It’s disingenuous to say it wasn’t God’s plan for Adam and Eve to sin. Clearly it was. God is all-knowing, he knew it was going to happen. What’s more, some versions of the Bible render part of Revelation 13:8 as calling Jesus “the Lamb who was slain from the creation of the world.” There are other verses that talk about people who were to be eternally saved having their names in the Book of Life. Verses like that is where we get the idea of predestination, which says God chose those who would be saved.
God’s plan is that humanity would sin, so that Jesus would die for them. I’ve always found this hard to grasp. Why would God make us in the first place, if he knew we would sin? The answers I’ve seen include:
- He wanted to be worshiped
- He wanted to create beings he could be in relationship with
- He wanted to increase the amount of good that exists
- He wanted to reveal his goodness, his glory, etc.
And these are fair, valid reasons. But then I struggle with, why did he do this if he knew we were going to sin, and many of us were doomed to hell? So what if Jesus was going to die for us, there was still going to be an awful lot of misery and damnation along the way. The answers I’ve skimmed are not terribly satisfying, but I guess the work.
- Because sin is still a way for God to show his glory, goodness, etc.
- Because we still choose for ourselves whether we sin or not.
- I’d note that for anyone who believes in any kind of predestination (Lutherans, Calvinists, I think Catholics do too) there’s the crux theologorum. the question of why some people are saved but not others. After all, these traditions believe the Spirit needs to spark faith in you before you can be saved, because you’re in a natural state of rejecting God before then. So you can’t help but sin and be eternally lost if God doesn’t move in you first.
- Lutherans, Arminians, and others believe you can reject God’s call to salvation, thus putting some of the responsibility on the person.
- Because God loved us so dang much that he thought it was worth us existing anyway. Think of how people have children, even though they know the kid’s gonna be a brat as a teenager and scuff his knees a lot when skateboarding. Their self-sacrificial love makes them think it’s OK despite that.
- Because for all the bad that came into the world, there’s still a great deal of good. Pessimists like me think there’s more bad than good. Perhaps even enough good to justify the presence of the bad. This is similar to a line of thinking I got from Jordan Peterson.
- Some philosophers and apologists would argue that our world is the best possible world – i.e., of all the possible series of events, ours is the best outcome.
Again, maybe not the greatest answers in the world, as I think we could all throw a hundred objections at them. But they at least make sense.
So, God knew the Fall was coming. It was not his eternal plan for us to remain sinless. And although I find the reasons why God would create us despite the impending misery and eternal separation of so much of mankind to be unsatisfying, at least the reasons are there.