This blog gains its name from the book Steele's Answers published in 1912. It began as an effort to blog through that book, posting each of the Questions and Answers in the book in the order in which they appeared. I began the project on Dec. 10, 2011. I completed it on July 11, 2015. Along the way, I began to also post snippets from Dr. Steele's other writings — and from some other holiness writers of his times. I still do that every once in a while.

Friday, May 29, 2015

Could God Have Prevented Sin?

QUESTION: Could not God have refused to create the tree bearing forbidden fruit, and in this way have prevented the sin of Adam and Eve?

ANSWER: He could have refrained from such a creation, but in that case there would have been some other way of testing their obedience to their Creator. A test must consist in something which appeals to desire. The good-looking fruit appealed to appetite. It would have been too severe if there had not been a great variety of permitted fruit for their health and pleasure. Every free agent, without intelligence and experience, in attempting to find the line between right and wrong, will probably sooner or later find out by stepping over this fiery boundary and getting well scorched for his daring act. The liability of free agents to sin can be prevented only by suppressing their freedom and converting them into machines, i. e., by uncreating them. It is reasonable to suppose that out of all possible plans of a moral universe God selected that one which he foresaw would involve the least suffering. Therefore we should praise God for creating us with all our moral risks instead of censuring Him for the self-induced failure and suffering of as few perhaps relatively as the prisoners in our State prisons are to the entire population outside.

Steele's Answers p. 258.