Monday, February 16, 2009

Awake part 3: Blame God?

In the same section Total or Selective Foreknowledge the author/s write,
On the other hand, if God predetermines everything, including every nasty accident and vile deed that has ever happened, could we not rightly blame him for all the misery and suffering in the world.
This is the typical charge against Calvinists. However one major problem is overlooked. God is not a creature. He is the Creator. He is Holy and totally other. To place God in the same category as humans is to miss the Biblical teaching about God.

Another major problem is that if God is not the one who ordains all things according to His will and purpose, then evil has no purpose. God is simply the great fixer...maybe. So when my grandfather died, God did not purpose his life to fulfill His purposes. It just happened by accident. If this is the case, how can God be glorified by anything that happens? Everything just happened to happen the way it happens. For God to claim any credit at all for anything that happens is to be arrogant under this system.

Another major problem is that there are plain texts that speak of God ordaining evil events while men also choose to do them. This is Compatibilism. Remember Joseph's brothers sought to murder him. They committed all kinds of evil. At the end of Genesis Joseph realizes a great truth in Genesis 50:20.
You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives.
Another major problem is the cross. The cross is the major stumbling block to all of this. Peter preaches in Acts 2:
22"Men of Israel, listen to this: Jesus of Nazareth was a man accredited by God to you by miracles, wonders and signs, which God did among you through him, as you yourselves know. 23This man was handed over to you by God's set purpose and foreknowledge; and you, with the help of wicked men,d]">[d] put him to death by nailing him to the cross. 24But God raised him from the dead, freeing him from the agony of death, because it was impossible for death to keep its hold on him.
Here in this text, God tells us that the evil of the crucifixion was God's purpose. It was God who handed Christ over to evil men to be crucified. It was God who wanted Jesus to be killed in the place of sinners. So in one event, God has His purpose, and men have theirs.

Acts 4:
27Indeed Herod and Pontius Pilate met together with the Gentiles and the peoplee]">[e] of Israel in this city to conspire against your holy servant Jesus, whom you anointed. 28They did what your power and will had decided beforehand should happen. 29Now, Lord, consider their threats and enable your servants to speak your word with great boldness. 30Stretch out your hand to heal and perform miraculous signs and wonders through the name of your holy servant Jesus."
What could be more clear? God ordained these evil men to commit the most heinous act...the murder of the Son of God.

As a Calvinist, I rest in the knowledge that my Creator has purposed all things. There is nothing that happens to me in this life that is simply at random. Romans 8:
28And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him,j]">[j] whok]">[k] have been called according to his purpose. 29For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the likeness of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. 30And those he predestined, he also called; those he called, he also justified; those he justified, he also glorified.

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