Tuesday, November 20, 2007

God's Sovereignty

I suggested yesterday that the view (among Christians) that God is no longer in control of the forces of nature (since the Fall of Adam) flies in the face of the scriptural evidence. A corollary of this view is the idea that the world itself--and the forces of nature--changed at the Fall. This is implied by the article I quoted when it said,
our world isn't the perfect one God created
and
The paradise the Creator originally intended became a world where the forces of nature kill and injure innocent people.
This, too, is unbiblical. The Bible presents a unified history of God's creation of this universe and its inhabitants and His subsequent activity in human history. Central to that entire story is the remarkable incarnation of the second Person of the Godhead and His sacrificial death and resurrection that redeemed fallen mankind. Nowhere does Scripture indicate or imply that God was taken offguard when the free moral agents He had created fell into sin and rebellion. The world today is not part of a cosmic "plan B." Instead, the Fall and the redemptive central act of history were both part of God's purposes in creation.

The view I'm espousing here, which I take to do much better justice to the whole of Scripture, has been called by NASA scientist Mark Whorton the "perfect purpose paradigm." In his excellent and readable book Peril in Paradise, Whorton contrasts this with the "perfect paradise paradigm," which I take to be that of the author of this magazine article.

There are, as I have said, a wealth of exegetical (interpretive) problems with the perfect paradise view. But what really bothers me is its theological problems--including its undermining of the Scriptures' continuous declaration of God's sovereignty over all things.

1 comment:

Av8torBob said...

For what it's worth, I second Rick's endorsement of "Peril in Paradise." It is a concise, well-written challenge to the paradigm I (and I think most of us) grew up with -- but that has no actual support in Scripture.

While that idea seems provocative, I found myself searching in vain for a Biblical reference to refute it. Without belaboring it here, the idea hinges on the fact that "very good" does not equal "perfect." What it does suggest is that the creation was ideally suited to the purpose for which God intended it.

Thanks, Rick, for bringing this subject up. Unfortunately, it is controversial to do so but I think the Bible speaks for itself ... and we all should be listening.