"Thanks and thanks again to Him who offers to the man whom the sorrows of life have assaulted and left naked–offers to him the fig leaf of the Word with which he can cover his wretchedness." -Søren Kierkegaard

Determinism, Party Chats, and Musings About God’s Offer

Posted in Theological by matt on Monday, February 2, 2009

I have a question that isn’t even close to rhetorical: If God offers people salvation yet knows the outcome of their decision, does that undermine the integrity of His offer?

Let me clarify the question a bit. I was recently at a party and had a conversation about omniscience, sovereignty, and free will with a friend from my church. Great party conversation, right? We were both feeling pretty introverted, so we decided to sip our drinks, cloister ourselves in a corner,  and discuss abstract things that had absolutely nothing to do with all the jubilant superficializing around us. And, at some point, he asked me the aforementioned question. So here I am without an answer and choosing to cop-out by asking you guys.

It’s also worth mentioning that I’m specifically referring to salvation offered by God to the individual. A human’s redemption to God in Christ. I’m not even sure if I’m totally comfortable discussing salvation in wholly individualistic terms (and by that I mean I’m not), but for the sake of clarity we’ll just leave it there. The real difficulty lies in ones definition of God’s foreknowledge, or whatever you believe He has. If God “offers” but knows the outcome, did He really “offer”? That’s like sending a wedding invitation with the RSVP box already checked “No Attending”. Sorry, I’m full of wedding analogies these days. But if he offers and doesn’t know then is He really an all-powerful God?

I have and will continue reading the Scriptures on this, but I’m genuinely perplexed. Your thoughts?

Good Quote

Posted in Good Quotes, Stuff I'm Reading by matt on Sunday, November 16, 2008

The book I’m currently reading is an allegory called The Shack. It’s hard to describe, but my best shot is that it’s like a modern day, more philosophically-driven version of Pilgrim’s Progress. In the quote below God is “talking” (remember, it’s an uninspired, allegorical story) about man-made systems. If you know me you know my issues w/ systems…apparently this author shares my sentiments.

…I don’t create institutions; that’s an occupation for those who want to play God. So no, I’m not too big on religion…and I’m not very fond of politics or economics either. And why should I be? They are the man-created trinity of terrors that ravages the earth and deceives those I care about.

Put simply, these terrors are tools that many use to prop up their illusions of security and control. People are afraid of uncertainty, afraid of the future. These institutions, these structures and ideologies, are all a vain effort to create some sense of certainty and security where there isn’t any. It’s all false! Systems cannot provide you security, only I can.

What a statement! That Jesus – freedom incarnate – frees us from the illusion that freedom is the ability to do what you want; freedom is knowing Him and doing what He wants! May God free us to His own purposes and away from the illusion of security found in patriotism and religious activity.


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