A while ago Stan, the Half-Truth Teller claimed "It's funny, really, that among the few philosophical points on which many atheists and theists can agree is the notion of predestination...predestination is analogous to Atheism..."
Today he asks "According to [you and Christian theology], did god plan for there to be a hell, populated by the vast majority of humanity for eternity?"
We were discussing a few days ago about the order of God's choices. So it might be interesting then to explore things further to understand Atheists viewpoints in relationship to predestination.
A couple of terms that needs to be fleshed out are, infralapsarianism and supralapsarianism which are terms used to describe differences of the perceived order of God's work in salvation.
In infralapsarianism the order is as follows: 1) God created, 2) God permitted the fall, 3) God elected some out of this fallen state to be saved, 4) God provided a Redeemer for the elect, and 5) God sent the Holy Spirit to apply redemption to the elect.
In supralapsarianism the order is as follows: 1) God elected some to be saved and some not to be saved, 2) God created, 3) God permitted the fall, 4) God provided a Redeemer for the elect, and 5) God sent the Holy Spirit to apply redemption to the elect.
The difference is slight. In infralapsarianism, God looks into the fall, to elect. In supralapsarianism, God elects before the fall.
Matt makes a great point though, "This might be an irrelevant point. Since, for God, all knowledge is instantaneously eternal, how can there be an order of God's decision to elect anyone? For there to be an order, implies a sequence of events regarding God's plan in His own mind, before the foundation of the universe. But a sequence of events would mean that one thing followed another, knowledge-wise, with God. But since God knows all things eternally, how could this sequence of mental events occur in the mind of God?" ~carm
So really, all things are instantaneous for God. For us, there is a time line sequence. So did God "plan"? I don't believe it works that way.
A group of theologians who were discussing predestination and free will. The argument grew so heated that sides were drawn, and the group broke up into two fiercely-prejudiced factions.
But one theologian, not knowing to which camp he belonged, stood for a moment trying to decide. At last, he made up his mind to join in with the predestination crowd. When he tried to push his way in, they asked, “Who sent you here?”
“Nobody sent me,” he replied, “I came of my own free will.”
“Free will!” they fairly shouted at him. “You can’t come in here of your own free will. You belong with the other group.”
So he turned, and went toward the free will group. When he tried to join them, someone asked, “When did you decide to join us?”
“I didn’t decide, I was sent here,” he answered.
“Sent here!” they were horrified. “You can’t join us unless you choose to by your own free will.” And so he was excluded from both companies.
The point is this, God knows our thought life and whether we want to be with Him or not. We choose to be away from Him, and His love. We choose to ignore His Authority. We choose Hell over Him. Did God create a place to allow us to be away from Him? Yes. God also chooses some to be with Him. Why He chose me, I have no clue. Its certainly not deserved.
Update: I also think we all need to revisit a past post. As Sye pointed out, we know most of you will not listen to all 7 parts, but you might want to check out 4:45 of part 7. Because Dr. Bahnsen clearly answers these points in question.