There is theology that tries to rationalize how free will can live alongside a Creator’s omniscience and omnipotence in the same Universe. It argues that although humanity has free will, that Creator can exist in the future at the same time as They do in the past and present and thus knows the choices we will make even as we are free to make those choices as we please. In this model our eventual future is still foreknown by The Creator despite the presence of supposed free will.
But I believe such logic offers merely an illusion of free will. If our future endpoint is precisely predetermined by a Creator who can know how we will choose by observing that future, then that future endpoint was never truly ours to shape and influence. If our final outcome at the end of time is constant, predetermined and known only to The Greatest Love, there is no true free will. Instead I believe that in giving us free will The Greatest Love relinquished Their omniscience and omnipotence. They freely gave up Their absolute authority to know and shape the future. And They did this because of Their love for all of us. They allowed us to influence our own destiny and in so doing gave us a small fraction of Their control over the Universe.
But The Greatest Love’s lack of total control does not mean They do not play a significant part in our lives yesterday, today, or tomorrow. They can control the immensity of the heavens and the Universe except for one aspect: our choices. They have set in motion events, from the beginning of time, that help shape our destiny but not completely define it. For we also now have a say in that destiny. And although They can influence our choices via natural events, the ultimate decisions are still ours to make.
Consider it this way: before free will there was one sequence of events that described how our Universe would unfold. One linear sequence of events from it’s creation, since before the Big Bang, through to it’s present day and into the future. Everything was captured in this sequence of events. From the birth of stars and the fluttering of butterfly wings, to the dance of atoms and quarks. The Creator knew everything about how history would unfold. They were omniscient, omnipotent, and omnipresent.
But then came love and with it the instilment of souls along with free will. This allowed certain actors in the Universe, including humankind, to make free choices that were not predetermined by The Greatest Love. The timeline of the Universe no longer became a single sequence of events, but instead a nearly infinite number of alternate event sequences determined by the choices that were possible at specific decision points along the way by each and every one of those certain actors. The end result is a massive labyrinth of events, choices, and alternate paths our Universe may take.
Many events were preconceived by The Greatest Love at the beginning of time to manifest, possibly when specific event sequences were triggered. Other events humanity has significant control over. Either way based on the event, the present state of the Universe, and our own free will as divinely granted, we will make a choice that will influence how the Universe, in some small manner, is to proceed. That choice will help advance the resultant event sequence to the next decision point.
If this all sounds like a massively parallel and infinitely complex book of “Choose your own adventure” with The Greatest Love as author, I believe that is a good analogy. With the result being that our future is not predetermined. It will be defined by events outside of our control, events within our control, and the choices we and other actors are free to make. The result is an infinite number of possible final states or outcomes not all of which are beautiful. But it is my faith in humanity and The Greatest Love that makes me believe that the actual event sequence that will come to be realized, will indeed be just that: beautiful.
I believe that free will means that our choices must matter and they must be capable of influencing our final end state accordingly. That to believe in an immutable final end state for humanity, predetermined at the dawn of time by an omnipotent god, is to believe in something less than free will. I understand that that may offend some theologians and scripture. But I believe anything less would be to the detriment of The Greatest Love’s love for all of us. That to love humanity is to grant us the free will to influence our own destiny. Even if it comes at the expense of some of Their knowledge and power.
And if living in a Universe without an omnipotent god concerns you, consider this: to love another deeply is to give a part of you to them. And so I believe The Greatest Love freely gave up Their omniscience and omnipotence so that we may be more free. In so doing They revealed what is the true guiding light in the heavens and in the Universe; the bedrock on which the throne of The Greatest Love is seated. It is not infinite knowledge or power.
It is infinite love.