The Evangelical Universalist Forum

Is Paul’s potter/clay analogy about freedom?

Suppose some unfortunate angel must write a new digit of pi every second for an infinite number of seconds. God, who stands above time and can see the beginning from the end in one glance, still cannot tell me the final digit the angel must write. Whatever digit he chooses, there will always be the next. The final digit of an infinite, non-recurring series is as meaningless as a square circle.

Adam, as a moraly free agent, chose against God in the past. I see no reason why a reconciled and morally free Adam cannot choose against God in the future. Adam’s final state is unknowable unless Adam loses the ability to choose otherwise. Whatever Adam’s state may be today, there is always tomorrow. Omniscience isn’t enough.

Fortunately, this argument breaks down once you define freedom more Biblically, as the will and the power to do good. Choosing evil can never be an act of freedom. Adam wasn’t free to sin. He was bound to sin.

God who did the serpent make,
Forgiveness give. Forgiveness take. GMcD

Which is a category error in regard to questions of free will per se, for reasons too numerous for me to go into at the moment. (It also assumes what I think has yet to be proven, namely that pi definitely does not have an ultimately repeatable sequence. Be that as it may.)

Or unless it happens to become a fact that, at some point, the reconciled Adam freely chooses never to sin again and forever freely chooses that result. Which, in its own ontologically derivative way, would be similar to God’s ever-freely chosen eternal self-existence.

If omniscience is enough to see any and all points of a (derivatively existent) infinite progression, it’s enough for this purpose, too–or else it isn’t enough for God to know anything for sure in the future (including whether God might at some time alter His own subordinate purposes temporarily in order to fulfill His greater purposes.)

If choosing evil is an abuse of the good, then choosing evil can in fact be an act of freedom even though it doesn’t result in freedom. Otherwise, choosing evil is not an abuse of the good at all–which is going to run up against quite a bit of Biblical testimony.

(A point that MacD, whom you quoted, was quite well aware of. :wink: Even if that might be explained as too much of a reaction by him against the Calvinistic determinism he had grown up in.)

Btw, the official debate page is now active.

Just a note to let you know that mathematicians proved irrationality for pi way back in the 19th century. :wink: