The issue of free will in theology has for long attracted a big debate pegged on omniscience, an attribute of God as all knowing. Rather that God knows what the future holds for an individual – aware of who would be saved and thus dismissing the autonomous ability of an individual in deciding own course of action or having free will.
This school of thought seems to relate to the Aristotelian problem of the sea battle. Using the law of excluded middle, two options are available – there will or will not be a sea battle. This aspect allows either affirmative or negative use of modalities of truth thus it is necessary that the sea battle will or will not occur. It was true even yesterday that there would be or would not be one. This means that the future whatever it is, is totally fixed in the past ordained order of events
In the Calvinistic circles the concept of free will exist but alleged to be in conflict in a much similar way with the divine foreknowledge. Christianity and other religions vary in their response to the standard argument on free will, the claim that divine foreknowledge and free will are not in conflict.
Having learned about the will power and conscience in your article ‘Do we have one or two conscience’ you are also pegged to ask yourself if you are really free to choose from the divine foreknowledge in your own kingdom of free will.
What if you are not free? It is possible that you would remain a prisoner of choice, would not be liable of own wrongly engaged events because as it were from the beginning , they were predetermined, possibly Satan would be there but not a contestant of your soul, God’s goodness would probably be called into question.
How then can you reconcile omniscience and free will. Using the epistemic modalities that it is ‘known’ on this foundation you can lay your dialogue on these temporal modalities: It has always been that the creator (God) is not a prisoner of his own attribute and in the mind of the finite (mankind), will not always be subjected to his defining inclination.
Due to his limitation to easily comprehend his vast world of diversity, mankind compares groups and classifies ideas, objects and events. This grouping is fully possible in the finite world thus it is permissible that mankind can reach the truth by defining the finites.
In an event of audio/visual/perceptual closure, mankind attempts to organize and fill gaps in incomplete stimuli for a meaningful value he can describe, explain, predict or control. Moses at Mt. Sinai, though visually perceived fire and out of it a sound like that of a human person, quickly had a perceptual closure denoted by his attempt to define God (put limit) by conceptualizing Him as one of his kind, and wanted to know his name. Consider the following illustration, I am an Egyptian, not a Palestinian, British or American. I am Mr. Cat not the Lion, the Monkey or the Mouse. In this model the name denotes limitation. As a solution and tendency humankind is conditioned to defining all
‘I am who I am’ Ex 3:14, was God’s answer. Could the same tendency have played part in our theological endeavors in the use of the term ‘omniscience’ which is eternal in nature?
God is infinite liberty – one whose essence is free from slavery or oppression of any kind. The notion of slavery thus should not extend to any of his attributes. God executes his will freely. Any notion of rigidity in his attributes denotes God’s inability to be flexible as is the case of assumed compatibility of omniscience and free will. God willed that mankind should be left in the hand of its own council (Eccl 15:14) so that he might seek his creator and freely attain his full perfection on his own accord
As goodness itself and self sufficient, God created a free man whose justice in later court of judgment lies on his own gift of reason and supernatural knowledge that strengthens his will power within the foundation of a kingdom of free will. Mankind’s own conscience becomes a witness of his own judgment because within its parameters there exists a force of law inscribed by God in mankind’s heart (Rom 2:15-16) upon which obedience for the sake of own salvation is an obligation. Any other school of thought contrary to an eternal flexible attribute, makes God a prisoner of his own essence.
A speck in the universe, mankind by his power has deeply studied and known the self together with the rest of the bodies in the universe. There is nothing like him, the perfection of the creation, the true likeness of God and the full beauty of the animals. Enticed by the evil, he abused his freedom. Through the revelatory act of the Son of God, he was freed and strengthened for a renewed life and resurrection. Do you believe in the resurrection?