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Are the concepts of free will and predestination the makings of a paradox?

October 10, 2014

We know as Christian’s that we have been given free will.  If you will accept the assumption that free will is the gift that God gives us to choose what we will do under all circumstances there comes a point where when we read; “For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters.” (Romans 8:29) and we can become confused as to what that exactly means.

A statement such as that makes us wonder about whether God is allowing us to have free will or the free will that we believe that we have is just an illusion, appearing to be free will to us but in fact is not free will at all.  I suppose that I can wonder whether someone knowing of a condition that I was not aware existed at some point can be the starting point of learning whether it is indeed free will.

Does our lack of understanding of God and His purpose limit our ability to grasp the fact that God is outside the boundaries of time.  If we accept this as true then it becomes easier to grasp seurat-without-treeshow God viewing existence simultaneously enables Him to foreknow.  We are in His view predestine to full our time on this planet as He can clearly witness.  I like to visualize this view as a three dimensional mural that God from his vantage point can see in all its splendor.  We stand at the immense canvas with a bucket paint and are called upon to paint two very seemly insignificant dots.  These dots comprise our contribution to the cosmic masterpiece.  Without our contributions the masterpiece is incomplete.  We struggle to gain control and try to stray from our specified assignment but God has none of that.  He insists that we complete it as it has been completed.  Our will is subservient to His.  “Thy will be done.”

C.S. Lewis in Mere Christianity refers to God’s vantage point as one similar to a reader of a book. God can move o-CS-LEWIS-facebookthrough the pages of our lives from start to finish concentrating on any aspect of our lives that He sees fit to explore.  This offers us a little more clarity when we think about God and how we fit within His Kingdom.  Our importance is only what He lends to us.  He has in fact give us immense importance by sending His only begotten Son to die for our sins.  We become aware of the magnitude of our importance with that gesture.

Neither the illustration of our lives as depicted as a book, or our life’s work shown as a painting of two dots on the universal canvas adequately explain God’s perspective or intentions.  It helps us to gain some glimmer of comprehension of the state in which we exist.   It shows us that our free will is nothing more than our ability to choose a path.  God know what we would do.  Just because He knew and knows does not limit our freedom.  We know that the earth is turning and we our powerless to stop its revolutions.  Our ability to observe does not preclude action.  God’s ability to know does not inhibit our own.  We are duty bound to fulfill our purpose and to do what we are going to do.

As I get older I just hope I remember what it is that I am supposed to do…

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