If God knew that Adam and Eve would sin, why didn’t He stop them?

The question isn’t as straight-forward as one may imagine. Let’s look at the words carefully.

If God knew the actual event of A&E sinning, then are we asking God to change an actual event to a non-actual one? If so, then clearly what He ‘foresaw’ was NOT an ‘actual’ event but simply a possible one. In this case, this means that it was POSSIBLE for A&E to either sin or not sin and the question then becomes, “Was God perhaps hoping or intending or working such that that A&E choose a different path from what eventually occured?”

The thing is, if you believe the future is ‘fixed’ such that God ‘sees’ everything as they will 120% occur (without the slightest possibility of deviation) then to ask why God doesn’t CHANGE the future is to entertain a contradiction. If He could change it, then it wouldn’t be the ‘actual’ future He saw, now would it?

God cannot change a foreseen actual future. He can, however, seek to influence or transform a foreseen possible or potential future.

But….if we can accept that God ‘sees’ possible futures (instead of actual futures) we should likewise accept that the future is a continuously negotiated, ‘authored’, to-be-laboured-for (1Cor 3:9) and open reality. This would not only render questions like the above somewhat dubious, it certainly raises our motivation to change it for the kingdom of God.

A better question would be, “If God could definitely have prevented A&E from eating the fruit, why didn’t He?”, and here’s one attempt to answer it:

God tried to prevent A&E from sinning (e.g. warning them, presenting them with better options, etc.), but there are only so many times you can persuade or put obstacles in a freely determining creature’s way without jeopardizing the project of love and freedom entirely. It doesn’t make sense to say “You are free” to someone yet continually prevent this person from exercising his freedom. In a word, freedom is irrevocable to some extent

Edu-trainer, Žižek studies, amateur theologian, columnist.

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