OK OK - humour me. I'm still getting over being lied to for over 50 years. I need a little more time to get it out of my system.
Rule no 1 : God is Eternal. He's the same yesterday, today and forever. From the foundation of the world.
Rule no 2 : God never makes mistakes. not ever. He's perfect.
Rule no 3 : Man was made in the image of God.
Ok - this is where it gets interesting. We have the Old Testament in the bible, where God, quite plainly is short tempered, a stickler for His Creations following his instructions to the letter of the law, and He spends a lot of the time turning people into salt pillars, dropping them into holes in the ground, and generally kicking their asses around the place while they wander around like headless chickens. Moses gets his reward for striking a rock twice instead of once, by being banned from ever reaching the promised land. In short - God does NOT have a sense of humour, and his behaviour is very similar to the ancient Jewish Patriarchs.
And then suddenly, the Old Testament is over, and God is this loving understanding heavenly father who has just woken up and finally decides that in fact His creation is just too bloody stupid to be able to cut it in the world He has designed for it. It seems the creation can't take instructions, it forgets things, it starts to think it's just the bees knees and wants to run the world itself - it's just too sordid! So God decides to send His Son who just seems to have been hanging around in the wings waiting for a chance like this, to pop in and become a sacrificial lamb for humankind, so dad can enjoy the smell of a good braaivleis (barbecue for our American and Australian readers). This will apparently sort out all the problems and make sure mankind is always going to be reconciled to God, and they're all going to be happy in the end. As long as everyone does exactly as God wants - free will or not.
The Bible doesn't explain why it is necessary for an eternal, omnipotent, omniscient God to bother to have a son in the first place. Maybe God thought he might get old one day, and wanted somebody else to run the business? Maybe all this "eternal" stuff was getting a bit over-rated and He was getting tired. There is evidence that God got tired in those days - he rested in the Sabbath day after working round the clock for the previous 144 hours (it's literal - it's 6 x 24 hours, dummy. It's not a perfect biblical number, in this case). Maybe the "omnipotent" bit was getting a bit too much and he needed a bit more help from his kid. Who knows?
And this is where I get bothered. Because God starts to make mistakes and contradict himself. Remember rules 1, 2 and 3 above?
God is eternal - the same yesterday, today and forever. Except that he suddenly changes his character and decides to be a nice guy to his creation, after kicking the creation's ass for the past several thousand years. So God decides not to be the same - he changes the rules. Oops.
And just when you decide that God never makes mistakes, He stuffs up his creation of man completely, by making something that plainly is not up to the desired standard. The man is useless. He goes off and learns a bunch of stuff after eating some fruit, instead of staying ignorant, then he gets delusions of grandeur, then he starts to go off the rails and has bizarre encounters of a sexual kind at good old Sodom and Gemorrah. Then man gets all lawless, and God decides to drown his creation in a flood. I won't bore you with all the other sordid stuff. In short - man is a huge mistake. But God never makes mistakes - does he? And He can see everything into the future - including the fact that his first Man design is going to be a mistake. But what does He do? He makes the mistake anyway, because he knows one day soon He will send his Son to sort out everything the Old Man couldn't get right. Oops.
And then He makes man in His own image. Man is a carbon copy of God - or so we would be led to believe. Except that man is a stuff up, and God isn't. Oops.
How many mistakes is God allowed to make and still remain perfect? Does anyone else see some apparent contradictions in all of this soap - opera-ish twaddle?
Will the real Christian God PLEASE stand up? I'd like to admire your perfection.