Saturday, August 12, 2006

Is God sovereign over man's will?

How would we answer?

"What is the point of praying to God, asking Him to intercede in people's affairs, if He cannot transgress man's free will? Why ask God to fatten an anorexic young girl since He would have to violate her free will to do so? Why pray for a young teenager who is pregnant out of wedlock to be deterred from getting an abortion if that is what she has set her mind to do? Why pray for a missionary's safety while he's ministering to bring the gospel to violent tribesmen if this would violate their free will?"

-- from "Not that Sovereign" by Patch Blakey (via Hoyt Sparks)


Jim1927 said...

I draw two circles, one outside the other. The iner circle is God's permissive will...the only area of man's relative freedom. The larger, outer circle as God's sovereign will. A circle no man can ever violate.

Is not prayer the vehicle to gain fellowship with God and to express our worship to Him?

I should never make demands on God, but I can certainly express my desires, and this may include the healing of some poor soul in difficulty. There is a difference. In the one I am demanding my free-will rights, sort of a slap in God's face, whilse the other is beseeching God's mercy within the confines of His sovereignty.



R. L. Vaughn said...

I agree that prayer is certainly a proper way to express our desires, and that God will answer according to His will.

One problem I see is what might be an extreme Arminian position, which seems to allow God no sovereignty over man's will. Yet, while holding this position they pray prayers which, if God is to answer, He must exercise at least some sovereignty over man's will. It seems (and perhaps I am misunderstanding) that in some folks' system God cannot just change someone, but He can coerce them (twist their arm til they say 'uncle', so to speak) into doing what He wants and they seem fine with that.

I hope I have expressed what I am thinking. It looks kind of jumbled up. Oh well, my brain is pretty jumbled up right now!

Jim1927 said...

I just remembered the story about the atheist who challenged God. "If there be a God, let Him strike me dead right now."
He held out his arms, waited and then intoned, "See. There is no God."
As he walked home along a lonely path a streak of lightning came down and struck him dead.

Man's free will cannot out do God's sovereignty. God just moves in His time, not man's.

I don't know if it is true, but it is truth.