Does God have the power to choose evil?  Two conflicting theories are:  God DOES have the power to choose evil, but it is so contrary to His nature that He is incapable of actualizing that potential.  Other theory is God does not have the power to choose evil yet still has free will because He is perfect and can freely choose anything good.  However, humans, being finite and imperfect, CAN choose evil:  human free will REQUIRES power to choose evil while God’s free will doesn’t.  What are your thoughts on whether God has the power to freely choose evil and whether Jesus in His incarnate state COULD have chosen to sin? Answer: This is an interesting question.  I think part of the philosophical quandry you are in is based on what, for some is an incorrect line of reasoning.  You are asking a question about God which only would make sense if he were human, which he obviously is not.  It is kind of like asking of God can do anything, and then responding that he cannot make a rock so heavy that he cannot lift it. Here is what I mean by that rather dubious analogy.  Whether or not God is "able" to do something evil is not a relevant question.  The qualities God has he has completely and fully.  God is love.   It is not that God is loving or that God loves–God is love.  God does nothing which conflicts with his love.  Therefore God is not "able" to do an unloving thing, but I would not put it that way.  It is not a question of ability, but rather a question of his nature.  It is completely outside God’s nature to do evil.  Therefore, I suppose one could say that God is "unable" to do evil," but this is putting it more in human terms.  I would prefer to say that God will not do evil.   So the question of whether God "has the power to choose evil" is simply the wrong question.   This is assuming a human-type nature of God by the very way the question is asked.  A better question is whether it is in God’s nature to do evil.  I think you know the answer to that question.  The answer is no.  Therefore he does not do evil.  He does not create evil things.  Ability is irrelevant.  Nature is the key. God has free will, but what he does is decided by his nature.  We are quite different.  We have conflicting qualities.  We are unpredictable.  We want to do good, but we have an evil tendency.  Which will we do?  It depends on our free will.  God is not like this.  He does not have conflicting qualities, with one winning out one time and the other conflicting quality winning another time. About Jesus this is a harder question.  When Jesus allowed himself to be limited to a human body and to having a human nature, I believe this changed the equation.   Here the answer is not so simple.  God as Father in heaven and even his Son at his right hand in heaven is a different situation than Jesus living on the earth in a human body with human limitations.  Jesus was able to be tempted, to experience pain and to be physically ill.   Was he, then, in his humanness able to rebel against God and to not do what is right?  I say yes.  The New Testament does not clearly delineate all this.  There is some room for reasonable speculation.  The early church fathers saw Jesus as fully human and fully God.  This is a mystery.  However, the scene in the Garden of Gethsemane (Not my will but yours) strongly implies that in his flesh Jesus could have chosen to reject the plan of God.  He could have sinned.  He could have done evil,  yet he did not. That is how I see it. John Oakes, PhD


Comments are closed.