Not crap. I continue to question 'free will'. God is all knowing, therefore he knows what we are going to do and the choices we are going to make; therefore, how can that be free will?? I have asked this question of several clergy and have yet to receive an answer that is definitive.@libertybele
I used to be an atheist, and this was one of the questions that bothered me.
There is actually a very reasonable answer for this:
Let's say ten minutes ago you made a free will choice. At the present, with perfect knowledge of the past, I say "Libertybele will pick the purple jacket in that choice ten minutes ago."
Does my knowledge of the present result of your past choice *necessarily* cancel it as a free will choice? Of course not. It could very well have been free will that led to that choice at that time.
Now, here's the rub when it comes to God...
God is an *eternal* entity. That doesn't actually mean that he exists forever, as we view time in a linear fashion. It means that God exists *outside* of OUR time. He exists in the past, present, and future all at once relative to us. If you'd like, you can think of him being in a parallel dimension where all points of time between the two dimensions exist simultaneously.
This makes sense, right? Because time is a function of space and/or movement/change in space. If God exists beyond our space, time would not exist for him in a linear fashion. In fact, he would look at our universe and see all points of time at the same moment.
So, like me in the prior example, with perfect knowledge of YOUR past, I can say what free will choice you made without eliminating the "free will" component of that choice.
God knows the future because he exists in it! And exists now. And exists in the past. You need to put aside your causal thought process when dealing with eternal concepts. Causation does not exist for God like it exists for us.
This, of course, is how "God's plan" works. Being an eternal being, God has already seen all possibilities, and knew that - under the current creation - the combination of our free will choices would lead to the GREATEST GOOD... the best possible outcome. That's an important concept to grasp. The internals of the plan may include suffering, but the end result is the greatest good possible. For those that are faithful, and get to experience eternity - which is an *infinite* concept - all of the finite sufferings of this world will become infinitesimally small relative to the infinite joy in Heaven's eternity. It will be like sacrificing a penny to receive a trillion dollars. Except "times infinity." Heh.
There is more, of course, but that should be enough apologetics to chew on for now.