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Thursday, February 14, 2008

Master Mentor #9

There is something in my mind that has a problem with Calvinism. I have read many of this writings and studied them. I have had discussions in class and with other students. But there is something about the idea of predestination that my mind struggles to get its arms around. I guess, I have a problem with the idea of God determining the fate of a man. Or more specifically, I have a problem with the idea of a loving and irresistible God determining that I will never know Him, salvation or the peace that comes from a relationship with Him. I get the whole irresistible grace idea… but I struggle with the thought that some have no chance to experiencing it. Maybe it’s the “American freedom” that is lodged in my bones (since I have grown up in this country where freedom is such an abiding thought that it is impossible for this thought to not flow over to my relationship with God) that I find it difficult to know what to do with passages of Scripture from God’s Word that seem to lean otherwise than in the direction of freewill.
I liked the first part of this chapter because CS deals with this argument straight on. And as I was reading it, it made me think of our cat “Spot” that we had to put down a couple of weeks ago. We are considering adopting a new cat or kitten (preferably the kitten aspect). But in thinking about this adoption, it seems rather silly to consider the idea of adopting a cat, spending the money to feed it and take care of it if there is no possibility of it ever loving me (in the way that cats and dogs and other animals can ‘love’ a human being) or at the very least appreciating me (in that animialish kind of way). To me, that would be a total waste.
It would seem the same with humans. It would seem like a huge waste of time for God to have created all of this and all of mankind, spending countless hours (as we understand it) designing and setting up this up, only to be rewarded with a fraction of the whole who worship him but really don’t have a “choice.” Instead, they worship because he has set it up that way.
But then I’m stuck with the idea of how can a God who set it up and designed it and is completely sovereign, not be a God who knows and understands the future and the outcome of every man? And so I find myself stuck. But I tend to find myself stuck more in terms of talking myself into predestination (Calvinism) than into free will (Arminianism). I tend to find myself more on that side of the fence than on the other side. And I guess it’s that part of me that resonates with what CS says on page 53… “The happiness which God designs for His higher creatures is the happiness of being freely, voluntarily united to Him and to each other in an ecstasy of love and delight compared with which the most rapturous love between a man and a woman…”

Jim

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