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  • Samuel at Gilgal

    This year I will be sharing brief excerpts from the articles, sermons, and books I am currently reading. My posts will not follow a regular schedule but will be published as I find well-written thoughts that should be of interest to maturing Christian readers. Whenever possible, I encourage you to go to the source and read the complete work of the author.

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THE PLAN OF GOD

Loraine BoettnerLoraine Boettner:

The very essence of consistent theism is that God would have an exact plan for the world, would foreknow the actions of all the creatures He proposed to create, and through His all-inclusive providence would control the whole system.  If He foreordained only certain isolated events, confusion both in the natural world and in human affairs would be introduced into the system and He would need to be constantly developing new plans to accomplish what he desired.  His government of the world then would be a capricious patchwork of new expedients; He would at best govern only in a general way, and would be ignorant of much of the future.  But no one with proper ideas of God believes that He has to change His mind every few days to make room for unexpected happenings, which were not included in His original plan.  If the perfection of the divine plan be denied, no consistent stopping place will be found short of atheism …

History in all its details, even the most minute, is but the unfolding of the eternal purposes of God.  His decrees are not successively formed as the emergency arises, but are all parts of one all-comprehending plan, and we should never think of Him suddenly evolving a plan or doing something which He had not thought of before. (The Reformed Doctrine of Predestination)

The Infinite Power and Goodness of God

What limitations have you put upon God’s relationship to you? Is it wise for the finite to judge the infinite? According to A. A. Hodge:

God’s providence, in every part of it, must be an expression of his essential perfections, of infinite wisdom and power and of absolute righteousness and benevolence. Nothing can be a surprise to his intelligence, or too complicated for his wisdom, or too difficult for his power, or inconsistent with his perfect righteousness or love. These essential attributes of the great Ruler are abundantly manifested in all his works.

The whole universe and the entire course of its history as far as known to us, exhibit unquestioned evidence of limitless intelligence and power and of unmistakable righteousness and benevolence. This is witnessed to by the entire volume of human literature, that of philosophers, scientists and poets, as well as that of the special devotees of religion. Nevertheless, the course of providence from the point of view of man unilluminated by a supernatural revelation is full of anomalies to him utterly insoluble. The question is not whether the face of nature and the course of providence give evidence of the intelligence, power, righteousness and goodness of God this is admitted by all sober men but the true question is, as put by John Stuart Mill in his posthumously published Essay on Theism, “Are the facts of nature and the history of events, as we know them, possibly reconcilable with the belief that the Creator and Controller of the world is at the same time infinite in his wisdom and in his power and in his righteousness and in his goodness?”

Mr. Mill is assured that this reconciliation is impossible in view of the awful prevalence of moral and physical evil. He is sure that God must be limited either in his wisdom or his power or his benevolence, and is inclined to think that he is limited in all, and upon the whole, with an imperfect standard and a limited ability, strives to do as well as he can.

The apparent incongruousness of the facts, and hence the difficulty of the problem, we admit. But we have seen God because we have seen Christ, and we have learned to read all the course of providence in the light of the Cross. Since the baptism of Pentecost we have been convicted of sin and of a guilt we are utterly unable to gainsay [deny] or remove. We have been convinced that the finite can never measure the Infinite, and that self-convicted sinners can never judge the integrity of the All Holy.

In the light of Calvary we have an impregnable assurance that the Father of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ is unlimited in wisdom and in power, and that he can do no wrong. Bowing our heads in unquestioning submission to his sovereign rights and with confidence in his absolute perfection, we exclaim in the face of all apparent anomalies, [“Oh, the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are his judgments and how inscrutable his ways! For who has known the mind of the Lord, or who has been his counselor? Or who has given a gift to him that he might be repaid? For from him and through him and to him are all things. To him be glory forever. Amen.” (Romans 11:33-36 ESV)] (Popular Lectures on Theological Themes)

Creating God In The Image Of Man

Quoting Marvin L Lubenow:

The real issue in the creation/evolution debate is not the existence of God. The real issue is the nature of God. To think of evolution as basically atheistic is to misunderstand the uniqueness of evolution. Evolution was not designed as a general attack against theism. It was designed as a specific attack against the God of the Bible, and the God of the Bible is clearly revealed through the doctrine of creation. Obviously, if a person is an atheist, it would be normal for him to also be an evolutionist. But evolution is as comfortable with theism as it is with atheism. An evolutionist is perfectly free to choose any god he wishes, as long as it is not the God of the Bible. The gods allowed by evolution are private, subjective, and artificial. They bother no one and make no absolute ethical demands. However, the God of the Bible is the Creator, Sustainer, Savior, and Judge. All are responsible to Him. He has an agenda that conflicts with that of the sinful humans. For man to be created in the image of God is very awesome. For God to be created in the image of man is very comfortable.

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