Archive for the ‘God's sovereignty’ Category

There is no attribute of God more comforting to his children than the doctrine of Divine Sovereignty

October 8, 2011

There is no attribute of God more comforting to his children than the doctrine of Divine Sovereignty. Under the most adverse circumstances, in the most severe troubles, they believe that Sovereignty hath ordained their afflictions, that Sovereignty overrules them, and that Sovereignty will sanctify them all. There is nothing for which the children of God ought more earnestly to contend than the dominion of their Master over all creation—the kingship of God over all the works of his own hands—the throne of God, and his right to sit upon that throne. On the other hand, there is no doctrine more hated by worldlings, no truth of which they have made such a foot-ball, as the great, stupendous, but yet most certain doctrine of the Sovereignty of the infinite Jehovah. Men will allow God to be everywhere except on his throne. They will allow him to be in his workshop to fashion worlds and to make stars. They will allow him to be in his almonry to dispense his alms and bestow his bounties. They will allow him to sustain the earth and bear up the pillars thereof, or light the lamps of heaven, or rule the waves of the ever-moving ocean; but when God ascends his throne, his creatures then gnash their teeth; and when we proclaim an enthroned God, and his right to do as he wills with his own, to dispose of his creatures as he thinks well, without consulting them in the matter, then it is that we are hissed and execrated, and then it is that men turn a deaf ear to us, for God on his throne is not the God they love. They love him anywhere better than they do when he sits with his sceptre in his hand and his crown upon his head. But it is God upon the throne that we love to preach. It is God upon his throne whom we trust.

 

Charles Spurgeon

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God’s Sovereignty

August 24, 2009

…an omnipotent God visits upon sinful men and nations just and inevitable punishments…There is not therefore the smallest accident which may seem unto men as falling out by chance, and of no consequence, but that the same is caused by God to effect somewhat else by ; yea, and oftentimes to effect things of the greatest worldly importance, either presently or in many years after, when the occasions are either not considered or forgotten.

Sir Walter Raleigh, History of the World, in Antonia Fraser, Cromwell, p.307

see

THE HISTORY OF THE WORLD. 

God’s Transcendence – Anselm

August 24, 2009

…neither yesterday nor to‑day nor to‑morrow thou art; but simply, thou art, outside all time. For yesterday and to‑day and to‑morrow have no existence, except in time; but thou, although nothing exists without thee, nevertheless dost not exist in space or time, but all things exist in thee. For nothing contains thee, but thou containest all.

Anselm (1033-1109) Proslogion, ch.19

The Story of the Taoist Farmer

August 23, 2009

This farmer had only one horse, and one day the horse ran away. The neighbors came to condole over his terrible loss. The farmer said, “What makes you think it is so terrible?”

A month later, the horse came home–this time bringing with her two beautiful wild horses. The neighbors became excited at the farmer’s good fortune. Such lovely strong horses! The farmer said, “What makes you think this is good fortune?”

The farmer’s son was thrown from one of the wild horses and broke his leg. All the neighbors were very distressed. Such bad luck! The farmer said, “What makes you think it is bad?”

A war came, and every able-bodied man was conscripted and sent into battle. Only the farmer’s son, because he had a broken leg, remained. The neighbors congratulated the farmer. “What makes you think this is good?” said the farmer.

As told by Executive editor, Elise Hancock, in the Johns Hopkins Magazine, November 1993, page 2, in section entitled Editor’s Note. Source
But for the Christian: “And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.” (Romans 8.32). We don’t know why suffering has come, but we know who has brought it about and that he has done it for our ultimate good (conformity to Christ).

God’s Freedom

August 22, 2009

Whatever human freedom means, Divine freedom cannot mean indeterminacy between alternatives and choice of one of them. Perfect goodness can never debate about the end to be attained, and perfect wisdom cannot debate about the means most suited to achieve it. The freedom of God consists in the fact that no cause other than Himself produces His acts and no external obstacle impedes them– that His own goodness is the root from which they all grow and his own omnipotence the air in which they all flower.

C.S. Lewis, The Problem of Pain, 1957, fontana, Collins, p.23

Man-centred theology that plays up human freedom by necessity limits God’s freedom.

History and Human Responsibility

August 22, 2009

We believe there is only one inevitability in history, the one we create.

Albert Camus speaking of the situation in Europe in Nov. (?) 1939

God’s Sovereignty, our responsibility

August 22, 2009

…our choices fall within the order of the causes which is known for certain to God and is contained in His foreknowledge–for, human choices are the causes of human acts. It follows that He who foreknew the causes of all things could not be unaware that our choices were among those causes which were foreknown as the causes of our acts.

St. Augustine, The City of God, (ed.) Bourke, New York, 1958, p.106-7, in Paul Helm, The Providence of God, IVP, 1993, p.23