Freedom of the Will is a Reality that is Inconceivable in a Purely Materialistic Universe
One of the givens, being a constant within the kingdom of the God of the Bible, is that free-will choice must be in existence for personal relationships to have any meaning.
The perfectly actualized God-sovereignty of Jesus Christ within His life-script that leads to the cross and the resurrection, as described above, reveals a divine quality of unselfish love that is found at the top-most peak of the vertical spectrum-line of moral character.
The cross and the resurrection of Jesus Christ provides for me the freedom to enter into a personal relationship with God, and to embark on the adventure of a research program into the discovery of the knowledge of good and evil that will last for an eternity, acquired for me by God at Calvary and on Resurrection morning.
Jesus Christ went to the cross out of unselfish love to provide for believers the freedom from sin, to be able to search for and find our highest destiny within a God-composed journey of faith life-script.
The plan of redemptive salvation by grace through faith in Christ is a rescue program having the highest ideal intentions imaginable.
When I became a Christian, God did not instantly change me into a perfect moral person.
When I became a Christian, God did not instantly change this world and everything in it into a perfect, trouble-free environment.
What God miraculously did do was to change me as a person from the inside-out, from a previously lost and directionless person having no real basis for self-worth, into a new and different person now experiencing the value and worth bestowed upon me by the Creator God of the universe thinking enough of me to want to establish a relationship, and by initiating a calling for my life that gave it purpose and meaning.
This created in me a desire to be the best person I could be in terms of character and virtue, a concept that previously had been laughably foreign and utterly unattainable.
The point here is that the sacrifice of Jesus Christ not only cleansed me from my sins, but equally important it transformed the nature of my continued moral imperfection from willful bad choices into honestly unintentional lessons-learned mistakes.
Walking through a genuine, biblical-quality journey of faith following Jesus Christ moderates and softens the ill-effects of my honest mistakes, and in practical terms improves the ratio of my good works going forward to actually exceed in number and in magnitude my occasional bad works.
Jesus Christ on the cross paid in full the negative side of my balance-sheet portfolio, so that I could pick-up my own cross and follow Jesus into an adventure of faith, without the condemnation of character faults and short-comings that now instead become invaluable lessons-learned along this research program into the knowledge of good and evil.
Again, in Matthew 5:6 in the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus does not say blessed are the perfectly moral, but blessed are they that hunger and thirst after righteousness through a spiritually born-again heart (John 3:1-21).
My sins past, present, and future are covered by the blood Jesus shed on the cross, because my present and future sins are not the result of malice or ill-intent towards anyone, but are simply a part of inhabiting for the time being the research vehicle of a fallen yet redeemed moral nature.
If modern science at this point in time is revealing an Intelligent Designing Agent this precise in crafting the natural world, then if His main response to the evil and suffering in this world is to merely compose life-scripts and orchestrate journeys of faith that do not altogether remove evil and suffering, then this seemingly partial solution needs explaining.
If the response by the God of the Bible is to initiate research programs into the knowledge of good and evil as articulated in this book, now better understood through the lens of the modern scientific method, this produces the common complaint that if God is all-powerful, all-knowing, and everywhere, why doesn’t He remove evil and suffering?
The argument that the presence of evil and suffering renders God weak and incapable of providing an entirely safe and optimized environment for humans, presupposes that there is not a more important reason for God allowing evil and suffering to exist on the earth.
I think the freedom for human beings to be able exercise intellectual and moral reasoning through cognitive thinking within the challenging environment of a broken and fallen world, is a sophisticated reality that is inexplicable in a purely matter and energy universe.
For this intellectual and moral reasoning capacity to proceed unfettered by the undermining of our innate value and worth through the weight of the guilt and confusion over our imperfect moral natures (Romans 7:15-8:4), inexplainable through naturalistic materialism, requires the unselfish atoning sacrifice of Jesus Christ on the cross and His resurrection three days later.
This top-most quality of God-sovereignty written into the life-script for Jesus Christ the Son of God, singles-out and highlights the love of God to successfully establish our freedom from debilitating sin in the right way through divinely conceived justice, within the plan of redemptive salvation by grace through faith in Christ.
This combines with the broad array of moral concepts in existence in this world, and our amazing capacity to adequately adjudicate these realities, in order to arrive at a meaningful yes/no decision to accept Jesus Christ as Savior, King, and Ruler in our lives.
This deserves the most respectful and considered evaluation, being one of the main contentions made in this book.
From Pondering Our Creation: Christian Essays on Science and Faith.