Some years ago I read in a book about Christianity an attempt to explain the apparent paradox between predestination and free will.

I have forgotten the name of the book and its author (it could be C.S. Lewis, but I am far from certain).

The explanation (if that is the correct word) went something like this:

Events that happened yesterday cannot be changed. The actions we took then cannot be altered. Nevertheless, the choices we made then were made out of our own free will.

We see no conflict between unalterable actions and free will when we look into the past. Why, then, should there be a conflict when we look into the future? God, presumably, is outside time.

This is by no means a verbatim quote. No doubt, it has changed in my mind over the years.

Can anybody tell me where I may have read that explanation?

  • Mod notice: <some unrelated comments and answers removed> Please don't use the comment section (or answers) to discuss or debate the theological positions involved here. Stick to the question: what is the source of this quote? Answers should deal with that and comments should ask for or suggest clarification or improvement to the question. Thanks for your cooperation.
    – Caleb
    May 25, 2014 at 7:12
  • Good question. When someone provides an acceptable answer, I encourage you to post here again, should the source you've finally found trigger another question in your mind or a need for clarification. Don May 25, 2014 at 13:05

1 Answer 1


The quote is from C.S.Lewis in "Mere christianity", book 4, chapter 3 "Time And Beyond Time".

  • 1
    This particular question isn't asking for anything other than a precise source for the quotation. Can you confirm that it is in fact by CS Lewis? Otherwise this doesn't answer this question.
    – curiousdannii
    May 25, 2014 at 11:30

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