Wednesday, July 10, 2024

Suffering, judgement, free will, and God’s sovereignty

Biblical Christians understand that suffering and judgement are the result of human sinfulness and self-conscious choices.

God *desires* all to repent and turn from evil. His *nature* requires that evil be judged and punished commiserate with the scale of the offense.

*Rebellion against an eternal and perfectly holy Sovereign merits eternal consequences.*

God’s glory is revealed in His just condemnation of the offenders and that mercy is graciously given according to His mysterious will to *anyone, at all*.

Biblical Christians do not hold to hard determinism - that is, the belief that all events and human actions are predetermined by prior causes, leaving no room for free will.

We believe that “God is sovereign, Man is responsible.”

And just like wave-particle duality in quantum physics or the Banach-Tarski Paradox in mathematics, it is a theological antinomy we don’t fully understand, yet see clearly laid out in Scripture. 

Biblical references (supplied by AI):

1. Suffering and judgment as a result of human sinfulness:

   - Romans 5:12, Genesis 3:16-19, Galatians 6:7-8

2. God's desire for all to repent:

   - 2 Peter 3:9, 1 Timothy 2:3-4, Ezekiel 18:23

3. God's nature requiring judgment of evil:

   - Habakkuk 1:13, Romans 2:5-6, Revelation 20:12-13

4. Eternal consequences for rebellion:

   - Matthew 25:46, 2 Thessalonians 1:9, Revelation 20:15

5. God's glory in judgment and mercy:

   - Romans 9:22-23, Ephesians 1:5-6

6. God's sovereignty and human responsibility:

   - Philippians 2:12-13, Acts 2:23, Proverbs 16:9, Romans 9:19-21

7. God's mysterious will:

   - Deuteronomy 29:29 "The secret things belong to the Lord our God, but the things revealed belong to us and to our children forever, that we may follow all the words of this law."

   - Isaiah 55:8-9 "For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways," declares the Lord. "As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts."

   - Romans 11:33-34 "Oh, the depth of the riches of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable his judgments, and his paths beyond tracing out! Who has known the mind of the Lord? Or who has been his counselor?"

   - Job 38-41 (God's response to Job, demonstrating the limits of human understanding)

Additional verses reinforcing these concepts:

   - Proverbs 19:21 "Many are the plans in a person's heart, but it is the Lord's purpose that prevails."

   - Jeremiah 18:1-10 (The potter and the clay analogy, showing both God's sovereignty and human responsibility)

   - Romans 9:14-18 (Discussion of God's mercy and justice)

These passages collectively support the theological framework outlined, demonstrating God's sovereignty, human responsibility, the necessity of judgment, eternal consequences for rebellion, and crucially, the mysterious nature of God's will that transcends full human comprehension. This comprehensive view aligns with the concept of theological antinomy, where apparent contradictions are held in tension, reflecting the limitations of human understanding in grasping divine truths.

No comments:

Post a Comment