Lewis: A World of Free Beings by God’s Design

The age-old controversy over free will continues to plague us. I have very settled views on the matter. Some of what I believe on this is enunciated quite well by C. S. Lewis in a couple of his works. For instance, in The Problem of Pain, he zeroes in on the one who is truly accountable for evil entering into this world:

Man is now a horror to God and to himself and a creature ill-adapted to the universe not because God made him so but because he has made himself so by the abuse of his free will.

This, of course, leads to a question:

Why Free Will

In one of his essays, “The Trouble with ‘X’ . . . ” he lays out the rationale for why God made us with choice:

God has made it a rule for Himself that He won’t alter people’s character by force. He can and will alter them—but only if the people will let Him. . . . He would rather have a world of free beings, with all its risks, than a world of people who did right like machines because they couldn’t do anything else. The more we succeed in imagining what a world of perfect automatic beings would be like, the more, I think, we shall see His wisdom.

I see that wisdom clearly. Thank God that He made us with the capacity to love and to have loving relationships with Him and other “free beings.”