I don’t mean Calvin the theologian but Calvin the writer in the movie Ruby Sparks. He thinks up Ruby as a fictional character but she becomes real. As his creation she does whatever he writes. He types, “Ruby speaks French” and she does, instantly. When she gets down, he makes her “effervescent” until she drives everyone crazy. When she becomes a bit too independent, Calvin makes her cloying.
If he controls her too closely, she becomes one dimensional and can’t love Calvin the way he loves her. But when he gives her more space, she hangs out with her new friends and all but ignores him.
It’s a 2012 movie so I’ll tell you what happens. Calvin finally chooses to give Ruby her independence, she leaves the next day. He goes on with his solitary life, writes a novel about Ruby and becomes even more rich and famous (the curse that besets all us writers). But being a Hollywood movie, he meets Ruby one day in the park and she’s reading his book, with no idea it’s about her. They start over and love is in the air.
When God made humans out of his imagination—never mind the method or timeline—he had to choose the level of control he would exert. Calvin the theologian taught that God controlled everything, including who goes to heaven and who goes to hell before we draw a breath. Freedom is an illusion of the ill-informed.
But that’s not how life feels—at least to me. God keeps his distance, which is what allows for so much evil and suffering. It also allows for free will and true love. I wish we could have the latter without the former.