like this for granted so much, that we don’t think that it could actually work another way. When I think of free will and how it operates in the Bible, I do not see a choice between doing good and doing evil, but instead, simply the choice to do evil. So it is NOT a two way street between choosing good OR choosing evil, but a better way to put it would be the choice between doing what we are expected to do vs doing evil.

Does that make sense? I realized this is pretty contrary to the normal notion of free will, but I have my reasons for holding this view.

That is a common view in Philosophy around the topic of free will. However, I and others would argue that this does not qualify as free will. This would be determinism.

Theologically speaking, I would question the morality of God who holds us accountable for things about which we have no choice. If I cannot help but do evil, how could God ecxpect me to do anything else and then judge me because I do that which I cannot help but do.

I can certainly see that some Scriptures can support this view, it is a mainstay of most versions of Reformed Theology. But, taken as a whole, I cannot see how this view leads to anything like a coherent view where God’s goodness and justice are preserved.

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Hi, @Joshua_Hansen. You have given me something to think about.

However, with the way I stated things, we do have a choice, it’s just a choice to do what we would normally do vs doing something demonstrably evil in place of that. I am drawing from Rom. 3:9-18 here. And I would qualify this with whatever good we do, we do not do ourselves but through the power of the Spirit.

I have had other problems surrounding this problem such as why do we still sin as Christians?