My seven-year-old son asked me why God did not simply forgive Adam and Eve in the Garden. Why did God have to set in motion the kind of world we now live in? I do not have a good answer for him yet. Any thoughts?

Tell your seven-year-old that God did forgive Adam and Eve! He also protected them from themselves by having them leave the Garden. They had shown they could not handle the responsibility. 

God intervenes multiple times in Genesis, protecting man from himself. (More on this in my book Genesis, Science & History.) Consider what God did at Babel, and in the Flood itself (!), and even how he treated Cain. This is a common theme in scripture.

Maybe your son is confusing forgiveness with excusing, or the consequences of our actions with God's still loving us. Even when we must suffer the consequences of our own wrong choices, this does not mean God doesn't like us anymore, or that he hasn't forgiven us. The Lord is full of grace.