I have been reading this and just want to ask does God have freedom of choice, free will?
Interesting question, mgaplus4 - Does God have free will?
From one point of view, He does not choose to have freedom of choice with respect to evil. He does not directly do “evil”, since that is contrary to His nature and will.
But He allows it, empowers it, while having the Plan and ability to bring good out of it. And what we see as evil will be ultimately discovered to be just part of what He has chosen to develop a perfect world out of.
Which brings me to a further point regarding “evolution”. This is just a “what if” kind of idea, but to me it could explain much.
What if God created the universe in such a way that He designed the history of His creation into the creation itself? Thus, before He created anything, He conceptualized an infinitely small ball of “starting material”, and then a “big bang” of exploding material, before space/time was created.
So when He created each aspect of the 6 Days (literal in our universe), He had already designed what we see as layers of evolutionary “proof”. And light from the stars appeared to be billions of years in transit, trees had rings, rocks had fossils, etc.
Each day’s “work” was merely materializing another phase of the Plan, which included presenting modern mankind with a choice. Man could either trust His account of His Creation in His Book, or trust his own best guesses as to how things must have “just evolved”.
I don’t believe this is God deceiving His creatures, since He gives us the true account in the Bible. But He wants us to develop faith in His infinite power and ability, and trust in His Spirit-inspired Word.
And in order to have true faith, there must be the opportunity to have no faith at all. Which is what He has provided in the details of what appears to be billions of years of development, (all done actually before there was time).
If anyone read this far, i am amazed. Yet, wouldn’t that concept reconcile so-called “evolution” and a literal 6 Day Creation? Plus, for the purposes of offering His (potential) children an ultimate choice, it is Good, and Very Good…
[A final word: if i, a mere mortal (made immortal in Christ), can come up with this kind of potential reconciliation between seemingly contradictory concepts, couldn’t an all-knowing eternal Source of Being come up with an even better way that both can be true?]
Thanks for your responce and the what if. I appreciate how you shared those thoughts. Since each man has a measure of faith he can choose to believe what he wants to believe. Some believe in a Pre-Adamic race which would lend to your concept idea. There is always a beginning and end to everything except God.
I agree, Gods nature, will about doing evil. Speaking humanly digress from Gods ultimate plan because only He knows the end from the beginning and the beginning from the end.
God chooses to do good not evil but is fully capable of committing evil. Just trying to put your words in my words. Abraham Moses, and others petitioned, bargained with God and He relented changed His mind which was a choice He didn’t have to make but did. I hope I expressed myself well enough?
I grappled with the evolutionary concept and the mysteries of Gods creation and have reconciled in myself that He gave me all I need, to have faith in Him. My wife my earthly Father, many never shared every detail about themselves with me but to me love, and faith in who they are is evident to me. Trust you understand my initial question better. All of the posts on this thread have been thought provoking for me. Thank you again for your answer. I apologize, I write like l talk as my wife says, hope it was clear?
I think we have a good deal of agreement, Mike (megaplus4). The one idea we might want to discuss more is “(God) is fully capable of committing evil.”
My current understanding is that God cannot ever commit evil since evil is by definition acting against His will. He would be schizophrenic (nuts, like us) if He acted against His own deep desires.
But He can empower / enable created beings to go against His will since He will always bring great good out of our evil actions.
I believe we will be amazed by the graciousness and skill which He will show us regarding how He has woven a pattern of royal beauty out of the ugliness we all caused, like a painting of radiant light, shining brilliantly, coming from the darkest, foulest night.
Does that make sense? I hope so. It is hard for us to imagine how He will bring perfect good out of some of the worst of evils, but He has shown me in my own life that He has that power / ability / desire.
Another thing that has come to mind about the evolution versus Scripture conflict is the fact that humans, as limited as we are, can make a very realistic-looking motion picture showing stages of evolution, complete with dinosaurs and flying reptiles and gigantic ferns and “cave-men”.
But we don’t see how God could do the same thing with a concept developed by Him before He created space/time, displaying it in 4D, so that what we find in fossils before the Creation (including Adam/Eve) was actually developed before time, as we know it, began.
Hey, that could make a good topic, perhaps. “Early evolution evidence = pre-Creation 4D motion picture manifestation.”
If that doesn’t make sense, just imagine what we could do, if we had the power, to create a “back-story” to the Creation Week, and make it look very real in every detail, as a movie. So why couldn’t God have done that, Himself, to give us the choice as to whether to believe His Word or our best scientific guesses?
Fascinating. But most people would reject the idea since it makes the “evolution-evidence” less explanatory and less historical than the Bible, which to unBelievers, like i once was, sounds ridiculous. Right?
Ridiculous! I wouldn’t be surprised someone hasn’t made that movie already we just haven’t seen or heard because it was ridiculous. I agree we agree we are much in agreement. Let’s be sure about this point.
“Speaking humanly” my quote
Man considers many of Gods ways not good, evil like
The Flood, the Curse, Judgements in old and new Testaments bad things happen to good people, wars, murder etc. Humanity says that is evil wrong on Gods part for allowing that to happen. In essence They want thier perfect world so I agree with
“My current understanding is that God cannot ever commit evil since evil is by definition acting against His will. He would be schizophrenic (nuts, like us) if He acted against His own deep desires.”
Thanks for your responce I have been blessed by much on connect, and realise over and over there is more than one way to say the same thing though it is the One truth. Looking forward to more, engaging conversations.
Sorry i misunderstood, Mike. Yes, i fully agree that mankind will in general see many of God’s actions in history as either indifference or just plain evil. And they (we) would be dead wrong.
Like the Flood of Noah’s day. That once seemed like “evil” to me. But as i read the Bible more closely, i noticed several things.
One was that the whole of mankind (except Noah and his family) had become very violent. They were so rebellious against God, that when He warned them through Noah’s preaching and beseeching, non-stop for 120 years i believe it was, to get on board the Ark, they just laughed and mocked him/Him.
And i never thought, originally, that the destruction of the great majority of people at that time was not an act of cruelty but rather of mercy. They had gone “beyond the point of no return”, apparently, and suppressed the Truth so long that they could not be reached without the kind of coercion that destroys free will.
So what about their children? As an atheist i pointed out that it was terrible that “a god” would kill so many young, innocent lives. I didn’t stop to think that by taking them to Himself, He was protecting them from growing up, and becoming like their parents, violent God-haters and man-killers.
When we finally see His true “Heart”, we know that in the “bigger picture” all His actions are based on perfect love, and the desire to save as many of us as He can, without violating our freedom to want Him or reject Him.
I’d guess we can definitely agree on that, right my friend?
My last responce to this is amen my new friend.
Love in Christ and Merry Christmas
A delightful Jesus’ Birthday Celebration to you too, Mike.
In those immortal (star-trekkie) words -
LIVE LONG! and PROSPER!
What a pleasure Dean shall HIS force be with you always also.