set up for failure? what’s your theology?

Once upon a time, I read a book called Perelandra, written by the amazing C.S. Lewis.

I happened to read it during a week when I was travelling in South Dakota, in a year before I discovered the joys of audiobooks.  It was engrossing– so much so that I may have been reading the paperback while driving down I-29.  This is not a confession. 🙂

Perelandra is Venus, and the protagonist of the book (Dr. Elwin Ransom) travels there, where he finds Venus’ version of pre-fallen Eden, including an Eve character.  There is also an evil character there (Dr. Weston/the Unman), and he and Ransom function as the good and bad angels on the shoulders of “Eve,” each trying to influence her either to commit that first sin or not to.

As you can well imagine, this “conversation” (especially in light of Earth/Eden/the fall of man) would be stimulating to the normal person– to an obsessive-compulsive, it was like sheer panic.  OCs want things to be solved/clear/understood NOW– and instead we are met with the panicked feeling that things will NEVER be that way.

I drove seven hours one day while I was still in the midst of reading that book.  By the time I got home, I screamed in my car.  No joke.

Here’s my question, as we consider Eden:

Did God set us up to fail?

For those in the free will/arminianist camp:
*Wasn’t giving humans free will setting them up to fail?  That is, if you give a created being an option to choose the wrong thing, aren’t you setting them up?

For those in the calvinist camp:
*Did God predestine humanity for failure?

There is also the thought that being set up for failure was perhaps exactly what He intended.

I’d like to generate some discussion on this, especially now that I can consider things without letting my brain blow up!  (Spattered gray matter all over just from obsessions was messy work! 😉 )

So, what do you think?
1) Did God set humanity up to fail?
2) Was His goal really that we would continue in perfection?
3) If He knew the cross would be necessary one day, then doesn’t that show that we were only pawns there in the Garden?