Saturday, June 5, 2010
Who's in Control? Part 2
In Part 1, I proposed a dilemma. Who's in control: Us or God? I showed that both beliefs have biblical support and that believing either way would undermine biblical inerrency. In Part 2, I will provide a possible answer that preserves biblical inerrency, God's sovereignty, and human free will.
I want to start by discussing God's omniscience a bit. The Bible clearly teaches that God knows all things (see Part 1 for references). He also knows our hearts (Ps 44:21; 139:1-4). I would like to propose that, based on this, God knows how every person will react freely to any and all circumstances that may be presented to them before He created them. This is referred to as "middle knowledge". (For more information about the doctrine of God's omniscience, including His middle knowledge, I will refer you to William Lane Craig's podcast Defenders. You will want the episodes on the Doctrine of God.)
God has a specific plan for his creation. With His level of knowledge, He would know the precise combination of people and world He would need to create in order to accomplish His goals. God created a specific world, and He chose who He would place in that world based on His foreknowledge and desired goals.
Man therefore has complete control over his choices without God interfering, while God remains in complete control of the world He created.
Now, let me tie this back to another one of my posts, "Suffering Sucks...Or Does It?" God knew from the very beginning what pain and suffering we would have to go through. We can be assured that He, indeed, does have a plan for it. God promised that He would never leave us nor forsake us (Deut 31:6, 8); however, it is our choice whether or not we are willing to trust Him enough to lay our pain, suffering, and cares at His feet. If we can trust God this much, we can know that we can make our best decisions and know that God has a plan for them.
If you wish to investigate this more, I recommend:
Wikipedia's Article of "Middle Knowledge"
Why The Universe Is The Way It Is- Dr. Hugh Ross
Without a Doubt- Kenneth Samples