Why are we so obsessed with origins? It is because the story of origins makes the character which makes the story. Take the story of Thor for example. He is an arrogant young man who thinks he would make the best King known to the universe. But he is banished to earth for his pride, unable to wield his famous hammer until showing himself worthy. Which, he does by developing the willingness to sacrifice himself for the greater good. When we see the backstory our appreciate for the main story is stimulated that much more.
One key element in understanding the Biblical story is to understand the Origin of Sin. The first point to be made is that sin did not begin with God. Some may think this is blatantly obvious but look at this quote by a typical Calvinist.
“He decides and causes all things to happen that do happen…He has ordained everything “after the counsel of his will”: the moving of a finger, the beating of a heart, the laughter of a girl, the mistake of a typist—even sin.” (Palmer, The Five Points of Calvinism, pp. 24-25)
The logic (or lack thereof) behind this theology flows from a misunderstanding of God’s sovereignty. They believe that for God to be sovereign he must be the primary cause of all things. That is, he is always acting and never reacting. If humans had free-will then God would have to react to our choices which would limit him.
So then the question is this; Is God limited? The answer is yes. Let me give you three examples
- God is limited by His nature. He is a perfect being and thus cannot go against His nature. If you are a pathological liar you can tell the truth at times. If you are a loving person you can be hateful. But God cannot do this.
--He cannot lie (Titus 1:2).
--He cannot deny himself (2nd Timothy 2:13).
- God is limited by Reality. He cannot make 2 +2 = 7. He cannot make a round square or a married bachelor. When we say God is Omnipotent (all-powerful) we mean He can do anything which is logically possible.
- God imposes on himself limitation; Self-limitation. There comes a time in the lives of most men when they decide to restrict their spending, use their time in ways they do not want, limit their relationships in ways which they normally would not, and put themselves in situations which force character development. We call this Marriage. The point is self-limitation. The man decides to impose this limitation on himself but he is still limited. When God decided to create a world of free-will creatures he imposed a limitation on the scope of His influence. He cannot force us to love Him but can only compel us. This does not diminish His sovereignty, it only heightens it. How amazing a God we serve who can still accomplish all He wills even through free-will creatures working against Him.
- The origin of sin in the human realm
- How God’s holiness is upheld amidst a world of free-will creatures who choose evil.
- Why God would create a world where sin is possible.