Wednesday, November 28, 2007

In Rebuttal Of John Piper

The article this responds to can be found here.

I'm partially through, and I have come across a statement that concerns me...

Jesus nor his disciples seemed to understand God's absolute power as absolute control.

This concerns me for the reason that though Jesus prayed, "Your will be done," His prayer was not born from ignorance, but obedience and submission.

LENGTH WARNING!!! This turned into a lengthy post, however, I feel it's worthy of everyone's time...

Life belongs to God. He owes it to no one. He may give it and take it according to his infinite wisdom.

This is a point I have made several times in the recent past. However, I'd go a step further, and say that God controls life and death not only according to His Wisdom, but also to His Love. This is not to say that I agree entirely that God causes every death... Merely that those He does allow to happen, happen according to Wisdom or Love; Those perpetuated by the enemy, He uses for the good.

In other words, behind all disease and disability is the ultimate will of God.

I respectfully disagree. Perhaps, behind all disability, gained naturally. However, disease was not present upon this earth until the fall of man. It was part of the curse put on the earth as a result. Does disease exist BECAUSE of God? Yes. Is He directly responsible for this person or that person being struck by it? According to the Bible, I'd have to go with rarely.
From what I have read and studied, God normally causes disease as a punishment, or as motivation. However, I can see instances throughout history where He has caused someone to be born with some sort of physical drawback to further the Kingdom.
Again, I feel the law of exceptions applies to much of this argument.

Natural disasters. Again, I feel this is something people need to be very careful with. God created the natural power that we see, however, I do not believe that the ferocity we see is always of His ordination.
While I certainly do not prescribe to a lot of the junk the environmentalist movement tries to sell, there is strong scientific evidence which support the idea that the increased industrialization of the globe has contributed to the more erratic weather patterns.

Animals: Again, this is shaky ground. Again, this has it's root in the fall of man. For this reason, I'll simply refer to my previous statements, but I did feel it important enough to mention.

He has his purposes for every roll of the dice in Las Vegas and every seemingly absurd turn of events in the universe.
More that, living outside of earthly time, and according to the Word, He sees the end from the beginning, thus He knows each role, and has already planned accordingly.

Here we go again... I do not believe subscribe to Boyd's ideology, but neither can I support Edward's. Either the Bible is true, or it is not. Either God is All-knowing, All-seeing, Omnipresent, etc., or He is not.
Again, God sees the beginning from the end. In a more current statement, God stands at the beginning and the end, and sees all in between.
Yes, He gave us the gift of free will. However, He could also see the moment He gave it what would happen to the very end. For this reason, the plans that He puts into motion would seem to suggest that He ordained the initial decision, when in fact, he simply knew it'd be made prior to the decision-maker's mere existence.

In the case of Christ's death, it was Christ's sacrifice that was ordained from the beginning. Look at where it was initially foretold! God, in the instant He created man, knew all that would happen. Thus knowing, has moved through history, a Divine Hand guiding the flow of history, while allowing it to unfold, in general, as man's free will determines.
The interesting thing to note, here, is that just as God notes all the evil decisions, so to does He see all of the righteous ones: Salvation, seeking His Divine Will, and so on. Therefore, not only can we gather that God guides history through Divinity, but also through those who have given their lives to serve Him.

Edwards answers, "If by 'the author of sin,' be meant the sinner, the agent, or the actor of sin, or the doer of a wicked thing . . . . it would be a
reproach and blasphemy, to suppose God to be the author of sin. In this sense, I utterly deny God to be the author of sin." But, he argues, willing that sin exist in the world is not the same as sinning. God does not commit sin in willing that there be sin. God has established a world in which sin will indeed necessarily come to pass by God's permission, but not by his "positive agency."

And yet, causing a person to sin is considered sin in the same Word? No, once again, I feel that the way God moves in history is misunderstood. God put the knowledge within the garden, as well as life eternal.
However, the bringing about of sin into the world was neither His desire, nor His purpose. He wished for a creation that would CHOOSE to obey and love Him, rather than have that as a part of it's physical make-up.
Upon sin's release, we have only ourselves to blame for our actions- None know this to be true more than I. If Edwards premise be true, I could blame God for preordaining me to commit the sins and crimes I'm guilty of, and then sit back and allow anything to happen.
If, by his supposition, I did anything other the live by "what will be, will be," then I would actually be fighting God. However, Christ Himself urges us to live attempting to be perfect, just as the Father is perfect.
Furthermore, and by that very statement, we cannot in good faith support that God ordains His followers to stumble, as He has commanded that we not be a stumbling block to our brethren. If we are to follow His will according to Predisposition, then He has contradicted Himself, and is thus not God.

All in all, this is very thought provoking in it's implications, however, I feel that certain aspects are borderline heresy.

In closing this, let me simply say that because one broadens one's view to allow that God sees beginning to end, and planned accordingly from creation, does not take away from His divinity, His perfection or His love. In fact, it actually highlights it an great relief.

The Sovereignty Of God is far greater than Predestination allows.