That’s right I said Tripped, not Tricked.
ooo, maybe it’s both. Tripped for Treat…
Rachel Held Evans is hosting an interesting dialogue.
She invited Justin Taylor (author of Between Two Worlds blog) to field questions on the doctrine of Calvinism. Justin is a prominent leader in the contemporary Christian Reformed movement, and has many visitors on his popular blog.
The dialogue that ensues when you talk about predestination and free will can get heated; but more than anything, it seem this exchange at Rachel’s blog is more thoughtful and interesting, than negative or abusive. I do encourage you to read more there, and to whet your appetite…Here is an excerpt:
Question for Justin, from Don:
I do not see how Calvinism does not lead to a kind of fatalism, if what will be will be and cannot be changed, why try to change anything? Just accept your fate. When I read Calvinists it seems like they keep trying to explain why their faith is NOT like this, even though from an outsider’s perspective it really IS like this. So any wisdom you can impart here would help me better understand.
Thanks for asking, Don.
The reason for the pushback you’re getting is that the Bible is opposed to “fatalism” (which makes our actions inconsequential for changing things and leads to resignation in the face of such powerlessness) but teaches and presupposes “compatiblism” (that God’s absolute sovereignty is compatible with genuine human freedom and responsibility).
D. A. Carson explains the biblical both/and:
1. God is absolutely sovereign, but his sovereignty never functions in such a way that human responsibility is curtailed, minimized, or mitigated.
2. Human beings are morally responsible creatures—they significantly choose, rebel, obey, believe, defy, make decisions, and so forth, and they are rightly held accountable for such actions; but this characteristic never functions so as to make God absolutely contingent.
I think we see this both/and approach on nearly every page of Scripture. Just a few examples: Gen. 50:19-20; Lev. 20:7-8; 1 Kings 8:46; Isa. 10:5; John 6:37-40; Acts 18:9-10; Phil. 2:12-13; Acts 4:23-31.
Or if you want just one example to examine, take a careful look at how things play out in this story of Paul being shipwrecked.
For more explanation of how genuine means and consequences function in a world of absolute sovereignty, this imaginary conversation may prove helpful.
I have wondered (until the ideas got so heady that it seemed pointless and too distracting from more important things–like Jesus), how the entrance of sin came into the world, if we are to take the Genesis Garden Story seriously. This idea of forbidden fruit and a human “Fall” (The primeval human couple and their disobedience in paradise that lead to a human sin nature for all their posterity (i.e. “us”), etc.) was really a Fall at all. If God planned for those two humans to Fall, wasn’t he then sort of tripping them?
It’s a bit to wrap one’s mind around, but I welcome your thoughts.