279) Real Choices Without Consequences?

By Randy Alcorn, from his January 3, 2014 blog at http://www.epm.org

     In this conversation from my novel Deception, Jake and Clarence challenge Ollie’s desire for both freedom to choose and freedom from evil’s consequences:


“You believe in free choice?” Jake asked.


“Doesn’t free choice demand the freedom to choose evil?”

“Not if it causes this much suffering.”

“How much suffering is acceptable? Can you have real choices without consequences, both good and bad?”

I [Ollie] shrugged.

“Isn’t it inconsistent,” Clarence piped in, “to say it’s good for God to give us free choice, but then say He shouldn’t allow evil consequences from evil choices?”

“You can’t have it both ways,” Jake said.

These guys were a regular tag team.

“I’ve made some bad choices,” I said.  “If I had it to do over again, I’d have been there for my daughters.  But if God’s all-powerful, couldn’t He have made me do it right in the first place?”

“Made you do it right?”  Jake asked…  “If I were to offer to make things okay in your life, but to do it I had to take away your ability to choose, would you take me up on it? Ask me to make all your decisions for you?”

“Then it would be your life, not mine,” I said.

“Exactly.  So how can you expect God to give us free choice, then fault Him because He did?  What could He do to make you happy?”


Job 38:1-4  —  Then the Lord spoke to Job out of the storm. He said:  “Who is this that obscures my plans with words without knowledge?  Brace yourself like a man; I will question you, and you shall answer me.  Where were you when I laid the earth’s foundation?  Tell me, if you understand.”

Job 40:6-8  —  Then the Lord spoke to Job out of the storm:  “Brace yourself like a man; I will question you, and you shall answer me.  Would you discredit my justice?  Would you condemn me to justify yourself?”


O think me worth your anger, punish me,
Burn off my rusts and my deformity.
Restore your image so much, by your grace,
That you may know me, and I’ll turn my face.  –John Donne