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Recently, in a Facebook argument somebody brought up the fact that Jesus was plan B. That God's original intention was for all of us to live on earth eternally. But then Adam and Even sinned and God's plan fell apart.

I have a different perspective on this. I believe that if God had intended us to all live sinless lives, he would not have allowed Adam and Eve to Sin. But God intentionally placed the trees in the garden and basically locked Adam and Even in there with the trees. Then God allowed Satan to temp them. Seems to me like that was planned.

I want to know what scripture there is to confirm one theory or the other. Please, if you have an answer, I'm not looking for additional opinions on the subject, just merely what the scripture says.

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In the Evangilical Reformed cicle, Kevin DeYoung, Greg Gilbert, Math Chandler tackles this issues in their books. What is the Gospel? by Greg Gilbert - The Explicit Gospel By Chandler- And of course John Piper, MacArthur, Mohler, DA Carson are the previous generation authors that would deal with the issue. –  David Laberge Jun 23 '12 at 0:22
    
Similarly, I've wondered why God send Jesus during Noah's time instead of the flood: christianity.stackexchange.com/q/6811/1100 –  Jim G. Jun 28 '12 at 3:19
    
Yes. –  TRiG Jul 22 '12 at 5:57

3 Answers 3

up vote 12 down vote accepted

The idea that "Jesus was plan B" doesn't make sense from a theological or a logical standpoint. If God is Omnisicient, then He knew what would happen before He created everything. He knew Adam and Eve would choose to disobey when tempted.

To claim that Jesus was "Plan B" would indicate that God is not Omniscient, or that God failed. Both go against Biblical doctrine.

I believe it's possible that God could have prevented them from sinning if He'd wanted to, but that would have meant we had no free will. If God had wanted to ensure we all remain sinless, He'd have done so.

Some Scriptural/doctrinal arguments:

  1. God desires obedience.

1 Samuel 15:22 (KJV) And Samuel said, Hath the LORD as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the LORD? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to hearken than the fat of rams.

However, without free will, there is no obedience, so there is no such thing as good, because evil is an impossibility. I believe that free will is necessary because without it, there simply is no good.

The highest form of "good" is perfect, willing obedience to God, which is something only accomplished by one person ever.

I believe that what we have is the best God could provide us without eliminating free will.

If He is omniscient, then He knows not only what Adam and Eve would have chosen to do, but each and every decision every single living being that has ever and will ever live would make.

Bottom line: Unless God is fallible, Jesus was plan A all along.

Scripture also backs this up. Before the foundation of the world, we were chosen to be adopted by Jesus Christ Himself.

Ephesians 1:4-5 (KJV) According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love: 5 Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will

1 Peter 1:20 (KJV) Who verily was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you,

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Thanks for providing the scripture. Good stuff. –  Jonathon Byrd Jun 24 '12 at 22:49
    
@David Can you provide any scripture that states God is omniscient? Also, the sentence "I believe it's possible that God could have prevented them from sinning if He'd wanted to, but that would have meant we had no free will." implies that God is unable to create man in such a way that allows for free will and also prevents sin. This would mean that His power has a limit. This appears to contradict your point that God is infallible. –  cadrell0 Jun 26 '12 at 19:29
    
@cadrell0 - The Omniscience of God is a separate question, which was posed and answered here: christianity.stackexchange.com/questions/2643/… Also, your point about me "limiting God" is based on flawed logic. It's the same logic flaw atheists use when they say "If God can do anything, can He create a rock so heavy He can't lift it?" That question is answered here: carm.org/questions/about-god/… There are logical impossibilities, and there are things God can't do. (lie, be wrong, learn, sin) –  David Stratton Jun 27 '12 at 3:38
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en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Omnipotence "A deity is able to do absolutely anything, even the logically impossible, i.e., pure agency." To allow for one exception, but not others is where the flawed logic occurs. –  cadrell0 Jun 27 '12 at 12:32
    
errantskeptics.org/Omnipotence.htm has a more doctrinally correct definition than Wikipedia. Sometimes Christians, and even non-Christians, will try to claim that omnipotence means “the power to do absolutely anything.” This is somewhat misleading, as we shall subsequently see, for God’s omnipotence is totally defined by God’s Will, and not by sheer, unadulterated power. Indeed, for classical Christian philosophical theology, omnipotence is simply God’s “ability to do that which God wants done.” –  David Stratton Jun 27 '12 at 22:43

As God knows everything from the beginning He can't have plan Bs for anything.

Years ago I used to answer this sort of question along the lines of God did not want robots to love him, so they had to have free will, etc. However this is not really an argument from the Bible itself. That kind of answer aims far to low to be Biblical. The Bible ascribed as things done for the praise of God's grace to the manifestation of that same grace, whereby we can all enjoy that same grace forever. The reason for everything, even though it seems things went wrong, is according to God's pleasure. This does not excuse the sinfulness of sin or Gods will that none should sin, it only admits God knew every sin that man would ever commit and planned to provide atonement by the death of His Son before the world was created. God does not live in time, so whatever happens tomorrow is no more distant than what happened before he fell.

Ephesians 1:3-6 is a typical verse declaring this truth, which has always been the position of great theologians:

3Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ. 4For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love 5he c predestined us to be adopted as his sons through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will— 6to the praise of his glorious grace, which he has freely given us in the One he loves.

Notice everything was known 'before the creation' and that everything was done to the 'praise of his glorious grace'. Now I take these verses to mean that mankind's understanding and experience of God's grace, goodness and love, which can only lead us to praise and experience that grace, is at a 'higher realm' after the fall and salvation of mankind in Christ, then if there was no fall at all.

This is no plan B..

I found a quote by Martin Luther on the exact same question and he seems to have held the same view I propose:

If God should be asked at the last judgment, ‘Why did you permit Adam to fall?’ and he answered, ‘In order that my goodness toward the human race might be understood when I gave my Son for man’s salvation,’ we would say, ‘Let the whole human race fall again in order that thy glory may become known! Because thou hast accomplished so much through Adam’s fall we do not understand thy ways.’ “There is a threefold light: that of reason, that of grace, and that of glory.” (Luther's Works Volume 54, P385)

Martin Luther, Calvin, John Owen, Jonathan Edwards, etc. all held this view. Talking about God not wanting’ robots’ is rather silly by comparison. It's a man center view and fairly earthly.

Subject likes this must be resolved into God's own good pleasure and grace, we can only have faith like the Apostle:

Oh, the depth of the riches of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable his judgments, and his paths beyond tracing out! “Who has known the mind of the Lord? Or who has been his counselor?” “Who has ever given to God, that God should repay them?” For from him and through him and for him are all things. To him be the glory forever! Amen. (Romans 11:33-36)

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Saying Jesus is plan B would indicate that plan A was a failure. And in the story of the garden I really don't think that was the case. In the garden, God gave mankind (specifically Adam) a choice. And God had a plan for whichever path man chose. It may have been God's desire for man not make the choice he did, but for our sake he allowed it to happen.

Unlike Dan, I think there is a greater plan, as the prophecy in Gen 3:15 implies once man made his choice God put it into action:

And I will cause hostility between you and the woman, and between your offspring and her offspring. He will strike[b] your head, and you will strike his heel. (NLT)

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The scripture you've provided does not secure one idea over the other. I'm going to give a down vote for failure to cite scripture. If you want me to remove the down vote, please revise. –  Jonathon Byrd Jun 24 '12 at 22:51
    
This is an interesting idea, but I have to agree with Jonathan -- the scripture you quoted doesn't seem to support it. –  Brendan Long Jun 27 '12 at 20:15

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