Friday, September 14, 2007

School Time!

Many of you probably already know about the Omnibus course that I and my cousins are going through, but let me give you my opinion on it- It’s so totally AWESOME. No other course compares to it. I know I’m going to get so much out of it, because they teach on so much and because I have a teacher who really knows how to explain certain things and who is just plain old smart-my dad.

This week we went through the whole book of Genesis and studied on covenant, which is quite a coincidence because that is what dad has been teaching in his sermons. Yesterday we all came up with our own definition of what a covenant is…want to hear it? Good because here it is- “A covenant is a sacred and formal relationship between two or more people with clearly defined expectations and consequences.”
Today people replace the covenantal aspect of God with individual relationships, but all throughout the Bible God makes covenants. It’s so awesome!

I have gotten so much more out of Genesis than I use to. God put so much depth into the first 3 chapters of the whole Bible, it’s amazing. We had some really good talks on how long are the creation days (7th day creationist vs. Theistic evolutionist), the flood, and where did all the races come from. They have been some very enlightening conversations.

During all that we also have to be reading a book called “Chosen by God” by R.C. Sproul. This book has been even more enlightening than you can image in.

Chp.1- Defining predestination (the topic of the book). Predestination has something to do with the relationship of our ultimate destiny, and that something is done about our destiny before we are even born. Other words- our destiny-the kingdom or eternal destruction-is decided by God, not only before we even get there, but before we were ever born. Pretty good...aye?
He then went into how all churches hold to some form of predestination, but the key question that they all argue on is this: On what basis does God make that decision? Do our individual lives have any bearing on that decision? How we answer these will determine if our view is reformed or not.

Chp.2-This was the best chapter, and I was able to get two apologetics cards out of it-sweet! First he talked about the sovereignty of God. God is the supreme authority over all authorities; all other authorities exist either by God’s command or by God’s permission.
If there is any part of creation outside of His sovereignty, then He is not sovereign and if He’s not sovereign, then God is not God. If we reject divine sovereignty then we must hold to atheism (at this part I couldn’t put the book down). We must hold to divine sovereignty, yet do it in such a way as not to violate human freedom. Human freedom and evil are under God’s sovereignty, He does not violate them.
At this point he went into the sovereignty of God and the problem of evil. Answering the question how could God create evil (Cat. 1 G.Q.- 3, for all you speech people J) But this post is already getting to long and you’re probably about to go back to whatever you were doing. So I’ll just say this- We know that God is sovereign, because God is God. Therefore we must conclude that God foreordained sin and that it was a good decision. What else is there to conclude?

Now I’m not saying that evil is good. God’s allowing evil is good, but the evil he allows is still evil. Hope that sums it up for you.

Again I need to draw to a close but I can’t, there is so much I want to say. By now the question is raised-“How can I have free-will when God is all sovereign and has already predestined my fate?” They do seem contradicting; many people try to come up with analogies to explain it. One is they are like parallel lines that come together in eternity. Of course if parallel lines ever came together they wouldn’t be parallel.

We cannot affirm that they are contradicting or else we would be saying that the Holy Spirit is an author of confusion-which is impossible.
Here is the answer-it is not freedom that is cancelled out by God’s sovereignty, it is autonomy that cannot exist with supreme sovereignty. We are free but there is a limit to our freedom and the limit is God’s sovereignty.

Ok this is the end now, I won’t write any more on this book, until the next post, even though I am sorely tempted too.

If you have made it this far you are remarkable.

But before you leave please tell me what you think about God being covenantal, and about the doctrine of predestination?

Me and Natalie at Speech club


Grandma of Many said...

Kaila - you totally amaze me with this post. I agree with the covenantal aspect and the doctrine of predestination. I can sure see that this class is taking you guys closer to God and giving you a firm foundation and can tell that you are understanding what you are studying. I love you,

Grandma Dot

Aaron Sleadd said...

Hey, "Chosen by God" sounds like an awesome book! You made me want to read it!
Great post, too!

To answer your question about what I think about God being "covenantal", I think it shows off God's incredible grace; that he would make covenants with us sinners at all and grant us eternal life through faith. I think it's also an example that He is an orderly God.

What do I think about the doctrine of predestination? I think that it's awesome, that it's totally biblical, and that it's yet another doctrine that points us to see the power and might of our God; His total Sovereignty.

I know a lot of people chaff at that doctrine because they don't think it's fair; as in God ordaining that some would be saved and others would be condemned from before they had a chance to "decide".

I would agree with the part that it isn't fair because I deserve Gods Holy wrath completely and yet he gives me salvation. The fact is, we all deserve to be condemned yet God chooses to "have mercy on whom He will have mercy".

So the people who chaff at this doctrine tend to react with ingratitude rather than with thankfulness, as they should.

Romans 9 is a great chapter on predestination and handles the "unfairness" issue really well.

Excellent post!

Nathan said...

I have a great article from Greg Koukl on addressing the 'problem of evil'... If I remember, I'll try and bring it to speech club next week.

Kaila Anderson said...

Yeah totally bring it Nathan. I would love to read it.

I know what you mean by the doctrine of predestination seeming unfair...I thought so to for awhile. But reading this book has totally made me love the doctrine. I see that God is not obligated to show any love towards us but He does. He bestows mercy on some and justice on others. It's so AWESOME!
The books is so good, I could go on forever :) It's also so easy to follow along with...not one of those really meaty books that make wonder what its talking about half the time :)
You should totally read it, then tell me what you thought about it :)