Sunday, 4 August 2013

God Determines All Things?

The following blog post isn't going to be a long one as I don’t think it really needs much explaining! The verse within the post is short and is self explanatory to all who read it. But I am here to look at the verse and how it applies to the determinist Calvinists view on the sovereignty of God.

First of all I feel it is important that I address what I mean by the determinist Calvinist! I mean a Calvinist who believes that humans have no free will, that God turns the heart irresistibly, and God causes all things to happen. The all encompassing determinist is thankfully still rare; however the classic Calvinist isn't far from the group I am addressing in this blog post.

The verse:

Jeremiah 19:5 (KJV)
They have built also the high places of Baal, to burn their sons with fire for burnt offerings unto Baal, which I commanded not, nor spake it, neither came it into my mind:

There are some who believe that this verse teaches that God didn’t know what was going to happen in this situation, the problem with this view is that it does not consider the whole counsel of scripture. For example we are told crystal clearly that God knows the end from the beginning:

Psalm 139:4 (ESV)
Even before a word is on my tongue,
    behold, O Lord, you know it altogether.

Scripture cannot contradict scripture, therefore we can say with confidence that the interpretation that this verse is Jeremiah is speaking of God not knowing something is false. Therefore we can explore other possible interpretations of the passage.

The determinist has real trouble with this verse; their view of the all encompassing God who determines everything to come to pass suddenly falls apart. Here we have a verse that is crystal clearly saying that God did not:
A)    command what happened at Baal,
B)    did not speak it,
C)    it didn’t come into his mind.

God cannot be saying here that He didn’t know something was going to happen for that would contradict Psalm 139:4, so what does Jeremiah 19:5 actually mean? It means that God did not desire or cause what happened at Baal.

Why did the people at Baal do what they did? Is it because a sovereign God determines absolutely all things that happen in each individuals life and therefore causes all things (without exception) to occur? Well according to this verse absolutely not, God did not determine this to happen, He did not want it.

Soon I will be looking at the story of Jesus and Jerusalem in Matthew 23, so for now I will leave you with that verse to ponder until the next blog post:

Matthew 23:37 (KJV)
 O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets, and stonest them which are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not!

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