Thursday, June 21, 2012

Rube Goldberg and God's Sovereignty

Since my post on Monday stirred up some interesting responses, I thought I would follow up with a piece my son wrote during the same time period. Odd, isn't it, how events gather together in meaningful ways. Pete has explored some of the confusions that surround God's sovereignty in an unusual and effective way.  One of the illustrations is Pete's as well. Enjoy.

You don’t have to dig very deep into Christianity to bump into this controversy regarding God’s sovereignty and man’s choice. One school of thought will object (in varying degrees) to the idea that man has any free choice at all because, so they say, to imagine man making genuine free choices is to throw God’s sovereignty under the bus. In order to uphold God’s sovereignty, we must ultimately deny that humans have free will.

I have a way to “test” this notion. I don’t aim to prove here that man has free will, though I have very good reasons to think that he does. But I do intend to demonstrate an irony: That denying human free will for the sake of preserving God’s sovereignty can be seen to actually diminish God’s sovereignty.
Before we do that, I think it’s necessary to consider carefully what it means to say that man was created “in the image of God.”

Setting it up:

In my research I have encountered various ways of expressing the idea of being “made in the image of God,” but there does seem to be some commonality. The Christian Q & A web site describes it like this:

“Having the “image” or “likeness” of God means, in the simplest terms, that we were made to resemble God.”

Monday, June 18, 2012

Who’s in Charge Here, Anyway?

I recently shocked a friend of mine by declaring I wasn’t a Calvinist. Nothing against Calvin personally, but those who tried to step into his shoes did quite a job distorting some of the most basic Christian doctrines – election, atonement, grace, original sin, just to name a few. Calvinism seems to have gotten the eternal security piece right, but the other 4 points disfigure the essence of God and with that, since we were created in His image, contort the nature of man.

Needless to say, whole books could result from such a discussion so I’ll take this one tiny piece at a time. Lately, I’ve been asked by several different people to address issues relating to the sovereignty of God, so I’ll start there.

But first, a caveat – the Bible is the source of specific information regarding the nature of God and man, and the Bible is not just a list of disconnected quotes; it is an infinitely complex, multilayered arrangement of divine concepts and history (both past and future) and must always be understood in the light of its entirety. No doctrine can contradict another.