Tuesday, October 16, 2012

The Beauty of God's Absolute Sovereignty (Or More Reasons To Not Be an Open Theist)

As I was working through different thinking experiments concerning God's sovereignty (as I recommend anyone studying theology should do), I realized the absolute bankrupt theology of Open Theism. God's absolute sovereignty in salvation and in this earth has been constantly reaffirmed. However some people, I think, are worried about me. Apparently they haven't read what I wrote carefully.

So let me say again, CLEARLY, that I am a Calvinist. I affirm ABSOLUTE ORTHODOXY CONCERNING GOD, THE BIBLE ETC. Me and Johnny Calvin could hang out and not have any difference in our theology. Just because I was interested in a particular theology and entertained the idea does not mean I actually taught or believed it. I leaned toward it (meaning that I saw their view and acknowledged its strengths). However, at no point did I say "Ok, I am an open theist." If anything I toyed with a more neutral "traditional baptist" position which was more like 3 point Calvinism. However, I realized the ultimate failure of this position to square with Scripture too. So for those reading my blog, let me say clearly, I am REFORMED in my theology. I WAS RESEARCHING AND TOYING WITH THESE OTHER POSITIONS BUT NEVER ACCEPTED THEM.
Hopefully, that helps. If someone is still tweaked, then read this story and then come talk to me.

One of the problems with open theism is how we approach tragedy. Last week I lost a student in a motorcycle wreck. It was sudden, unexpected and heartbreaking. Let's look at how this breaks down.

Open Theism would say that God did not know (although could probably predict to a certain extent) the death of my student. It would say that God is heartbroken and but could not have prevented it due to his desire for mankind to have absolute freedom. Some OT would say that Satan perhaps was behind his death but God allowed it because he has given Satan freedom as well.
While I understand that open theism attempts to get God off the hook, I just don't see how it actually does that. God still limits his sovereignty to some extent. And at the end of the day, God is still to "blame." That is just the truth.

I think the more biblical idea is to own that God does predestine stuff and ordain stuff (even tragedy) for his glory. It just is like that. The Bible provides ample witness to that. So it is our duty, not to get God off the hook, but to humble ourselves under His almighty hand.

The family who lost their son found comfort in the fact that God not only knew, but permitted this tragedy. They found it beautiful that God could use something horrible to elevate His glory. Several people were saved through this tragedy. Perhaps more awesome was that the family said, "We know God is good and in control."

You see, the god of open theism is in control...but in a radically different way. He is reactive at times and proactive at other times. He will is thwarted and he doesn't always get what he wants. In other words, God may have wanted to prevent the accident, but simply was unable to or (because he loves human autonomy) UNABLE to prevent it from happening.

Now technically, this does maintain God's sovereignty because OT states that God sovereignly allows himself to be limited.

But no matter which way you slice it, God is still responsible and limited.

That isn't God. Sorry.

God is both responsible and limitless. He ordains things for his good pleasure. And while we may not understand, we don't need to. Why? Because God is God. Who are we that God should be held responsible to us?

In other words, when we attempt to get God off the hook, we elevate ourselves. God doesn't need that though.

In tragedy, we don't need to elevated. We need God to be elevated.

And that is, again, why I affirm Calvinism and orthodoxy.

1 comment:

  1. 1. I saw some book reviews on Amazon and thought "This reminds me of Daniel." Turns out they were in fact yours. This made me very happy.

    2. Back in the day, I remember that I just could not believe that you affirmed as detestable a position as Calvinism. By the time I had come around to that detestable position, I remember you had left the fold. Glad to see you're back.

    Griffin Klemick