Far away I saw a large crowd of people wearing hats. Some had hats covered in silk; they belonged to the ecclesiastical class. Some had hats whose rims were decorated with golden bands; they belonged to the class of ordinary citizens. Both groups were educated and scholarly. I also saw some people wearing caps; they were uneducated.
I moved in the direction of these people and heard them talking with each other about limitless divine power. They were saying, “If divine power followed laws that were created as part of the divine design, it would be limited, not unlimited. It would be power, but not all power. Anyone can see that no compulsion by law could force omnipotence to act this way and not that way. When we think about omnipotence and at the same time about laws of the divine design that omnipotence would be obliged to follow, our preconceived ideas about omnipotence are jarred, like a hand on a broken walking stick.”
When the crowd noticed me nearby, some members of it hurried over and asked me quite forcefully, “Are you the one who has confined God in laws like chains? The outrage! You have ripped apart the belief on which we base our salvation. At the heart of our belief we place the justice of the Redeemer. On top of that is the omnipotence of God the Father. As an appendix we add the actions of the Holy Spirit and its effectiveness in the spiritual arena, where we are completely powerless. It is enough, then, to mention the absolute justification that our faith entails because God is omnipotent. I have heard, though, that you see emptiness in our belief because you see nothing of the divine design for human response in it.”
When they finished I opened my mouth and spoke in a loud voice, saying, “Learn what the laws of the divine design are, and then investigate the full ramifications of your belief. You will see a great wasteland and a long, twisted leviathan there with nets wrapped around it in an inextricable knot. Do what we read Alexander did when he saw the Gordian knot. To undo its bends, he drew his sword, cut the knot in two, threw it on the ground, and crushed its fibers with his heel.”
When the people in the crowd heard this, they were biting their tongues. They wanted to give me a tongue-lashing, but they did not dare, because they saw heaven open above me and heard a voice out of it that said, “First control yourselves and learn about the divine design and the laws of that design that God Almighty follows in his actions. God created the universe from himself as the design; he created it according to the design, for the sake of the design. He created human beings in a similar way and built the laws of his divine design into us. Because of those laws we were created as images and likenesses of God. In brief, the laws are that we must believe in God and love our neighbor. The more we do these two things with our earthly power, the more we make ourselves a vessel for the divine omnipotence, and God connects himself to us and us to himself. As a result, our faith becomes living and effective for our salvation. Our action becomes goodwill, again in a form living and effective for our salvation.
from True Christianity, Volume 1, Section 74