Omniscience, the Trinity, and Free Will: Why I can’t believe

Omniscience, the Trinity, and Free Will: Why I can’t believe May 12, 2012

An Answers in Genesis article, “Was the Cross ‘Plan B’?“, poses the following question:

Was Jesus’s death on the Cross a result of God’s best-laid plans gone wrong? Did human sin take God by surprise? Was there an emergency plan B forced upon the Creator of the universe after the Fall in Genesis?

The article answers this question as follows:

No, Jesus went to the Cross exactly as God had intended before the world began. … Jesus is the very design and accomplishment of God’s eternal wisdom. The plan of redemption was not a necessary afterthought to remedy a plan gone wrong. Jesus had purposed to redeem us from eternity past. His work on the Cross is nothing short of the pinnacle of the revelation of God’s eternal and sovereign wisdom.

This article brought together all the problems I have with believing Christianity. The argument here is that God created the world and mankind knowing that man would sin and knowing that Jesus would have to die on the cross and knowing that millions and billions of people would refuse his “gift” and wind up in hell. This just seems weird and twisted.

According to this line, God put Adam and Eve in a situation where he knew they would fail and then punished them for it. This is something I work hard never to do with my daughter. If she’s tired and hungry and out of sorts, I wouldn’t take her to the grocery store, because I would know she would probably fall apart. And if I did take her to the grocery store in that condition, I wouldn’t punish her when she did fall apart. That would be completely unfair of me, especially because her meltdown would be in some sense my fault for taking her shopping when I knew she couldn’t make it through. But this, supposedly, is just what God does.

Then there is the whole Trinity thing. When reading this article I wondered to myself how God the Father broke the news about this plan to Jesus: “Hey, let’s make a planet with lots of little intelligent beings, but we’ll give them the opportunity to make wrong choices and then when they do, which they will, we’ll have to send them into eternal torture as punishment until you go down there and let them torture and murder you so that I can forgive their wrongdoing. Sound good?” But then I realized that given that God and Jesus are supposed to be one and the same, no such conversation would be necessary. Except that when Jesus was on earth he did have conversations with God the Father, and God the Father knew things Jesus didn’t. I have to ask, can we just admit that the Trinity makes no sense already?

And this brings up a third question too. If God knew before he created the world that he would create the world and exactly everything he would do in the future – since he’s supposedly omniscient – then would God have free will? I think not. If I knew everything I would do in the future laid out exactly it would happen, I wouldn’t have free will. I couldn’t choose any other option. Actually, I feel sorry for the God this idea would create. He would be a God trapped into one path, unable to choose anything different, indeed, unable to make choices at all. And he would certainly not be omnipotent.

Yeah, no. It just doesn’t make sense to me. I didn’t leave Christianity because I didn’t know that there are plenty of Christians who are loving and caring rather than legalistic, or because I didn’t realize there are Biblical interpretations that allow for accepting gay people and gender equality. I didn’t leave because I didn’t know there were a diversity of different streams of Christian spirituality. I left Christianity because it simply doesn’t make sense.

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