This question plagues both the believer and the non-believer. It is the go-to argument when someone wants to cast doubt or rebut our faith. It’s a fair question but as is often the case with such things a superficial one.
My answer is found of course in science, namely quantum mechanics. The wave equation is, as I see it, the mathematical representation of free will. A choice is made and all possible futures from the choice not taken cease to exist. The function collapses, something is “observed” and becomes real.
So imagine a point in time, then create a fork in the road so to speak, choice A and choice B. My faith and Scripture tell the story of such a choice. When God created the universe he used a set of rules which we know as physics. Everything in creation has to obey these rules, including people. So when God created choice – choose Me or the other thing (the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil) he was simply following the rules He created.
Choice A was His Way, and everything in it was perfect. There was no flaw, no branching of probabilities. Just perfect. And in perfection there was only more of the same; no flaws or “wobbles” existed. In choice B there were infinite probabilities. And none of them were perfect. Perfection only exists along the path of choice A.
Since choice B was obviously taken, now all manner of weirdness is possible. Instabilities now exist and as a result even more instabilities. A hurricane or tornado exists because of instabilities in the weather system. The worst of human behaviors exist because of instabilities in our genes, our pattern of thinking and feeling and our neurochemistry. “Unhappiness” and suffering exist for the same reason. There can be no perfection or stability, yet we look all around trying desperately to find it.
God made this world, the universe, perfectly. And the rules he put into place to let it run allowed for choice. We chose poorly. And God, knowing that choice B could be made at any time, had the solution prepared beforehand. This is Jesus Christ, God the Son. God loves all of His creation so much that if ever even ONE person chose B God was prepared for it and His plan to redeem that person back to Himself and His perfection. The expression for this is n-1, with n being the entire number of humans who have or ever will exist, and the 1 being the poor chooser.
There will be those who are offended by my journey into the non-secular. 2 responses: 1) Get over it, and 2) counter my argument. I am always open to the points of view of others. Why? Because I have spent a LOT of time thinking about this and so am quite comfortable and confident of my understanding. Folks who don’t do that, who are intellectually lazy and emotional children, just get offended when presented with an opinion that doesn’t match theirs. I call these people Wainwrights…
Don’t be a Wainwright, make a good comment.