As I understand it the Bible is slightly more of an ACCOUNTING vs. a HOW-TO document. [And the phraseology of that statement eludes to a thesis viewpoint that I think I could easily spend a book or two writing about, fleshing out, but on to a much shorter analysis. . . .]
As in, while it functions practically . . . applied to the day-to-day . . . within this world of present space and time . . . it (the Word of God) is primarily a depiction--a revelation of . . . what was, what is and what will be; how it all went, goes and will go; and not so much a text meant to dictate how things OUGHT to be.
If it were a text describing how things OUGHT to be . . . but aren't . . . as many thoughtlessly take it, it would mean that God failed in a sense; He is not able to achieve the ends He seeks, thwarted by the "autonomous free will" of humankind. Instead I read and believe that the Bible is a written, revealed work which shows that God achieves exactly and perfectly just what He wants to be, past, present and future.
Now, I still ponder and wonder about the "personal responsibility" issue, which I thoroughly enjoy stewing over as I am ever in awe and wonder and curiosity over the ways, personality, objectives etc., of The Creator. I love everything about Him, including that mystery that is involved from the human perspective; and as I've stated before, I believe it is such that we will spend eternity forever exploring the vast reaches of His mysterious, wondrous essence and creativity and nature, as He continually reveals more and more of it, unending, for our pleasure and edification.
One clue I've noted, mentioned before . . . is from personal experience. While I fully believe and accept the "golden chain of redemption": "For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren. Moreover whom He predestined, these He also called; whom He called, these He also justified; and whom He justified, these He also glorified", (Romans 8:29-30) . . . meaning . . . that God is in Sovereign control of my life . . . I also have no sense or feeling or inclination whatever to presume that somehow I am not myself personally responsible for the sins I have committed. While I believe that God has designed me to be just who and what I am . . . I in no way think or feel that HE is somehow responsible for the sins I have committed--from which I need saving. I do not blame anyone but myself for my personal lawless, disobedient, fallen nature behavior and attitudes . . . when they have or continue to . . . occur. And I feel this to be utterly correct.
Somehow I believe and know that . . . as a sinner, I deserve Hell, even though God has pre-ordained everything that happens in this world of present space and time.
How this can be, I am not sure but one possibility I consider . . . could be the way it is.
What if God simply declares that it is so? And, being the Sovereign--against Whom . . . no other person or reality can contradict or challenge--God is able to simply say this is the way it is . . . AND IT IS!
God created a reality--a world--where the fallen and rebellious exist AND He also declares that we are responsible for our sinful, disobedient nature and actions. Is this "fair" many ask--(or flat-out complain it isn't)?
Well, according to OUR perspective, it may seem not. But it is not OUR perspective that rules--that is the order of reality. God, being Sovereign over all, Who does just what He wills to do, perfectly, righteously . . . is the standard for what is "fair" . . . "good" . . . "proper" . . . by definition. So it is actually meaningless to question whether the way God operates is "fair" or not. Of course it is!
. . . .Maybe not according to OUR fallen, finite, limited, darkened, sinful perspective. But God may do anything He intends to do, which will always comport with His nature, His character (which is good, holy, perfect, loving, just). . . .
When God said, "Let there be light" . . . there was. Is it necessary for The Creator first to have access to electromagnetic rays and atoms and molecules before He figures out how to "create" light? Or can He not, by being THE CREATOR, simply declare "let there be light" and there is?
If God the Father intends that He will send His Son to suffer His wrath against sin, by being executed viciously upon a cross . . . can a created being argue and say this is not "right" . . . "fair" . . . "good" . . . "loving"? Well, yes they can argue that . . . but it is irrelevant in the extreme. Since God the Father is ALWAYS "right" . . . "fair" . . . "good" . . . "loving" . . . the answer is an unequivocal "YES!"
God is God. He may declare something into existence (ie., light . . . the plan of salvation . . . man being responsible for his own actions etc.,) and it instantly becomes exactly what He declares it to be and nothing else.
Whether I or anyone deems it "fair" or "sensical" or not is wholly beside the point. God made me who I am, predestined me for a certain purpose according to His will and plan . . . demanded perfection . . . AND He declared that I am responsible for my failure to measure up to His standard and thus, deserving of eternal punishment. How dare any creature--especially fallen, mortal, sin-wracked creatures question the why, how, what, who, where, when of ANYTHING that God has perfectly declared to be? What arrogance! What foolishness!
Now, I am not done thinking on this seeming conundrum nonetheless. But for now, this is a possibility I can easily live with. . . .