Showing posts with label Excerpt from Book Review. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Excerpt from Book Review. Show all posts

Monday, October 14, 2013

2 of 2 ... How Does God Work in the World? 'excerpts' from Review: Understanding Theology (2012)

Bible Readers, Christians, Saints of God, & Bible Scholars I hope that you will study - examine these Scriptures for yourself.

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I am sharing an 'excerpt' from a Christian Book that I reviewed in the winter of 2012. Now understand that I have no Theology/Seminary teaching/training, so please examine the Scriptures.

1. God sovereignly rules & controls HIS creation (Psalm/Tehillim 47; Daniel 4:17), the doctrine of divine governance or guidance.

2. God preserves in existence what HE has called into existence (Acts 17:28; Colossians 1:17; Hebrews 1:3), the doctrine of preservation.

3. God works through HIS creation in order to carry out HIS plans: the doctrine of concurrence (God works in harmony, cooperation, or agreement with creation). HE controls the weather, & through it, HE provides rain that then nourishes vegetation, animals, & people (Psalm/Tehillim 135:7; 104:14; 147:8-18; Matthew 5:45). HE also works through people & events in history (Daniel 2:21; Jonah 1:15; 2:23; Acts 4:27-28; 17:26).

How does God govern the World? To what extent does HE control people & the events of history?

Two classical theological systems need to be introduced at this point: Calvinism & Arminianism.

Calvinists believe God meticulously control HIS creation down to the details. Arminians believe that God controls in a more general way that allows for genuine human free will.

Calvinism views centers on the scriptural portrait of God as all-powerful, reigning over everything, doing "whatever pleases HIM' (Psalm/Tehillim 135:6). The apostle Paul says HE "works out everything in conformity with the purpose of HIS will" (Ephesians 1:11). Thus God, who is holy & is never responsible for evil, nevertheless is in control of "accidents" (Job 1:21; 42:11), "catastrophes (Isaiah 45:7; Amos 3:6), controlling & working through evil & sin for HIS purposes (Genesis/Bereshith 50:20; Exodus 4:21; 7:3; 9:12; Romans 9:17 & hardening of Pharaoh's heart; I Samuel 16:14; Proverbs/Mishle 16:4; Isaiah 45:7; Amos 3:6).

Arminianism emphasizes the many biblical commands to trust (Psalm/Tehillim 115:9-11; Proverbs/Mishle 3:5; Isaiah 26:4), love (Deuteronomy 6:5; Matthew 22:37), & obey God (Deuteronomy 6:24-25; 9:23; John 14:15,21,23), along with plentiful warnings of judgment for those who do not (Leviticus 26:14-39; II Thessalonians 1:8).

Arminian theology stresses that evil & sin find their source in humans & angels who have freely chosen to rebel against God. HE allows sin, but HE does not cause or use sin.

Unconditional Election

Calvinists, who believe in unconditional election.

This is why God could say of Jeremiah, "Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart (Jeremiah 1:5).

Jesus said to HIS disciples, "You did not choose me, but I chose you & appointed you so that you might go & bear fruit."

The apostle Paul argues that God has the right to make HIS choices: "It does not therefore, depend on human desire or effort, but on God's mercy" (Romans 9:16). Probably the strongest biblical support for unconditional election comes from Romans 9:1-24.

I reviewed this book in the winter of 2012, & published it at my blogs. Bethany or Chosen Publishing sent me this book to review.

Darly Aaron (author of 'Understanding Theology in 15 Minutes a Day'), earned his MA at the University of Texas-Dallas, his ThM at Dallas Theological Seminary, & his PhD at the Graduate Theological Foundation. He spent fourteen years in pastoral ministry & now teaches at Northwestern College, where he is Professor of Biblical & Theological Studies.