Items posted on 31 May 2010
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Proverbs 20.24, 21.1 & Ephesians 1.3-6
Predestination
Posted: 31 May 2010 in Ephesians, Proverbs

“Man’s goings are of the LORD; how can a man then understand his own way?”

“The king’s heart is in the hand of the LORD, as the rivers of water: he turneth it whithersoever he will”

“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ: According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love: Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will, To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved.”

The above are, of course, just three of the many allusions to predestination/preordination to be found in the Bible. It is easy enough to understand why people have difficulty with this doctrine, and the God revealed in the Bible is probably not one we would invent for ourselves. Nevertheless, God does not leave things to chance, and least of all did he leave the death and resurrection of Jesus to chance. Which means the treachery of Judas must have been preordained.

And yet Judas is not thereby relieved of moral responsibility for his actions. Matthew 25.31-46 makes it clear that we will similarly be held accountable for our actions, even though we too are subject to God’s predestination. It is very difficult to see how those two themes can be reconciled, but the fact that they are both to be found in the Bible requires us to embrace both of them – holding them in a creative tension. It is not open to us, as it is to atheists, to say that we can’t understand it, and therefore it can’t be true. We are the ones who must live with Mystery (capital ‘M’).

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Tags: human responsibility, predestination, preordination