it definitely got sidetracked. to bring it slightly closer to topic, I'll respond to a couple of LP's points I glossed over before. lyricalpriest, what you said about free will makes sense. however, free will isn't the problem - in fact I find it reasonable. my issues are with the doctrine of Original Sin, and of ALL humans being cursed with sin and death because of it. I don't see this as justifiable. other than that, you said that creation is too large for us to make sense of the whole, which is essentially the same brick wall as "god works in mysterious ways". well, there could be some hidden component of the Bible that would make sense of everything, but that is pure speculation. all I can do is intellectually take on what is available to me in the published scriptures.