Thursday, May 16, 2002

Reprobation- I see that word and think about my mom's referring to some sleazebag as an "old reprobate," but the question Veritas raised (and got some answers to) was on whether those not predestined to Heaven are thus predestined to Hell. That's a good question that spins back into how much if any free will we have. My basic mental framework of God's interaction with the universe is that God allows the universe to operate by standard natural interactions except where He decides to intervene. At the end of the first of his posts, Burgwald suggest that "the damned are reprobated not 'before' their response to God's grace, but in view of them." In this view, God accepted the person's rejection. Are there people who He refused to accepted their refusal? I can see Him using the Holy Spirit to convince them of their folly and tweak their environment until they did come around. We don't know how much God is yanking those strings and we'd like to think that the majority of our actions are our own, but there's no good way to tell. He could have created a bunch of robots who were hard-wired to worship Him, but He didn't. He created us with the capacity to reject Him. If we accept the idea of an omnipotent, omnitemporal God, then anything that happens is happening because God hasn't stepped in to change it. I don't know why He doesn't except that He might desire an fairly unfettered love rather than one that was coerced. He may enjoy the spontaneity of a free-flowing world, choosing to have a "slow whistle" and allowing the universe to take its course more naturally. All this is putting me in the spot of trying to put God on the shrink's couch, which is dangerous terrain. There's too much evidence that God exists to ignore him. The evidence though the written word (both in and out of scripture) of Jesus' life, death and resurrection, as well as two millennia of living witness to God's hands-on power, point towards a God that is more than a create-and-sit-back deist construct. However, it also appears that miracles are the exception to the rule and that the world largely goes on in a naturalistic manner until such moments and places where God intervenes. My Bapticostal nature points me to the believe that God isn't out of the miracle business, but it also points me to the idea that He wants us to want to do the right thing without having Him to correct us every moment. He's willing to and wants us to ask for advice and correction. He has made himself approachable. However, he will not stoop down and drag everyone to himself. Having created a world where He can be rejected, He allows some to keep rejecting him rather than go back on His initial design. He does grieve those who reject Him, but that is the price He pays for creating a world where love is not automatic.

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