A. God, the Creator of all good: Gn. 1:31; 2:18; Psalm 119: 68.
B. In His infinite power and wisdom: Ps 145: 11; Pr 3:19.; Psalm 66: 7.
C. holds, direct, dispose , and govern all creatures: I 1: 3; Is 46:10, . 11; Dn. 4:34, 35; Ps 135: 6; Acts.17: 25-28; Job 38-41.
D. And everything from the largest to the smallest: Mt. 10: 29-31.
E. For his most wise and holy providence: Pr. 15: 3; Ps 104: 24; 145: 17.
F. In order for which they were created: Col. 1:16, 17; Acts. 17: 24-28.
F. According to his infallible foreknowledge, and the free and immutable counsel of his own will: Ps 33: 10,11; Eph. 1:11.
G: To the praise of the glory of his wisdom, power, justice, infinite goodness and mercy: Is. 63:14; Eph.3:10; Ro. 9:17; Gn.45: 7; Psalm 145: 7.
BIBLICAL EXPLANATION AND BASE
Once we understand that God is the Almighty Creator (see Chapter 15), it seems reasonable to conclude that he also preserves and governs everything in the universe.
Although the term providence is not in the Bible, it has traditionally been used to denote the continuous relationship between God and his creation. When we accept the biblical doctrine of providence, we avoid four common mistakes when thinking about the relationship between God and his creation.
The biblical doctrine is not deism (which teaches that God created the world and then essentially abandoned) nor pantheism (which teaches that creation has no real and distinct in itself existence, but is nothing more than a part of God) but providence, which teaches that although God is actively involved in related and creation at every moment, creation is something apart from it.
Even more, the biblical doctrine teaches that the events of creation are determined by chance (or chance), nor are determined by the impersonal fate (or determinism), but God who is personal and yet infinitely powerful Creator and Mr.
We can define the providence of God as follows: God continually intervenes in all created things so that it;
(1) The remains exist and retaining the properties that created them ;
(2) Cooperate with all created things in action, and directs the properties that distinguish them to make them act as they act; Y;
(3) The directed to fulfill the purposes assigned to them.
Under the general category of providence we have three sub-themes, according to the three elements of the definition given above:
(2) Concurrency and
We will examine each of these separately, and then consider different criteria and objections to the doctrine of providence. It should be noted that this is a doctrine for which there has been substantial disagreement among Christians from the early history of the church, particularly regarding the relationship of God with the voluntary decisions of moral creatures.
In this chapter we will present a summary of the position is favored in this textbook (commonly known as the position "reformed" or "Calvinist" first.
God makes all things created continue to exist and maintaining the properties that created them.
Hebrews 1: 3 tells us that Christ is "sustaining all things by his powerful word." The Greek word translated "holds" is ftro, "carry, load".
This is commonly used in the New Testament to take something from one place to another, such as carrying a paralytic on a stretcher to Jesus (Lk 5:18), bring the wine to the director of the festival Genesis 2: 8), or Paul bring a cloak and books (2 Tim 4:13).
Not simply mean "hold" but has the sense of active control and determined what is taking from one place to another. In Hebrews 1: 3 the use of the present participle indicates that Jesus is "continually bringing all things" of the universe by his powerful word.
Christ actively involved in the work of providence.
Similarly, in Colossians 1:17 Paul says of Christ "in him all things hold together" (RVR 1960). The phrase "all things" refers to all creation in the universe (see v. 16), and verse says that Christ holds all things exist;it continuously exist or "remain" (NKJV).
Both verses indicate that if Christ would cease its support continued activity of all things in the universe, everything except the triune God instantly cease to exist. Such instruction also states Paul when he says that "in him we live and move and have our being" (Acts 17: 28), and Ezra:
"You alone are the Lord! You have made the heavens and the heaven of heavens with all their stars. You give life to all creation: the land and the sea with all that is in them. That's why you love the armies of heaven "(Nehemiah 9: 6). Peter also says that "the heavens and the earth which are now" are "reserved for fire in the day of judgment" (2 Peter 3: 7 RVR 1960).
One aspect of God's providential preservation is the fact that he continues to give us breath every moment. Elihu in his wisdom says of God: "If you think about retiring his spirit, in life we remove your breath, all mankind would perish, all humanity would be dust!" Job 34: 14-15; Ps 104: 29).
God, by preserving all the things he has done, also makes maintaining the properties that created them.God preserves water so that continues to act as water. It makes the grass continue to act as grass, with all its distinctive features.
Makes the paper it is written this prayer continue to act as role so as not to dissolve spontaneously in water and is floating away, Do not become a living thing and start growing! While some other part of creation does not act on it and change its properties (for example, if the fire burns and turns to ash), this role will continue to act as role as God preserve the land and building has made.
We should not think, however, that the preservation of God is a continual new creation; he is not continually creating new atoms and molecules for all that you exist. Rather, he preserves what has already created; he "upholds all things" by his word of power (Hebrews 1: 3, author's translation).
We must also appreciate that created things are real and that its features are real. Not that I simply imagine that the stone that I have in hand is hard; It is hard. If I hit the head with it, I do not just imagine it hurts; indeed it hurts! Because God keeps this stone with the properties that created it, the stone has been tough from the day it was formed, and (unless something else in creation interact with it and change) will be hard to day when God will destroy the heavens and the earth (2nd Peter 3: 7, 10-12).
God's providence provides basis for science; God has done and continues to hold a universe that acts in predictable ways. If a scientific experiment gives a result today we can have confidence that (if all factors are the same) will give the same result tomorrow and a hundred years.
The doctrine of providence also provides a foundation for technology; I can trust that gasoline will cause my car to work today as it did work yesterday, not only because "it has always worked that way," but because of God's providence sustains a universe in which he created things that keep the properties that he created them.
The result may be similar in the life of the unbeliever and the Christian life; both we put gasoline in our cars and drive. But the unbeliever will not know the real reason for it to work the way it works, and I will do it with the knowledge of the true reason (God's providence) and grateful to my Creator for the wonderful creation that made and preserves.
God cooperates with all created things in action, directing their distinctive properties to make them act as they act.
This second aspect of providence, concurrency, is an expansion of the idea in the first aspect, preservation. Moreover, some theologians (like John Calvin) deal with the fact of competition under the category of preservation, but it is useful to treat it as a separate category.
In Ephesians 1: 11 Paul says that God "works all things according to the counsel of His will." The word translated "makes" (energeo) indicates that God's "work" or "produces" all things according to his will.Nothing happens in creation falls out of his providence. Of course, this fact is hidden from our eyes unless we read in the Bible.
As the preservation of God's work in competition is not clearly evident from observation of the natural world around us.
To test concurrency biblical start with inanimate creation, then move on to the animals, and finally to different kinds of events in the life of human beings.
A. Although in relation to the foreknowledge and decree of God, the first cause, all things happen immutably and infallibly, so that nothing happens to anyone by chance or without his providence: Acts.2:23; Pr. 16:33.
B. However, by the same providence, arranges them so that occur depending on the nature of second causes, either necessarily, freely , or contingently: Gn. 8:22; Jer. 31:35; Ex 21:13.; Dt . 19: 5; Is . 10: 6, 7; Lk. 13; 3, 5; Acts. 27:31; Matthew 5:20, 21; Phil. 1:19; Pr 20:18.; Lk. 14: 25ss.Pr. 21:31; 1 Kings 22: 28,34; Rt . 2: 3.
There are many things in the creation of which we think are simple "natural" occurrences. Yet the Bible says that God makes happen. We read of "lightning and hail, snow and clouds, stormy winds that do his bidding" (Ps 148: 8). Similarly,
To Snow he ordered: "Fall on the earth!", And rain, "Show Your Power!" By the breath of God ice and frozen water bodies is formed. With Rain Water Charge Clouds, And Launches Its Lightning From Ellas; And they run from side to side across the face of the earth, ready to fulfill their mandates. By His Goodness, it Makes Come Clouds, either to punish or to bless. Job 37: 6-13;Similar statements In 38: 22-30).
Again, the psalmist declares that "The Lord does everything you want in heaven and on earth, in the seas and in all deeps" (Ps 135: 6), and then in the next sentence illustrates God making his will climate: "He raises clouds from the ends of the earth; sends lightning with the rain and brings their deposits to the winds' (Ps 135: 7; 104: 4).
God also makes the grass grow, "You make grass grow for the cattle, and plants that people cultivate to get food from the earth" (Ps 104: 14). God directs the stars in heaven, and asks Job: "Can you make the time go constellations? Can you guide Ursa Major and Minor "Job 38:32; v. 31 refers to the Pleiades and Orion) constellations.
Moreover, God continually leads the arrival of the Job morning. 38:12), a fact that Jesus said when he said that God "makes the sun rises on evil and good, and sends rain on the just and unjust" (Mt 5:45).
The Bible says that God feeds the wild animals, because "all they expect from you that in time give them their food. You give them, they gather; open your hand, and are filled with goods. If you hide your face, they are terrified; if you take away their breath, they die and return to dust "(Psalm 104: 27-29; Job 38: 39-41) .Jesus also said this when he said:" Look at the birds of the sky the heavenly Father feeds them "(Mt 6: 26). He said that not a single sparrow "fall to the ground without your Father" (Mt 10: 29).
From the human perspective, the casting of lots (or its modern equivalent, roll the dice or toss a coin) is the most typical of chance in the universe. But the Bible states that the result of such a thing comes from God: "The lot is cast into the lap, but the decision is from the Lord" (Proverbs 16: 33).
NOTE: It is true that Ec 9: 11 says that "it is not to the swift race, or the brave battle; and neither of the wise bread, nor riches to the intelligent, nor favor skillful, but time and chance come to them.
Any of the above events (rain and snow, the growth of grass, sun and stars, animal feed and casting lots) could (at least in theory) give a "natural" completely satisfactory explanation.
An expert in botany can detail the factors that make the grass grow, such as the sun, humidity, temperature, soil nutrients, etc. Yet the Bible says that God makes the grass grow.
A meteorologist can give a full explanation of the factors that cause rain (humidity, temperature, atmospheric pressure, etc.), and can even produce rain in a climate laboratory. Yet the Bible says that God makes the rain fall.
A physical correct information about the strength and direction of a pair of dice was launched could fully explain what made the dice give the result they gave; yet the Bible says that God determines the decision of the fate that is cast.
This shows us that it is wrong to reason we do know the "natural" because of something in this world, God caused. Rather, if it rains we should thank him. If the planting grows we must thank him. In all of these facts it is not as if they were caused partly by God and partly by factors in the created world. If that were the case, we would always be looking for some small feature of something that happened that we could not explain (say 1% of the cause) to attribute it to God. But certainly this is not a correct concept.
Rather, these passages say that God is who produces such events.
Yet we know that (in another sense) are also entirely caused by factors of creation.
The doctrine of concurrency states that God directs, and work through the particular properties of each created thing, so these things in themselves produce the results we see. So one can say that in a sense the events are fully (one hundred percent) produced by God and fully (one hundred percent) produced by the creature. However, the divine and the creatures causes act in different ways.
The divine cause of each event acts as an invisible cause that acts and directs behind the scenes, and could be called the "primary cause" that plans and initiates everything that happens. But what created produces actions that are consistent with the characteristics of the created properties, actions that often we or professional scientists who carefully observe the processes we describe. These factors and properties of creation can therefore be called "secondary" causes of everything that happens, even if the causes are obvious for us to observe.
The Bible also speaks of God's providential control of human affairs. We read that God "exalts or destroys nations; It makes them prosper or scatters "(Job 12: 23). "For the Lord is the kingdom; He rules over the nations "(Ps 22: 28). He has determined all the time "(NKJV). But Michael Eaton correctly observes: "On the lips of Israel's" lucky "means the unexpected, which is not random '
Existence and location of every nation on earth, because Paul says, "From one man he made all nations to inhabit the whole earth; and he determined the periods of its history and the boundaries of their territories "(Acts 17: 26; 14: 16). And when Nebuchadnezzar repented, he learned to praise God:
His dominion is an everlasting; His kingdom endures forever. None of the peoples of the earth are taken into account. God does what he wants With Heavenly Powers and the peoples of the earth. No one opposes their power or who asked to account (Dn 4: 34-35).
It is amazing to see the extent to which the Bible says that God makes things happen in our lives. For example, our dependence upon God for food every day we repeat every time we pray: "Give us this day our daily bread" (Mt 6: 11), although we work to earn food and (as far as mere human observation can discern) we get entirely through "natural" causes.
Similarly, Paul, looking with the eyes of faith what happens, says that children "my God will meet all your needs" (Philippians 4: 19), but God can use "ordinary" means (such as others) to do so.
God plans our days before we are born, because David says: "Your eyes saw my unformed everything was already written in your book; all my days were being designed, but not before one of them "(Ps 139: 16). And Job says that "Man's days are already determined; you have decreed the months of his life; you've set limits he can not exceed "Job 14: 5).
This can be seen in the life of Paul, who says, "God had set me apart from my mother's womb" (Gal 1: 15), and Jeremiah, whom God said, "Before I formed you in the womb, and you had chosen; before you were born, I already had departed; I appointed you a prophet to the nations "Jer 1: 5).
All our actions are under the providential care of God, for "in him we live and move" (Acts 17: 28). The steps we take each day the Lord directs. Jeremiah confesses: "I know that man is not master of his destiny, which is not given to direct his steps" Jer 10: 23).
We read that "man's steps are directed by the Lord" (Proverbs 16: 9). Similarly, Proverbs 16: 1 says: "Man proposes and God disposes."
Success and failure come from God, for we read: "The exaltation does not come from the east, nor from the west nor from the south, but it is God who judges: a few humiliates and exalts another" (Ps 75: 6-7) . So Mary can say: "From their thrones overthrew the powerful, while it has lifted up the lowly" (Lk 1: 52).
The Lord gives children, for "children are a heritage from the Lord, the fruit of the womb is a reward" (Ps 127: 3).
All our talents and abilities are the Lord, because Paul can ask the Corinthians: "What do you have that you did not receive? And if you received, why do you boast as if they had given you "(1 Cor 4: 7).
David knew that was true about his military skills, for many hours, but must have been trained in the use of bow and arrow, could say, "[God] trains my hands for battle; my arms can bend a bow of bronze "(Ps 18: 34).
God influences the decisions of rulers, because "in the Lord's hands the heart of kings as a river follows the course that the Lord has laid him" (Proverbs 21: 1). An illustration of this was when the Lord made the king of Persia help his people, "and allow rebuild the temple of the God of Israel" (Ezra 6: 22), or "in the first year of the reign of Cyrus king of Persia, the Lord ordered the king's heart "(Ezra 1: 1) to assist the people of Israel.
But it is not only the king's heart that God has, because he looks "from his throne to all inhabitants of the earth" and "he who forms the hearts of all" (Ps 33: 14-15).
When we realize that in the Bible the heart is where reside our thoughts and desires more intimate, this is a significant passage. God directs special way the desires and inclinations of believers, working in us "both to will and to do for his good pleasure" (Phil 2: 13).
All these passages, which contain general statements about the work of God in the life of every individual and specific examples of the work of God in the lives of individuals lead us to conclude that the providential work of God concurrency extends to all aspects of our life. Our words, our steps, our movements, our hearts and our abilities come from the Lord.
But we must guard against misunderstandings. Here too, as in the lower creation, the providential guidance of God as an invisible "primary cause" behind racks, there should lead us to deny the reality of our decisions and actions. Again and again the Bible states that we make things happen.
We are significant and responsible. We indeed take decisions and these are real decisions that produce real results. The Bible also says repeatedly these truths.
As a stone is hard indeed because God made with the properties of hardness, as the water is really wet because God took ownership of moisture, and as the plants are truly alive because God took ownership of life, our decisions are decisions truth and come into significant effects, because God has made us in such a wonderful way that has endowed us with free will ownership.
One way to address these passages about the concurrence of God is really saying that if we decide, our decisions can not originate in God (see below further explanation of this point of view). But the number of passages that say this providential control of God is so considerable, and the difficulties involved in giving some other interpretation are so formidable, that in fact I do not think that can be the best way to address them.
It seems better to say that God makes all things happen, but it does so that it retains the power we have to make responsible, who have real results and eternal and of which we are considered responsible voluntary decisions. The Bible does not tell us exactly how God's providential control combines with our volunteers and significant decisions.
But instead of denying one or the other (simply because we can not explain how both can be true), we must accept the two in an attempt to be faithful to the teaching of the whole Bible.
The analogy of an author who writes a work can help us to grasp how both can be true. In the play Macbeth, Shakespeare, Macbeth kills King Duncan. Now (if for a moment we assume that this is fiction), one could ask the question "Who killed King Duncan?" On one level, the correct answer is "Macbeth."
Within the context of the drama he committed the murder and rightly takes the blame. But on another level, a correct answer to the question 'Who killed King Duncan it "would be" William Shakespeare "; he wrote the work, created the characters and wrote the part where Macbeth kills King Duncan.
It would not be correct to say that because Macbeth killed King Duncan, William Shakespeare did not kill him. Nor would it be correct to say that because William Shakespeare killed King Duncan, Macbeth did not kill him. Both things are true. At the level of the characters in the play Macbeth completely (one hundred percent) caused the death of King Duncan, but at the level of the creator of the work, completely William Shakespeare (one hundred percent) caused the death of King Duncan.
Similarly, we can fully understand that God causes things a certain way (as Creator), and we fully we cause things differently (like creatures).
Of course, someone might object that the analogy does not really solve the problem because the characters in the drama are not characters from real life; They are characters without their own freedom or genuine ability to make decisions, and suchlike. But in response we emphasize that God is great and infinitely wiser than we are.
While we as finite creatures we can only create fictional characters in a drama, not characters from real life, God, our infinite Creator has made a real world and it has created us as real people who make decisions on their own . To say that God could not make a world in which he makes us make decisions on our own (as some would argue today, see account below) is to limit the power of God. Also it seems to belie a large number of passages of the Bible.
A. God in his ordinary providence makes use of means: Acts. 27:22, 31.44; Is . 55: 10,11; You. 2: 21,22.
B. However, you have the freedom to act without them : Os. 1: 7; Lk. 1: 34,35.
C. above them: Ro. 4: 19-21.
D. And against them, as he pleases: Ex. 3: 2.3; 2 Kings 6: 6; Dn. 3:27.
A. The almighty power, unsearchable wisdom , and infinite goodness of God is manifested in His providence to such an extent that its determinant council extends even to the first fall and all other sinful actions both of angels and men: ro. 11: 32-34; 2 Samuel 24: 1; 1 Cr . 21: 1; 1 Kings 22: 22,23; 2 Samuel 16:10; Acts. 2:23; 4: 27,28.
B. (And that not by a bare permission), which the most wise and powerfully limits, and also directs and governs in many ways to his most holy purposes: Acts. 14:16; 2 Kings 19:28; Gn. 50:20; Is . 10: 6, 7, 12
C. however, so that the sinfulness of the actions of these proceeds only from the creatures, and not God, who , being most holy and righteous, is not, nor can be, the author of sin nor approve : Stg.:13 , 14, 17;June 1 2:16.; Psalm 50:21.
So, when evil comes into our lives to torment us, we can get from the doctrine of providence greater assurance that "God all things work together for good to those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose "(Ro 8:28). This kind of conviction allowed Joseph tell his brothers, "You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good" (Gn 50: 20).
We can also realize that God is glorified even in the punishment of evil. The Bible tells us that "all the work the Lord has a purpose; Even the evil was done for the day of disaster "(Pr 16: 4) .11 Similarly, the psalmist says:" Surely the wrath of man shall praise you "(Ps 76: 10, RVR 1960). And the example of Pharaoh (Romans 9: 14-24) is a clear example of how God uses evil for His glory and for the good of his people.
In a statement similar to the above mentioned Acts 2: 23 and 4: 27-28, Jesus also combines God's predestination of the Crucifixion with the moral guilt of those who conducted it "truly the Son of Man will go as is decreed, but woe to that man who betrays "(Lk 22: 22; Mt 26: 24; Mr 14:21)!.
And in a more general statement about evil in the world, Jesus says, "Woe unto the world because of the things that make people sin! Such things must come, but woe that makes sin to others "(Mt 18: 7).
James speaks similarly to warn that let's not blame God for the evil we do, and says, "Let no man, being tempted, say. God is tempting me" For God it can not be tempted by evil nor does he tempt anyone. on the contrary, each one is tempted when their own evil desires "earmark" in this verse is best taken as referring both to stumble as disobedience.
It is incorrect to say that God only set aside the fact that those who disobey stumble, because it is not a fact but people (them) that are said to be "destined" in this case dragged away and enticed "(James 1: 13 -14).
The verse does not say that God never causes evil; He says that we should not think that he is like an agent who is tempting us or account that should be sought by temptation. We can never blame God throw temptation, nor think he approves give in to it.
We must resist evil and always blame ourselves or others that tempt us, but we should never blame God.Even a verse like Isaiah 45: 7, God speaks of "creating calamity" does not say that God himself does wrong, but we understand that means that God commanded that evil result of voluntary decisions of his creatures.
All these verses clearly indicate that the "secondary causes" (human beings, angels and demons) are real and that humans actually cause bad and are responsible for it. Although God commanded to take place, both in general and in specifics, however, God is far from doing evil and the fact that he does take place through "secondary causes" does not challenge his holiness nor guilty. John Calvin wisely says:
Thieves, murderers and other evildoers are instruments of God's providence, which the Lord To Run the designs served in Self Determined; But I deny that therefore may have excuse. Why?
Because how they can Mix God in His Own Evil or disguising his sin with Divine Justice? None of these things they can.
A little later, Calvin a chapter titled "God uses the wicked and bends his will to execute his designs, leaving however it clean from all stain." We should note that alternatives to say that God uses evil for his purposes, but he never does wrong and is not to be blamed for evil, are undesirable.
If we say that God himself does wrong, we would have to conclude that it is not a good and just God, and therefore would not be God at all. On the other hand, if we maintain that God does not use evil to accomplish his purposes, we should recognize that there is in the universe an evil that God did not propose, that is not under its control, and that may not fulfill God's purposes. This would make us very difficult to say that "all things" contribute to the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose (Rom 8: 28).
If evil emerged in the world even though God is not proposed nor wanted to be here, what guarantee do we have that there will be more and more evil than he did not propose and did not want? And what guarantee do we have that he can use it for your purposes, or you can triumph over it? Surely this is an undesirable alternative position.
Many scriptures affirm this. One is found in Isaiah: "They have chosen their own ways, and they delight in their abominations. For I also will choose affliction for them and send upon them what they fear.Because no one answered when I called; when I spoke, no one listened. Rather, they did evil in my sight and chose what displeases me "(ls 66: 3-4). Similarly we read:
"God made perfect the human race, but he has sought fuzz" (Ec 7: 29). Evil always blame lies with the creature responsible, whether man or demon, which makes it, and the creature who does evil always deserves punishment.
The Bible says that God is always fair to punish for our sins.
If we object that he must not find us guilty because we can not resist their will, we must meditate on the response of the apostle Paul to that question: "But you tell me:" Then why do you still blame us God Who can oppose his will? "
I answer: "Who are you to talk back to God Do you tell the crock pot to the Model: 'Why did you make me so" (Romans 9: 19-20). In each case we do evil, we know that voluntarily chose to do so, and we realize that justice are guilty of it.
The Bible teaches that never always have the right to do evil, and we must persistently oppose evil in ourselves and in the world. We pray: "Deliver us from evil" (Mt 6: 13, RVR 1960), and if we see someone away from the truth and doing evil, we must try to get him back.
The Bible says, "If any of you strays from the truth and someone turns him back to her, remember this: Whoever turns a sinner from his loss, save him from death and cover a multitude of sins" (James 5: 19 -twenty). Should not even want to do evil, for harboring desires of sin in our minds is to allow them to "make war" against our souls (1st P 2: 11) and therefore make us spiritual harm.
If ever we are tempted to say, "Why not do evil to make it good?" As some accused slanderously Paul of teaching, we should remember 10 Paul says about those who teach false doctrine: " well deserved must condemnation "(Romans 3: 8).
When thinking God uses evil to accomplish his purposes, we must remember that there are things that God does is right, but it is wrong for us to do: He demands that others worship, and accepts their worship.Seeking glory for himself. Run the final punishment on wrongdoers.
also uses evil to produce good purposes, but does not allow us to do so. Calvin Augustine cites a statement approvingly: "There is a big difference between what is fitting that the man wants and what is appropriate for God. Because by the ill will of evil men God does what it wants correctly. "
Herman Bavinck uses the analogy of a parent using a sharp knife but do not allow your child to use it, to show that God himself uses evil to produce good intentions, but never allows your kids do that. While we should imitate the moral character of God in many ways (Ephesians 5: 1), this is one of the ways that we should not imitate.
We have reached the point where we confess that we do not understand how God can order to do evil deeds and yet feel guilty for them and not blame himself.
We can say that all these things are true because the Bible teaches. But the Bible does not tell us exactly how God does and how might consider us responsible for what he commands takes place. Here the Bible is silent, and we have to agree with Berkhof that ultimately "the problem of the relationship of God with sin remains a mystery."
If God exercises providential control over everything that happens, we are free in any sense? The answer depends on what we mean by the word free. In some senses of the word free all would agree that we are free in our will and our decisions.
Even prominent theologians of Reformed or Calvinist tradition concur.
Both Louis Berkhof in his Systematic Theology (pp. 103, 173) and John Calvin in his Institutes of religion cristiana16 are willing to speak some sense of acts and "free" man's decisions. However, Calvin explains that the term is so subject to misunderstanding that he tries to avoid using it.
This is because the "free will is not enough to enable man to do good works, unless grace help him" .17 Therefore, Calvin concludes:
Accordingly, it is said that man has free will, not because it is free to choose good and evil, but because evil does is done voluntarily and not under duress. This is true; But what Attributing such an arrogant title to something as inconsequential?
Calvin goes on to explain how this expression is easily misunderstood:
But there many men, I ask, who hear that The Man is credited Freewill not consider immediately that the man is Lord of His understanding and His Will, With Natural Potestad To Bowing to good or evil? If anyone, then, can use this expression without understanding In a bad sense, I will not object to it does.
Therefore, when we asked if we have "free will", it is important to be clear what is meant by the phrase.The Bible nowhere says that we are "free" in the sense of being beyond the control of God.19 or being able to make decisions that are not caused by anything.
(This is the sense in which many seem to assume that we should be free; see what we say below.) Nor does it say that we are "free" in the sense that we can do well on their own without the power of God. But in any way we are free at greater than any creature of God can be felt free; We take voluntary decisions, decisions that supply real effects.
We are not aware of any restrictions on our will from God when we make decisions. We must insist that we have the power to decide voluntarily; otherwise we fall into the error of fatalism or determinism, and thus conclude that our decisions do not matter, because in reality we can not make their own decisions.
On the other hand, the kind of freedom that require those who deny the providential control of God over all things, freedom to be out of the supporting and controlling activity of God, it would be impossible if Jesus Christ is truly "continuously supported all the things his word of power "(Heb 1: 3, author's translation).
If this is so, be out of that providential control would not exist! An absolute "freedom", totally free from the control of God, is not possible in a world providentially sustained and directed by God Himself.
A. The most wise, most just and merciful God often leave for a season his own children to manifold temptations and the corruptions of their own hearts, to chastise them for their former sins , or to reveal the hidden strength of corruption and deceitfulness of their hearts, to be humiliated; and to lead to a dependence on it more intimate and constant support for it; and to make them more watchful against all future occasions of sin, and for other just and holy ends: 2 Cr 32:25, 26, 31,. 2 Samuel 24: 1; Lk. 22:34, 35; Mark 14: 66-72; June 21: 15-17 . .
B. Therefore, everything that happens to any of his elect is by his appointment, for his glory and for the good of them: Ro. 8:28.
God's decrees are eternal plans of God by which, before the creation of the world, he determined to make that take place whatever happens. This doctrine is similar to the doctrine of providence, but here we refer to the decisions of God before the world was created and not their providential actions in time.
His providential actions are the results of the eternal decrees that made long ago. To see 'decrees' used in a somewhat different sense.)
David confesses: "Everything was already written in your book; all my days were being designed, but not before one of them "(Ps 139: 16; Job 14: 5: the days, months and limits of man's God determines).There is also a "set purpose and foreknowledge of God" (Acts 2: 23) by which they killed Jesus, and the actions of those who condemned and crucified him were "predestined" by God (Acts 4: 28).
Our salvation was determined long ago that God "chose us in Him [Christ] before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless before him" (Eph 1: 4). Our good works as believers are "God prepared beforehand so that we practice" (Eph 2:10;. Jud 4).
These examples touch on many different aspects of human activity. It seems appropriate to conclude from these examples that everything God does have planned since before the creation of the world; indeed, these things have been an eternal plan for him.
The benefit of an emphasis on God's decrees is that it helps us to realize that God does not draw plans suddenly go. He knows the end from the beginning, and make all their good intentions. This should greatly increase our confidence in him, especially in difficult circumstances.
Sometimes we forget that God works through human actions in his providential government of the world. When we forget, we begin to think that our actions and decisions make no difference or not take great effect on the course of events. To precavemos against any misunderstanding of the providence of God we must emphasize the following points of emphasis.
God made us responsible for our actions, which have real and eternally significant results.
In all his providences God preserves these characteristics of responsibility and significance.
Some analogies from the natural world may help us understand this. God has created a stone with the characteristic that is hard, and it is. God created the water with the characteristic that is wet, and it is. God created plants and animals with the characteristic that are alive, and they are. Similarly, God created us with the feature that we are responsible for our actions, and we are!
If we do good and obey God, he will reward us and things will go well for us both in age and in eternity. If we do wrong and disobey God, he will discipline us and maybe punish us, and things will go badly for us.The we realize these facts help us to have pastoral wisdom in talking with others and encourage them to avoid idleness and disobedience.
The fact that we are responsible for our actions mean that we should never think, "God made me sick, and therefore I have no fault to be." Significantly, Adam began to make excuses for the first sin in terms that sound suspiciously like this:
"The woman you gave me by companion of that fruit, and I ate" (GN3: 12). Unlike Adam, the Bible never God pours the guilt of sin. If ever we begin to think that God is the guilt of sin, we are thinking wrongly regarding the providence of God, because it is always the creature, not God, who is to blame.
Sure, we can object that is not good that God considers us guilty if he, indeed, who has ordered all things that happened, but Paul corrects us: "But you tell me: So why do you still blame us God? Who can oppose his will? "
I answer: Who are you to talk back to God "(Rom 9: 19-20). We must realize and resolve in our hearts that God is good reprove us and discipline us and punish evil. And when we have the responsibility to do so, it's okay to rebuke and punish the evil in our families, in the church and even, in some ways, in the society around us.
We should never say bad has happened: "God wanted it therefore is good." Because we recognize that some things that the will of God has planned decree are not good in themselves, and should not receive our approval, nor receive God's approval.
In the ordinary events of the world, if I neglect my health and address I have bad eating habits, or abuse my body with liquor or snuff, probably die sooner. God has ordained that our actions have an impact. Of course, we do not know what God has planned, even for the rest of this day, to say nothing of next week or next year.
But we do know that if we trust in God and obey Him, discover that he has planned good things that result because of that obedience! We can not simply dismiss others with whom we are, because God makes many cross our path and gives us the responsibility to act towards them significantly eternal ways, either for good or ill.
Calvin wisely note to encourage you to use ordinary care in life and plan ahead, "God is pleased to hide all future events, so that the resist as doubtful, and let not oppose them with remedies ready until that overcome or are beyond God's providence concern us not always comes to meet in its naked form, but in a sense God saw her with the means used. "
In contrast, if we expect some danger or bad events may occur in the future, and do not use reasonable means to avoid them, we can really Enchant our lack of action was the means God used to allow it to submit!
God has also ordained that prayer is a very significant means of producing results in the world.26 When we intercede fervently for a specific person or circumstance, often we find that God has ordained that our prayer is a means that he has to use to produce changes in the world.
The Bible reminds us of this when he says: "I do not have, because they do not ask" (James 4: 2). Jesus says, "Until now you have asked nothing in my name. Ask and you shall receive, that your joy may be complete "(Jn 16:24).
The doctrine of providence in no way encourages us to arrellanarnos with loafing to await the outcome of events. Of course, God can impress upon us the need to wait before acting on him and trust him before in our own abilities, and that certainly is not bad. But simply to say that we are trusting God instead of acting responsibly is pure laziness and a distortion of the doctrine of providence.
In practical terms, if one of my children has homework to do for the next day, I have the right to force him to finish the task before it comes out to play. I realize that your score is in the hands of God, and that God has determined how much will that rating, but I do not know, nor will my son does. What I do know is that if you study and faithfully do your homework, get a good grade. If not, it will not receive it. So Calvin can say:
And now, it is very clear what our duty: If the Lord has entrusted us Protecting Our Life, Our duty is to protect it; If offers us aids, we use them; Yes No We Warns With advance of hazards, do not we Metamos Recklessly On Them; If remedies available to us, do not you despise.
But No Danger harm us, they will say, unless Fatal Sea, and in this case is beyond Los Remedios. But what if hazards are not Fatales, for the Lord he has provided you Remediation to remove them and overcome them.
A good example of vigorous activity combined with trust in God is in 2nd Samuel10: 12 wherein Joab says, "Courage! Let us fight bravely for our people and for the cities of our God! "But then immediately adds in the same sentence," and may the Lord do what seems good to him. " Joab both going to fight and trust that God will do what feels good.
Similar examples found in the New Testament. When Paul was at Corinth, to prevent the opposition he had received from the Jews discouraged, the Lord appeared one night in a vision and said, "Do not be afraid; but speak and do not be silent, for I am with you. Although attack you, do not go let anyone hurt you, because I have many people in this city "(Acts 18: 9-1O).
If Paul had been a fatalist with an inappropriate understanding of God's providence, he would have heard the words of God: "I have many people in this city," and concluded that God had determined to save many of the Corinthians, and therefore not It matters if Paul was there or not:
God had already chosen that many would be saved! Paul would have thought That could well pack your bags and go! But he did not make that mistake. Rather, it concluded that if God had chosen many, then it probably would be through Paul's preaching the gospel to those many would be saved. Paul therefore made a wise decision: "So Paul stayed there a year and a half, teaching them the word of God" (Acts 18: 11).
Paul puts this kind of responsibility in the light of God's providence in one sentence in 2 Timothy 2 Action: 10, which says: "All stand for the sake of the elect, that they also may obtain eternal glory salvation that is in Christ Jesus. " Do not grasp the fact that God had chosen some to be saved to conclude that not to do anything; rather, it concluded that there was much to be done so that God's purposes will be made by the means God had also established.
Indeed, Paul was willing to endure "everything", including all sorts of adversity and suffering, so that God's plans could be realized. A heartfelt belief in the providence of God is not a discouragement but a stimulus to action.
One example is found in the story of Paul's journey to Rome. God had clearly revealed to Paul that none of the ship's passengers would die because of the long storm that had endured.
By the way, Paul stood before passengers and crew and told them to encourage:
Because none of you will lose life; Only the ship was lost. Last night I found an angel of the God I belong and whom I serve, and I said, 'Fear not, Paul. You have to appear before the Emperor;And God has granted you the lives of all who sail with you. '
So courage, men! He trusted in God that it will as I said. However, we must run aground on some island (Acts 27: 22-26).
But shortly after Paul said this, he noticed that the sailors aboard the ship were secretly trying to lose a life boat sea, "in an attempt to escape from the ship" (Acts 27: 30). They planned to leave the other helpless with no one who knew how to steer the boat.
When Paul saw this, he did not take a wrong and fatalistic attitude, thinking that God miraculously take the boat to shore. Rather, he immediately went to the centurion who was in charge of the sailors and "said to the centurion and the soldiers," Unless these stay in the ship, you can not be saved ' "(Acts 27: 31).
Wisely Paul knew that God's providential oversight and even clear prediction of what would happen to all involved using ordinary human means to that result. He even had the courage to say that those means were necessary: "If those do not stay on the ship, you can not be saved" (Acts 27: 31).
We do well to imitate his example of combining a complete trust in the providence of God and realize that the use of ordinary means is necessary so that things turn out the way God has planned that result.
A. As for those wicked and ungodly whom God, as fair, blind and harden because of his previous sin judge men: Ro. 1: 24-26, 28; 11: 7, 8.
B. Not only denied his grace which could have illuminated their understanding and worked in their hearts:Dt. 29: 4.
C. but sometimes also withdraweth the gifts which were: Mt. 13:12; 25:29.
D. and leaves them exposed to things that their corruption makes occasion of sin: Dt. 2:30; 2 Kings 8:12, 13.
E. and, in turn, delivers them to their own lusts, the temptations of the world and the power of Satan: Ps 81:11, 12; 2 Thes. 2: 10-12.
F. so happens that harden under the same means God uses to soften others: Ex. 7: 3; 8:15, 32; 2 Corinthians 2:15, 16; Isa . 6: 9, 10; 8:14; 1 Peter 2: 7; Acts. 28:26, 27; Jun. 12:39, 40.
In examining the Old Testament passages that refer to the providential intervention of God in the world, David].
A. Clines says that predictions and statements of God in their limited purposes or refer to specific events:
Almost all specific references to God's plans have before it a particular event or series of Events Limited, for example, "What You Have Planned Against the land of the Babylonians' Jer 50: 45). More still, not a question of one divine Plan; Several passages speak Of Various Intentions, and some references are indeed God's Plans In A Plural [Passages are] an assertion that within the story God is accomplishing His purposes.
Jack Cottrell agrees that in some cases God intervenes in the world in a very unusual way, using "[natural] subtle manipulation of such laws and mental states."
But nothing usual calls these events "special providence" and says: "It is natural that the Old Testament abounds in stories of special providence. But we have no reason to assume that God was working in Australia and South America such ways at the same time. "
Those who hold an Arminian position ask, "How can God be holy if decrees to sin?" They say that God is not the "author of sin" that "God can not be tempted by evil, nor does he tempt anyone; "(James 1: 13), that" God is light and in him there is no darkness "(1 Jn 1: 5), and" The Lord is righteous; and in it there is no injustice "(Ps 92: 15).
The concept of God's providence that advocated above, say, makes us puppets or robots can not do anything other than what God makes us do. But this imposes moral reproach on God, because Marshall says, "I am responsible for what my agent does" 39 Pinnock says that "it is blasphemous to maintain, as does this theory that man's rebellion against God in a sense the product of the sovereign will or primary causality of God. "
When the Calvinist states that God makes us voluntarily choose things, those who hold an Arminian position respond that any decision that ultimately it is God who cause may not be a true decision, and if it is true that God makes us take decisions we make, we are not really people.
Cottrell says the Calvinist concept of God as primary cause and secondary cause men actually unravels so that there is only one cause: God. If a man uses a lever to move a rock, he argues, "the lever is not a cause second true but only an instrument of the true cause of the movement.
In my view the concept of cause has no real meaning when used in this regard. In such a system the man contributes only what has already been predetermined. "
Personal class is conceived fellowship in the gospel exists only when consumed in a free decision. If we want to understand the Grace of God as Directed personally His creatures must grasp, as does the Bible, in terms Dynamical, Ni No Coercive Manipulators.
He also says:
If The World Were A structure completely determined in which no decision Man has no effect, the basic intuition Man Is An Actor And A Free Agent would make no sense: there would, then, reason to make plans or exercise efforts the purpose of transforming the world. Human freedom is the Precondition for the moral and intellectual responsibility.
Why, then, according to the Arminian concept, the fall took place and sin? Pinnock responds that "occurred because God refuses to mechanize man or impose his will on him." And Marshall says, regarding the "possibility that I predetermine a course of action including myself and other subjects" that "free agent level is impossible." Objected that the analogy of God and the world as an author and a play is not useful because if we ask whether the characters are truly free, "this is an unrealistic question."
However, it should be noted that the Arminian theologians are certainly willing to give ground to some sort of influence of God on humans.
Marshall says: "Prayer also influence men. The will of men can then be affected by prayer or otherwise not would pray for them. Believe in prayer is, therefore, believe in some kind of limitation of human freedom, and in some kind of incomprehensible influence on the will of men. "
To hammer his point regarding the essential freedom of the human will, proponents of the Arminian position draw attention to the frequency of the free offer of the gospel in the New Testament. They will say that these invitations to humans to repent and accept Christ to be saved, if they are bonafide must involve the ability to respond to them.
So every human being without exception has the capacity to accept, not simply those whom God sovereignly gave them that ability in a special way.
In addition to this point support, Arminians take 1 Corinthians 10:13 as clearly stating that we can not sin. Paul tells the Corinthians:
"You have not suffered any temptation that is not common to man.
But God is faithful, and will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can stand. " But, they say, this claim would be false if sometimes God commands us to sin, because we could not then escape the temptation without sin.
Christians who hold an Arminian position argue that the Calvinist view, when fully understood, destroys the motivation to maintain a responsible Christian behavior. Randall Basinger says the Calvinist concept "establishes what should be discarded and the consideration of things that could or should have been different."
Basinger continues that:
Christians evoking An Act based on the sovereignty of God are guilty of Fatalism Arbitrario, Insufferable and dangerous. Contrary to this, the Arminian believes that what actually happens in the world is, to some extent, consistent in Human Will; The Exhaustive of God on the World Refuses Control.
This means that things can happen that God does not desire or want; Not only things that can differ but often should be different. And all this is our responsibility to cooperate with God to produce a Better World.
However, Basinger passes indicate a point. Calvinists, in practice, often avoid such fatalism and "live and speak as Arminians." O So, on the other hand, the challenge of Basinger is a warning against the practical ends which says that Calvinism logically urges Christians.
On the other hand, his objection states that when the Calvinists live the way they know they must live in responsible obedience to God, or are not consistent with his concept of divine sovereignty, or not allow their concept of sovereign control God affects their daily lives.
Many within the evangelical world these four Arminians find convincing arguments. They believe that these arguments represent what we intuitively know about themselves, their own actions and the way the world works, and these arguments best explain the repeated emphasis in the Bible about our responsibility and the real consequences of our decisions. However, there are some answers that can be given to the Arminian position.
In response to the objection that the examples of providential control of God refer only to limited or specific events, you can say, first, that the examples are too numerous (see pp. 330-41) that appear to be designed to describe the ways God always works. God not only makes some grass grow; he makes all the grass grow.
He not only sends some rain; He sends all the rain. He not only prevents some sparrows fall to the ground without his will; he keeps all the sparrows fall to the ground without his will. He not only knew every word that David was going to say before the said; he knows the words we say before we say them.He not only chose Paul and the Christians of the churches of Ephesus to be holy and blameless before him;he has chosen all Christians to be holy and blameless before him.
Thus the assertion that God Cottrell was working differently in Australia and South America than in the Old Testament is not convincing; we were given the Bible to teach the ways of God, and when we have dozens of examples throughout the Old and New Testaments where there is such a clear teaching on this, it is appropriate to conclude that this is the way God always acts humans.
In contrast, there seems to be nothing in the Bible to indicate that some things are out of control providential God, or that these ways God acts are unusual or unrepresentative of the ways in which acts generally.
Moreover, many of the verses that speak of God's providence are very general: Christ "continually upholding all things by the word of his power" (Heb 1: 3, author's translation), and "all things in it hold together "(Col1: 17, RVR 1960). "In him we live and move and have our being" (Acts 17:28). He "works all things according to the counsel of His will" (Eph 1: 11).
Food (Mt 6: 11), supplies all our needs (Phil 4: 19), directs our steps (Proverbs 20: 24) and works in us to will and to do of his good pleasure (Phil 2: 13). Such Bible passages have given more than usual nothing exceptional examples of God's intervention in the affairs of human beings; describe the way God always works in the world.
Against the Calvinist concept of God's providence (which allows him to enact allow sin and evil) Arminians say that God is not responsible for sin and evil because he did not order nor caused in any way. " This is indeed a way to absolve God of responsibility and guilt in regard to sin, but what is the biblical way?
The problem is whether the Arminian position can really explain the many passages that clearly say that God commands some sin or do wrong. The death of Christ is the prime example of this, but there are many others in the Bible (the brothers of Joseph, Pharaoh, Egyptians, Canaanites, the sons of Eli, the census of David and Babylonians, to name a few ).
One could say that these were unusual events, exceptions to the ordinary way of acting of God. But that does not solve the problem, because in the Arminian concept, how can God be holy if you order even a single act of sin?
The Calvinist position seems preferable; God Himself never sins but always executes its will through secondary causes; ie through personal moral agents who voluntarily do what God has ordained. These personal moral agents (both human and evil angels) bear the guilt of evil they do.
While the Arminian position argues that, at the human level, people are also responsible for what they do others do, we can answer that the Bible is not willing to apply such reasoning to God.
Rather, the Bible repeatedly gives examples where God in a mysterious way and hidden somehow ordered people to do evil, but always placed the blame for this evil the individual human being who does evil and never God Himself .
The Arminian position seems to have succeeded in showing why God can not work this way in the world, preserving both his holiness as our human individual responsibility for sin.
In response to the assertion that the decisions that God commands can not be true decisions, it must be said that this is simply a deduction based again on experience and human intuition, not specific passages of the "mystery" of the will God said enEfl: 9 is not limited to unite Jews and Gentiles (as in 3: 6) but defined as a plan 1:10 to unite all things in Christ.
The term mystery (gr, musterion) in Paul means something previously hidden but now has been made known by revelation, and can refer to different things in different contexts; in EF5: 32 refers to marriage as a symbol of the union between Christ and the church; 1st Corinthians 15: 51 refers to the resurrection of the body; etc.
Bible. However, the Bible does not indicate that we can extrapolate from our human experience in addressing the issue of God's providential control of his creatures, especially humans. Arminians have not been able to say where the Bible that God commands a decision that is not a true decision says.
When we read passages indicate that God works through our will, our power to choose, and our personal will, on what basis we can say that a decision that God produced by these means is not really a decision? It seems best to affirm that God says that our choices are real and conclude that therefore are real.
The Bible repeatedly states that our decisions are genuine decisions, and have real results and that results will last for eternity. "Do that and you will live" (Lk 10: 28). "God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life" Gn 3: 16).
This leads us to conclude that God has made us so that;
(1) the ordering everything we do, and;
(2) we exercise our will and take real and voluntary decisions. Because we can not understand this, we must reject?
We can not understand (in some definite sense) how a plant can live, how the bumblebee can fly or how God can be omnipresent and eternal. Should we therefore reject these realities? Should not we rather accept them as true either because we see that plants really live and in ventad bumblebees fly or because the Bible itself teaches that God is omnipresent and eternal?
Calvin several times a distinction made between "need" and "compulsion" with respect to our will; those who believe not necessarily sin, but nothing forces them to sin against his will. In response to the objection that an act can not be voluntary if it is a necessary act, Calvino points out the good works of God (which necessarily does good) and bad works of the devil (which necessarily do evil):
If De Done That must of necessity do good not prevents the free will of God to do good; And If The Devil Is Not Able To Do More than evil.
This is the case with the analogy of Cottrell man using a lever to move a rock. He says that the lever "is not a real cause second, but only an instrument of the real cause" (The Nature ofthe Divine Sovereignty), p.104).
But here Cottrell make a common mistake, assuming that the analogies of human experience rather than the testimony of the Bible itself, can determine what is a real cause and what is not. The analogy of a man using a lever to move a rock does not fit, because God is much bigger than any man, and us as real people are much larger than any lever sins willfully, who will dare say that man does not sin less voluntarily because it is subject to the need for sin.
Who are we to say that decisions that somehow God caused can not be true decisions? On what basis do we prove that? In the Bible God he tells us that he commands everything that happens.
It also tells us that our decisions and actions are significant to your view and are responsible to Him for our actions. just we need to believe these things and take breath in them. After all, he alone determines what is significant, what is real and what is genuine personal responsibility in the universe.
But our actions have any effect on God? At this point the armiñamos object that although Calvinists can say that a decision that God causes is a real decision, is not real in the final sense, because, according to the Calvinist concept, nothing that God does can never be an answer to what we do. Jack Cottrell says:
Calvinism is still a theology of determinism long as Declares That God Does Nothing can be conditioned by man nor can be a reaction to something in the world. The Sovereign that a God Idea always must act and never React is a point on which nearly all Calvinists seem to agree.
Reformed theologians agree that the Eternal Decree is unconditional and absolute. "Theology Decree decrees that" God can not be affected by anything, or respond to anything external to him ", says Daane.
But here Cottrell mesh Reformed theology has understood for two reasons.
First, he has cited James Daane, who; although it belongs to the Christian Reformed Church, he has written an opponent, no defender, classical Reformed theology, and his statement does not represent a position that Reformed theologians would endorse.
Second, Cottrell has confused the decrees of God before creation with God's actions in time. It is true that the Calvinists would say that the eternal decrees of God were not influenced by any of our actions or can be changed for us, since they were made before creation.
But to conclude that Calvinists believe that God does not react in time to anything we do, or that is not influenced by anything we do, it is simply false. No Calvinist theologian I know has ever said that God is not influenced by what we do or do not react to what we do.
It grieves for our sin. He delights in our praise. Answers our prayers. To say that God does not react to our actions is to deny the whole story of the Bible from Genesis to Revelation.
A Calvinist add that God has eternally decreed that he will respond to us as it does. Moreover, it has decreed that act like us and respond to our actions. But their answers are all genuine, their answers to prayers are still genuine answers to prayer, his delight in our praise is still genuine delight.
Cottrell could, of course, a response object that God has planned a long time is not a real answer, but this is very different from saying that Calvinists believe that God does not respond to what we do. Even more, we return to the same backless presupposition underlying this objection: On what biblical basis can Cottrell say that an answer that God has planned a long time is not a rea answer?
This is useful for us to realize that there is another reality in the universe except what God Himself has done. Is it a storm that God causes a real storm? Is a king on a throne God establishes a real king? Is a word that God makes me say (Ps 139: 4; Proverbs 16: 1) a real word? Of course they're real! There is no other reality than God produces!
So is a human decision that somehow God makes a real decision is made? Yes, it is, in the same way that a storm or a king are real according to their own characteristics and properties. The decision we made is not a "forced" or "involuntary" decision; We make decisions all the time, and we have absolutely the feeling of being coerced or forced to choose one thing over another.
Now some may object that this notion makes us "puppets" or "robots". But we are neither puppets nor robots but real people. Puppets and robots do not have the power to make personal decisions nor individual thought. We, on the contrary, we think, decide and choose.
Again, the Arminian erroneously takes information from our situation as human beings and uses that information to place limitations on what God can or can not do. All these analogies of human experience do not recognize that God is far greater than our human capacities limited.
Moreover, we are much more real and complex than any robot or puppet never will be; we are people in every sense of the word created by an infinitely powerful and infinitely wise God.
Much of our difficulty understanding how God can make something voluntarily choose arises from the finite nature of our existence as creatures. In a hypothetical world where all living things created by God were rooted in the soil plants, we could imagine a discussion with another that God could not do living creatures that can move through the ground floor because how could they carry their estate?
And if the roots are not on the ground, how could they receive their nutrition? A plant "Arminian" could even argue: "For God could create a world of living things, he had to create them with roots and characteristics of living their entire lives in one place.
To say that God could not create living things that move on the earth is not a challenge to the omnipotence of God, because that's just say you can not do things that logically can not be done. It is therefore impossible that God had created a world where living things also have the ability to move around the earth. " The problem with this plant is that it has limited the power of God by virtue of their own experience "as a plant."
At a higher level, we could imagine a creation that had plants and animals but not humans. In this creation, we can imagine a debate between a dog "Calvinist" and a dog "Arminian" where the dog "Calvinist" argue that it is possible that God created creatures that can not only communicate with each other by barking but also can print your barking marks on paper and can send silently to understand other creatures that many days away, creatures that have never seen the creature sending and scored his barking on paper.
The dog "Arminian" answer that God can not do that, because essential to the idea of communication between creatures is to hear and see (And usually sniff) the creature from which the communication is received. To say that there may be communication without ever seeing, hearing or smell to the other creature it's an absurd idea! It is beyond the range of possible events and is logically inconceivable. It is therefore impossible to think that God could create a creature with such communication capabilities.
In both cases, the "Arminian" plant and the dog "Arminian" are wrong, because they incorrectly limited what God can create, inferring what is possible with God (in their opinion) of his own finite existence as creatures . But this is very similar to the Arminian theologian who claims (based on their own perception of human experience) that God can not create a creature that takes voluntary, meaningful, decisions and that those decisions are all ordained by God.
Similarly, the Arminian theologian who argues that God can not order that evil takes place and not have himself to blame for that evil is limiting God merely based on observation of finite human experience.
The concept of providence presented above emphasizes the need for responsible obedience, so it is not correct to say that encourages the kind of fatalism that says what will be, will be. Those who accuse the Reformed writers believe this have not understood the Reformed doctrine of providence.
But what Calvinists live "as Arminians" anyway? Both Calvinists and Arminians believe that our actions have really significant results and are eternally. Both agree that we are responsible for our actions and we make voluntary decisions. Both groups agree that God answers prayer, to proclaim the gospel results in people who are saved, and that obedience to God results in blessings in life, while disobedience results in the lack of God's blessing.
But the differences are significant. Calvinists, when they are faithful to their doctrine, live with a much more comprehensive trust in God in all circumstances and with a freedom of desire for much greater future, because they are convinced not only that God somehow will make its main purposes turn out well in the end, but all things work for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose (Romans 8:28).
They will also be grateful to God for all the benefits that come from anywhere, because he who believes in providence is certain that all things that happen not just happen in the universe, nor the "free will" of another human being, but it is ultimately the goodness of God himself.
They will also have more patience in adversity, knowing that this has not arisen because God could not prevent it, but she, too, is part of the wise plan of God. So the difference is immense. Calvin says:
When we consider this knowledge necessarily follow the heartfelt thanks prosperity, and patience in adversity, and also a unique Security for the future. The abject poverty is to ignore God's providence; And, on the contrary, La Suma Happiness is to know.
A. Just as God's providence generally reaches all creatures, and also more especially cares for his church and all things for the sake of it: Pr. 2: 7, 8; Am . 9: 8, 9; 1 Tim. 4:10; Ro. 8:28; Eph. 1:11, 22; 3:10, 11, 21; Is . 43: 3-5, 14.
HOW CAN WE KNOW GOD triumph over evil?
If we return to the Arminian statement that evil is not according to the will of God, another problem arises: if all the evil in the world now came to the world even without God wanted him, how can we be sure God ultimately triumph over evil? Of course, God says in the Bible that he will triumph over evil.
But if to start could not prevent enter his universe, and if it was so against his will, and if he is unable to predict the outcome of future events that include free or demonic decisions of human beings, angelic, how, then, we can be sure that God's declaration that triumph over evil is real in itself? Perhaps this is just an optimistic something that (according to the Arminian view) God can not know prediction.
Far from the "incredible freedom of concern about the future" Calvinists have because they know that an omnipotent God "all things work together for good" (Rom 8: 28), the Arminian position seems logically push to a deeply rooted on the final outcome of the story anxiety.
These last two objections to the wrong make us realize that, although there may be difficulties in thinking about the concept reformed evil ordered God and is completely under the control of God, there is much more serious difficulties point Arminian view that God did not have evil and even did not want, and therefore there is no doubt that is under the control of God certainty.
Since we are finite in what we understand, we will inevitably have some answers unanswered as to all biblical doctrine. However, on this issue matters Calvinists and Arminians must leave unanswered are very different. On the one hand, Calvinists must say they do not know the answer to the following questions:
1. Exactly how God can order Voluntarily do evil, yet that did not contain God Can Pouring A Guilt Of Evil.
2. Exactly how God can make us choose something Voluntarily.
As for both Calvinists they would say that the answer must be found in the perception of the infinite greatness of God, and knowledge of the fact that he can do much more than we could ever think possible.
So the effect of these unanswered questions is that it increases our appreciation of the greatness of God.
On the other hand, Arminians should leave unanswered questions about the knowledge of God the future, why he allows evil when it goes against their will, and if he certainly triumph over evil. The fact that they can not resolve these questions tends to diminish the greatness of God; His omniscience, His omnipotence and absolute reliability of its promises for the future.
And these unanswered questions tend to exalt the greatness of man (his freedom to do what God wants) and the power of evil (is and remains in the universe but God does not want).