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God’s Sovereignty and Man’s freewill Does God control every event? If so how does man have free will?. God’s Sovereignty and Man’s freewill Calvinism In this view God controls every detail but also man is responsible for his actions.
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Does God control every event?
If so how does man have free will?
In this view God controls every detail but also man is responsible for his actions.
Wayne Grudem in Systematic Theology defines God’s Providence (God’s ongoing relationship to his creation) as follows: God is continually involved with all created things in such a way that he (1) keeps them existing and maintaining the properties with which he created them: (2) co-operates with created things in every action, directing their distinctive properties to cause them to act as they do; and (3) directs them to fulfil his purposes.
B) The importance of human actions
We are still responsible for our actions
Our actions have real results and do change the course of events
God wants us to pray
C) The two working together
Joseph Gen 37:11; 45:5, 8; 50:20
Jesus Acts 4:27; 2:23
1 How can a Holy God ordain that we do evil and God not be blamed for evil
2 How can God cause us to choose something yet we responsible
In order to have true freewill God cannot cause or plan our voluntary choices. Therefore God’s control of history must not include every specific detail of every event that happens, but that God responds to human choices is such a way to ensure his ultimate purposes are accomplished.
1) God’s plan rejected (Boulema)
a) Luke 7: 29(All the people, even the tax collectors, when they heard Jesus' words, acknowledged that God's way was right, because they had been baptised by John. 30But the Pharisees and experts in the law rejected God's purpose for themselves, because they had not been baptised by John.)
b) Eph 1:9-12 Are all events determined by God’s will?
Works or energy
We need to plug into the right energy. Cf Col 1:29; 2 Thess 2:9; Eph 1:11, 19-20 etc; Eph 2:1-2
What are the all things? The all things are the same as verse 10. Does this include Satan and the lost? Cf Col 1:16-20
Ps 139:16 NIV All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.
AV Thine eyes did see my substance, yet being unperfect; and in thy book all my members were written, which in continuance were fashioned, when as yet there was none of them.
If God controls all things then the battle between God and evil is a fake in which God directs both sides.
Chosen to be Apostles John 6:70
Judas failed Acts 1:25
b) Nation of Israel
Task to prepare the way for the Messiah
National election was not a pledge of national salvation Rom 2 and 9
c) Election of Christ
Isa 42 and Isa 49
d) Election of Church
Not chosen to be put into Christ but chosen in him
One of the main objections to the Arminian view concerns the knowledge of God. How can God know the future and how can prophecy be fulfilled?
a)Outside time view
God is eternal therefore outside time. He can then see how people will freely choose and so can plan accordingly.
Choices are not determined by God, but he knows them anyway, because he knows all future possibilities and he knows how each free creature will respond in any set of circumstances.
Given a certain set of circumstances God could bring about what he wants. Example William Craig
c) The Future is partially open. (Open view theism)
Example Gregory Boyd (www.gregboyd.org)
God does not know all decisions
Our characters solidify over time thus then knows how will respond
God controls but not against our moral will
Cyrus, Pharaoh, Samson
Some key events are fixed
God responds to us in love making fresh good plans for us. He is not controlling us with a big stick against our will but calls us, woos us, and leads us like a Middle East shepherd.
c) At other times he tells us that he is surprised at how things turned out because he expected a different outcome (Isa. 5:3–7; Jer. 3:67; 19–20).
d) In several passages the Lord explicitly states that he did not know that humans would behave the way they did (Jer. 7:31; 19:5; 32:35).
e) The Lord frequently tests his people to find out whether they’ll remain faithful to him (Gen. 22:12; Exod. 16:4; Deut. 8:2; 13:1–3; Judges 2:20–3:5; 2 Chron. 32:31).
f) The Lord sometimes asks non-rhetorical questions about the future (Num. 14:11; Hos. 8:5) and speaks to people in terms of what may or may not happen (Exod. 3:18–4:9; 13:17; Jer. 38:17–18, 20–21, 23; Ezek. 12:1–3).