Wednesday, May 17, 2006

I Was Predestined To Write This

I kinda gave up on theology after Seminary. That's not to say that I do not like studying God, but dwelling on dispensational/covenant, post/a/pre millenial, post/pre trib. rapture wore me out. I do think it is important to study and search Scriptures regarding any type of theology but not at the expense of your own personal walk, and that is what started happening to me. Instead, I have enjoyed the last year or so of strictly focusing on personal application of the Word (how it is speaking to me; in today's world, not necessarily looking through the lens of the author and/or audience) and resting in simplistic ideas of the Bible, such as His love, grace, etc. It has been so rewarding and fruitful for me.

But now I am back in the theology fold....well, a little bit. God has placed some awesome people in my life and some unique circumstances that has required me to dig deep into God's essence again. Recently, God has put numerous people in my life asking me my opinion on predestination/free will. Some of these people are new to this idea so my words have had to be delicate. Yet, as most of you know I am very opinionated...having said that though, I am not very dogmatic in a lot of my opinions. For instance, regarding eschatology, I am not set on my beliefs. I am open to new ideas and God's leading. So, back to predestination/free will. I will state in this entry my viewpoint on it, however, because of space issues I will not be able to go very in-depth with it. If someone wants to ask me something, just email me. But I would also recommend inquiring of people like John Lynch, John DelHousaye, Brett Berger, Josh Johnson, etc. etc. for different viewpoints and/or better knowledge altogether.

Here it is:

"God's predetermination is in accord with His foreknowledge. 1 Peter 1:2 declares that we are chosen according to the foreknowledge of God. That is to say, there is no chronological or logical priority of election and foreknowledge. As a simple being, God's attributes are one with His indivisible essence. Hence, both foreknowledge and predetermination are one in God. Thus, whatever God knows He determines, and whatever He determines He knows. (God knowingly determining and determingly knowing from all eternity everything that happens, including all free acts.) 1 Peter 1:2 teaches not the logical order of election in relation to foreknowledge, but the fact that they are coextensive. In other words, all aspects of the eternal purpose of God are equally timeless. For if God is an eternal being, then His thoughts must be coordinate and unified."

Or, simply put... haha

"Whatever He forechooses cannot be based on what He foreknows. Nor can what He foreknows be based upon what He forechooses. Both must be simultaneous and coordinate acts of God. Thus God knowingly determined, and determingly knew from all eternity everything that would come to pass, including all free acts. Hence, there are truly free actions and God determined they would be such. God then, is totally sovereign in the sense of actually determining what occurs and yet humans are completely free and responsible for what they choose."

This is called Thomism. It makes sense to me. It reconciles Scriptures that talk about God's election of those who follow Him and Scripture that tells us He wishes all would come to know Him and His love for the whole world. This idea is hard to fathom, mostly because our finite minds cannot wrap around an infinite God, but if it could we would be God. I like the mystery.


Sarah said...

I fully agree with you! Good work, Grant!

Joshua said...

Dang G! You are a lot smarter than you look bro... Just kidding. I think you did a good job of describing a very difficult theological topic. Freaking Liberation theologist:)

Ordinary Radical said...

HaHa. Know your role, you Calvinistic, Eldredge lover/apologist... haha!!!