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    WILL, freedom of

    We accompanied our son and his fiancÚ when they met with her priest to sign some pre-wedding ceremony papers. While filling out the form, our son read aloud a few questions. When he got to the last one, which read: "Are you entering this marriage at your own will?" he looked over at his fiancÚ. "Put down 'Yes,'" she said.

     Lilyan van Almelo, Reader's Digest, May 1993, p. 138.


    Einstein gave grudging acceptance to "the necessity for a beginning" and eventually, to "the presence of a superior reasoning power," but never did he accept the doctrine of a personal God.  Two specific obstacles blocked his way.  According to his journal writings, Einstein wrestled with a deeply felt bitterness toward the clergy, toward priests in particular, and with his inability to resolve the paradox of God's omnipotence and man's responsibility for his choices.  "If this being is omnipotent, then every occurrence, including every human action, every human thought, and every human feeling and aspiration is also His work; how is it possible to think of holding men responsible for their deeds and thoughts before such an almighty being?  In giving out punishment and rewards He would to a certain extent be passing judgment on Himself.  How can this be combined with the goodness and righteousness ascribed to Him?"  Seeing no solution to this paradox, Einstein, like many other powerful intellects through the centuries, ruled out the existence of a personal God. 

    Hugh Ross, The Finger of God, Promise Pub., 1991, p. 59.


    During his days as guest lecturer at Calvin Seminary, R.B. Kuiper once used the following illustration of God's sovereignty and human responsibility.

    "I liken them to two ropes going through two holes in the ceiling and over a pulley above. If I wish to support myself by them, I must cling to them both. If I cling only to one and not the other, I go down."

    R.B. Kuiper.


    "I read the many teachings of the Bible regarding God's election, predestination, his chosen, and so on.  I read also the many teachings regarding 'whosoever will may come' and urging people to exercise their responsibility as human beings.  These seeming contradictions cannot be reconciled by the puny human mind.  With childlike faith, I cling to both ropes, fully confident that in eternity I will see that both strands of truth are, after all, of one piece." 

    John Morren, Decision Making and the Will of God, p. 205.