I believe in free will. As a Reformed Christian, I also believe in the omniscience of God. This is a riddle, a great mystery, that cannot be understood in this life. It just doesn’t make sense.
So, when I learned about Protestantism in high school, we were taught that God knows what we are going to do before we do it. That seemed quite ridiculous to me, and I argued with more than one Sunday school teacher over the years.
When I revisited this issue as a young adult, I came to the conclusion that free will and God’s omniscience were like 2 pillars that reached to heaven and never met. Like two parallel lines. It wasn’t a construct that felt quite right to me, but it was the best my mind could figure out.
I’m comfortable with the fact that I will not get all of the answers in this life. The phrase ‘there is one God and you are not it’ applies perfectly here.
Recently; however, I heard an illustration about free will that helped me immensely. It is from the book ‘The Shack.’ In it, God is speaking to a man. The man asks him this very question about how could he have free will if God knows what he is going to do already.
God (actually using the moniker ‘Papa’), asks him if he felt he could get up and leave at any time. The answer was yes. I can get up and leave anytime. So can you.
That is the framework I have now, and it is great. I do fully realize and am open to new ideas, new thoughts…it’s complex and simple. How cool is that?