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Sovereignty // Adam Walker Cleaveland

This post is a part of the Sovereignty of God Blog Series going on throughout the months of July and August. You can read about the series and see a schedule of the posts here. You can subscribe to all the posts here.

Adam Walker CleavelandToday’s post is from Adam Walker Cleaveland. Adam is a full-time Minister for Youth & Young Adults at Asbury United Methodist Church in Livermore, CA, and part-time Founder and Lead Designer for Cleave Design. Adam lives with his wife Sarah and dog Sadie, in the Bay Area. When Adam’s not online, he’s…who are we kidding…he’s always online. He blogs at Pomomusings and you can find him on Facebook and Twitter (@adamwc).


There have been times in my life when I was very comfortable with the idea of God being sovereign. It was reassuring – comforting even. And there are still times in my life today when I believe it’s helpful to think of God as one who “has it all together” – who is in control of God’s creation. I also think from a pastoral care perspective, there are times in people’s lives when they need to hear that amidst all of the turmoil, shifting sands and upheaval in their lives…they can at least look to God to be their solid “rock” – the one thing that is steady and watching over them, “in control.”

But when I look up the definition of sovereignty and see that it means “supreme power or authority”  – and when I imagine those terms being used by so many to describe the Living God – it just doesn’t sit as well with me anymore.

Perhaps it was when I first read Greg Boyd’s “God of the Possible” that my anti-TULIP feelings were given a bit more freedom to explore God’s nature. Perhaps it was getting the chance to write a paper on an “open” view of God during my first semester of seminary that allowed me to wrestle with these topics a bit more. Perhaps it was just my life experiences and hoping for something more than God as Puppeteer…

When I was in college and when I thought of God’s sovereignty, it was usually communicated in such a way that I thought God had my entire life planned out: my wife, my job….everything. One path. And if I stepped off that path…well, I didn’t WANT to think about that.

It was in the spring of my freshman year that I walked into Jerry Sittser’s office with one of the greatest and most challenging theological problems of my life: which summer camp should I work at…?

I had this sense that if I chose the “wrong” camp – God would say “screw you” and I’d be off on the wrong path, destined for the fiery pits of hell. Thankfully, Jerry talked some sense into me, and helped me to see that it didn’t even really MATTER where I chose. Rather, God would be with me in either of those situations; my faith and my spiritual life became more of a “Choose Your Own Adventure” book, rather than trying to search through the halls of the Library of Congress for “Adam Walker Cleaveland: The Life Story.”

I do believe God is sovereign, but I think when we place the emphasis there, we too often come out with a God who is stoic, static, unmovable and all-powerful to a fault. I think if we think of a more dynamic, organic, relationally-focused God who hopes for participation and openness between both God and creation – then perhaps we could be on a better path. It doesn’t mean we don’t trust in God’s sovereignty or uphold that as an important idea at the right time – it just means that it is not the only adjective that we should be using to describe God.

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  • http://www.iamlivingproof.org/ Joe Louthan

    “I had this sense that if I chose the “wrong” camp – God would say “screw you” and I’d be off on the wrong path, destined for the fiery pits of hell.”

    We chose the wrong path by the nature of us being born. We were destined for death the moment we were being threaded together by God in our mother’s womb. We were destined for the torments of hell by just one of our sins (James 2:10).

    Romans 3:10-12 (ESV) as it is written: “None is righteous, no, not one; no one understands; no one seeks for God. All have turned aside; together they have become worthless; no one does good, not even one.”

    You speak as though there was some naturally in you that would choose and seek and understand God in the first place when the Bible clearly says otherwise.

    Many modern day teachers (especially in my Sunday School classes) taught that God was going to wipe out all of creation but lo and behold, God was surprised to find this one man named Noah who was trying really hard to be good.

    Yet Genesis 6:8 states that Noah found favor in the eyes of the Lord or a better way of saying it, “Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord.”

    Where did that favor and grace come from?

    For all intents and purposes, Noah and his family should have very well been wiped out in the flood. Why was Noah saved by God? Obviously, nothing that Noah did. God ultimately states, “And I will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and will show mercy on whom I will show mercy” (Exodus 33:19 cf. Romans 9:15-16).

    Hence, as soon as Noah got off the boat, he built and sacrificed a burnt offering unto the Lord and it was pleasing to the Lord (Genesis 8:20-21). Noah’s heart wanted to give thanks and worship the only True God despite Noah being a wicked sinner himself (Genesis 9:21) and should have been wiped out with the rest of the world.

    If it is up to us to choose the right camp in order not to die then we are screwed and damned to hell with no hope whatsoever. That, in itself, makes God cruel and evil. When I read about God in the Bible, I see a God who so loving and compassionate and merciful and willingly and able and powerful enough to overcome my depraved and wicked self to save my soul from pit of despair and death.

  • Julia Smucker

    This reminds me of something I heard recently at the Mennonite Church convention, in which a mother-daughter preaching team presented four models of relating to the Holy Spirit (the first two being negative and the latter two being positive). The first was as a “relief pitcher” whom we send for as a last resort after trying to do everything ourselves. The second was the “Amish bench” where the preacher is selected at the last minute, giving the Spirit sole responsibility for the message (I think this reflects the sort of Calvinistic “sovereignty” you’re reacting to, Adam, in which case I agree with you). The third was my favorite, the EPR paradox in quantum physics, whereby two particles (or whatever they are) that have experienced a common birth retain so strong a connection that they each do exactly what the other is doing even if they’re light years apart. Or something like that. The fourth analogy, which was what your post really reminded me of, was that of a GPS tracking device that gives a person directions, and when one deviates from the given directions it says, “recalculating.” In other words, it doesn’t give up on you if you take a wrong turn.

    • http://pomomusings.com Adam Walker Cleaveland

      Julia – I love those analogies that you used – especially the GPS one. That’s exactly what I was feeling during this experience in my life. I love that. Thanks for that image.

  • http://thisiscory.com Cory

    My favorite part of God’s sovereignty is his ability to choose not to act in it.

  • http://approvedworkmanonterrafirma.blogspot.com/ ChrisP.

    There is a difference between exploring God’s nature, and re-inventing it.
    Is there fault to be found in the immutable God who just happens to be beyond perfection?
    You are creating the typical strawman here.
    The operative word is foreknowledge. He knows it all, which makes Him sovereign.
    Any variant of open theism is not scriptural.

    • http://manofdepravity.com Tyler

      Chris P-

      Where are you getting the idea that God knows everything? And then in turn that him knowing everything makes him completely sovereign? (not saying I disagree, just wondering where you are coming from there)

      • Chris P.

        I get the idea that God knows all from scripture. No God is omniscient who is not completely prescient.

        • http://www.thegodtheyneverknew.com Preston Nesselrotte

          Chris

          No God is omniscient who is not completely prescient.

          Open Theist such as myself NEVER deny that God knows all. What we believe is that God only knows that which is knowable. Since all knowledge is based upon facts, and since the future has not yet occurred, then future knowledge is not yet knowable or factual. According to OT we believe that the future is both open and partially determined. In other words, certain events such as prophecy, etc God can definitely providentially cause – but again this is the exception and not the rule. For the most part God allows the freewill actions of man to occur in order that they may freely choose to love him. Love cannot be forced, but must always be chosen.

  • http://mwalcher.auzigog.com Michael W

    this is about to get wild….

  • Thomas

    Paragraph 1: You state that, at one point in time, the idea of God’s sovereignty was comforting to you. You seem to imply that whether an idea is “comforting” or not is a criterion for that ideas truthfulness and usefulness. This seems like a strange criterion for truthfulness or usefulness, since, as Socrates once illustrated, the idea that a madman should put down a gun he has pointed at his own head might not be comforting to him, but it may nevertheless be very good for him.

    Paragraph 2: You assert that “supreme power and authority” is not an attribute fitting of divinity. You do not explain why you think that God shouldn’t be conceived of as supremely powerful or authoritative. You just seem to be allergic to the thought. . . .just because! This is not reasoning. It is a bald assertion of your opinion.

    Paragraph 3: You state that you don’t like TULIP. You don’t explain to us what TULIP means, or what you think it means. You just say you don’t like it and close with a sentence that says you don’t like the idea of God as a “puppeteer.” Is that what TULIP means? Who likes that anyway? That’s a pretty thin idea that you’d be hard-pressed to find in sophisticated minds of even those who support TULIP. You provide no more information to let us know you are aware of this fact. We are left to conclude that you don’t really know what those who support TULIP actually believe.

    Paragraph 4: The idea of God’s sovereignty was taught to you in college in such a way that you thought the path of your life is pre-determined, and that you still somehow maintain the freedom to step off of it. Strange. Logically, wouldn’t the path not have been pre-determined if you could have not taken it and suffered dire consequences? It seems that your college theologues, or you (or both), weren’t or aren’t very consistent in thinking these things through.

    Paragraph 5: You had to make a decision about something.

    Paragraph 6: You use your experience of having to make a decision to illustrate the twin facts that (a) we can make decisions; and (b) God will support us in the making and taking of thoughtful decisions. This is fine. But it doesn’t seem to bear directly on the question of God’s sovereignty. It’s not obvious how you think it does. You seem to think that this story means that God isn’t sovereign. But I can already think of several ways that your account of decision-making and God’s sovereignty could be reconciled. Such ways would involve an account of human and divine agency, and how the two are related.

    Paragraph 7: You make the bizarre claim that if we emphasize God’s sovereignty – a technical term which you have not defined in any sense in the entire “essay,” if one can call it that – then we must (!) end up with a God who is “stoic, static, unmovable and all-powerful to a fault.” You don’t explain why all of these things result from conceiving of God as sovereign, and you never tell us what sovereignty means. You then suggest that the solution to this “problem” (which at this stage doesn’t appear problematic) is to imagine “a more dynamic, organic, relationally-focused God who hopes for participation and openness between both God and creation.” And then you don’t explain what any of those things means. You close with the idea that we should use more than one adjective to describe God. That’s a completely uncontroversial idea. Every theologian ever to have written uses more than one adjective to describe God.

    This writing is extremely simplistic. It is basically incoherent and reveals a mind that has not actually struggled with any great thinker on the topic. The conceptions contained here have been formed loosely based on a few scattered experiences with half-wits.

    • http://manofdepravity.com Tyler

      I’ll let Adam write any sort of response to everything you’ve brought up. But I would like to say one thing just about long comments and negative comments. When you write long comments that contain zero affirmation of what was written or the person that wrote it, I think you lose quite a bit of strength in your argument. Especially with your last paragraph, pretty rude if you ask me, even if I think you raise some valid points.

      • Thomas

        Well, Tyler, of course you’re right that I lost rhetorical points for not ingratiating the audience. But I’m not really interested in scoring rhetorical points. And strictly speaking, strength of argument and tone are independent factors in the evaluation of the truth. Is it really deniable that Adam’s writing here is simplistic? I don’t think so (obviously). Was it rude to write that? Perhaps. But perhaps it is also rude in a very particular sense to presume the right to dismiss a vast tradition of thought with such glib pronouncements (“I just don’t feel like calling God powerful,” and the like) as Adam has given us, on the basis of which to judge his thought.

  • Pastor Nar

    Wow.

    What started out for me as an eagerness to read some fellow Christian’s thoughts on God’s sovereignty has literally become a pain the neck – literally … due to the argumentative tones and outright hostility found in some of the comments. Not that these few l-e-n-g-t-h-y comments were enough to engender such tension that I currently feel, they just served as trigger points reminding me of far too many similar conversations over the years.

    I am not privy to the guidelines that the guest authors may or may not have been given, but from reading the other contributions, it seems each writer is providing brief thoughts and/or experiences in regard to this topic … not an in-depth Scriptural treatise on the subject. If that is the case, no one should be confronted (I was going to say ‘accosted’ … but I guess I just did) for not doing so, as Adam was. Come to think of it, no one else sharing their thoughts/experiences have experienced this thus far. If I remember correctly, Scripture instructs us to be gentle and respectful in matters of teaching and even in correcting those who are in error. Insults and name-calling are not befitting a child of God, especially those who presume to teach or correct others.

    We must remember that God is God (now that’s Sovereignty!) – we’re not. Theology is but a mere STUDY OF GOD – yet sometimes were deify theology itself and enter into ‘attack mode’ when anyone dares question our assumptions, presumptions and conclusions. As ‘systematic’ as we make our theology out to be, we must realize that, like the Apostle Paul, “we know in part and prophesy in part” and we still “see but a poor reflection as in a mirror”. “Perfection” has yet to come. If this same apostle is to be believed, we have yet to “reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God.” In other words: we don’t understand it all, we don’t have it all ‘right’ … neither did the apostles, the early church, not even the Reformers.

    While I can only speak for myself in the following statement, I do believe it to be true for many others as well. My background, though varied, is heavily Reformed – yet there are points that I once believed whole-heartedly, but now do not. I guess you could say that I ‘dismissed’ them. The process of ‘releasing’ or ‘letting go’ of certain conclusions has never been easy, it is often painful and has never been done glibly. ‘Traditions of thought’ are often places of comfort, yet to be true to my understanding of Scripture and the heart of God, there are some places where I must part way with some traditions of thought. To quote a great Reformer: “I can do no other.”

    “… I think when we place *the emphasis there, we too often come out with a God who is stoic, static, unmovable and all-powerful to a fault. I think if we think of a more dynamic, organic, relationally-focused God who hopes for participation and openness between both God and creation – then perhaps we could be on a better path.” Personally, I would have added “total” or something along those lines at the “*” … but I thoroughly agree with Adam.

    Tyler – I apologize for writing such a l-e-n-g-t-h-y comment … sincerely – but the tension is leaving and my neck does feel better. :)

  • http://mediumdeep.com Matt Huggins

    “Though He slay me, yet will I trust Him.” – Job

  • Ross

    Loud noises!

  • http://theycallmepastorbryan.com Bryan Dormaier

    This is the money quote for me. “I do believe God is sovereign, but I think when we place the emphasis there, we too often come out with a God who is stoic, static, unmovable and all-powerful to a fault.”

    I think that Jesus is the best lens for us to understand God. And if this is so, at the least we have a God who though being all powerful, chooses to limit himself for the sake of His creation. Had I been invited to write about sovereignty, I know this is the idea I would focus on.

    Thanks for writing Adam! As a fellow Whitworthian, it made me smile to hear you mention Jerry Sittser.

    • http://www.thegodtheyneverknew.com Preston Nesselrotte

      Bryan – well said! My favorite scripture can sum up this entire thought:

      When you see me you see the Father. And I and the Father is one!

      It seems to me this is where the Reformers missed the mark and that is by over-emphasizing God’s Might they forgot to remember “LOVE”. Jesus humbled himself when he came in the form of a man to save sinners from their sins – what a wonderful picture of God, one who is willing to limit himself all for the sake of relationship……..

  • steve

    Adam, as a long time friend, i have to say it made me laugh to start reading the open-theism paper that you linked, and notice that you used a quote from your professor’s book in your paper. Love that about you… you love to ruffle feathers, but you are never afraid to shamelessly kiss ass… :)
    God bless bro… :)

    • http://pomomusings.com Adam Walker Cleaveland

      Hey man — well, we were supposed to interact with his book, so…not sure it’s as much ass-kissing, but thanks for pointing that out. :)

  • http://pomomusings.com Adam Walker Cleaveland

    @Thomas – Wow. I’m not sure where to start. I’m not sure if you read Tyler’s opening post about what to expect in this series, but let me highlight one paragraph for you:

    The subject is fairly open because sovereignty is such a broad subject, but all the bloggers will share how their life experiences and studies have led them to interact with God’s sovereignty (or lack of sovereignty).

    I was not asked to give a theological treatise – but rather reflect on God’s sovereignty in my own life – which I think I did.

    If you are a regular reader of my blog, pomomusings, you’ll know that I don’t heavily engage comments, but rather like to present a space for others to dialogue. But because Tyler asked me to be a guest poster, I will respond, albeit briefly, because others (including Pastor Nar) have addressed some of your comments.

    What I’m not interested is going paragraph by paragraph to try and “refute” you. And as has been mentioned – your tone, language and statements about me don’t really draw me into conversation.

    You wrote:

    “You seem to think that this story means that God isn’t sovereign.

    I don’t know exactly where you’re getting that because in the last paragraph I start with “I do believe God is sovereign.”

    I wasn’t using my story and saying “Look at me – I had free will – I made a choice! God isn’t sovereign.” I was simply relaying a story from my own life in which I had to rethink the “type” of sovereignty that I believed in.

    Sorry my writing was too simplistic for you – perhaps if I had written a highly technical, theological report on God’s sovereignty, you may have been more interested – but that was not the request from Tyler. Although, I did include a link to an academic paper I wrote for Princeton Seminary addressing the issue of an “open view of God” which you are more than welcome to download and critique.

    • http://www.thegodtheyneverknew.com Preston Nesselrotte

      Adam – God bless you for having the courage to come to Tyler’s blog and openly share your theology as an Open Theist. I have been an OT now for over 5 years and it has truly cleared up so many issue in my faith and strengthened my personal relationship with the Lord. As an OT I can also understand the criticism that comes ones way, so thanks for willing to take a few licks in the process.

      • http://pomomusings.com Adam Walker Cleaveland

        Thanks for the comment. I don’t know that I would actually call myself an “open theist” – but someone who is pushing in that direction, for sure. But thanks for the affirming note.

  • Thomas

    Although, I did include a link to an academic paper I wrote for Princeton Seminary addressing the issue of an “open view of God” which you are more than welcome to download and critique.

    I’ll print it out. I’ll post my response on your blog.

    • http://pomomusings.com Adam Walker Cleaveland

      It’s really not *that* interesting. It’s possible you might have too much time on your hands. Since there isn’t really a place to post a response on my blog – it’d probably make more sense for you to post the response on your own blog and let me know and I can stop by and read it there.

  • http://approvedworkmanonterrafirma.blogspot.com/ Chris P.

    Preston
    The reformers do not miss the mark.
    Jesus, as God in man only limited himself in terms of His glory.
    He did not empty Himself of knowledge, power etc. He knew why He came. Was there no Father in heaven when Jesus walked the earth? Who was Jesus praying to?
    The mind of Christ is “equality with God did not have to be grasped” as He IS God. All creation is made through Him, for Him and By Him.
    So I have the mind of Christ also, i.e. “equality with God does not need to be grasped” because I am not God. The sin of Eden and of Babel is man attempting to have equality with God. It is what is wrong with open theism.
    The true saints have given up that pursuit.

    As for freely choosing love, men never choose God or His love.

    Romans 3:
    10as it is written:

    “None is righteous, no, not one;
    11no one understands;
    no one seeks for God.

    Romans 5:
    8but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

    Eph 1:
    Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places, 4 even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him. In love 5 he predestined us for adoption as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will,

    1 John 4:
    19 We love because he first loved us.

    Romans 8:
    28And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose. 29For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. 30And those whom he predestined he also called, and those whom he called he also justified, and those whom he justified he also glorified.

    1 Peter 1:
    1Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ,
    To God’s elect, strangers in the world, scattered throughout Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia and Bithynia, 2who have been chosen according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through the sanctifying work of the Spirit, for obedience to Jesus Christ and sprinkling by his blood:

    We are chosen according to His foreknowledge,through the Spirit,FOR obedience to Christ,which means we are sprinklled by the blood.

    Open theism is an attempt to bring God down to our level,which denies the fact that He already has done this in the incarnation. This is dangerously close to falling into what is described in 1 John 4:2-3.

    Romans 7 is clear. Your will is not free. It is trapped in the flesh, the body of death.
    All actions are initiated by God.
    He loves first. We love because we are called by Him, foreknown by Him etc. Eph 2:8-9 tells us that even the faith to believe comes from Him.
    The seed falls on good ground, but what and who makes the ground good?The rest of the seed is choked off or carried away and eaten, as it falls on ground in which it will never take root.
    Election and the elect, inplies someone outside of yourself has voted you in.

    God has complete foreknowledge of the future. The future is unknown to us, not Him.
    Time is created by Him and has a definite end. He already knows the day and the hour.
    We see our choices as “multiple”, however since we can make only one choice, there is only one choice. If God doesn’t know what we will do in any given circumstance, then we have the ability to constantly throw His plan off track. How then could He deetermine a set day and hour? He is then a god who is preoccupied with putting out fires.

    Open theism makes Him a God who exists for us.It then makes us not equal, but superior.
    All creation, which includes mankind, was made by Him to serve His purpose and will.
    All are his vessels;some made for wrath and some for mercy. I know that this does not sit well with most folks, however, “who are you oh man?” Who will win this argument?

    Romans 10:6But the righteousness based on faith says, “Do not say in your heart, ‘Who will ascend into heaven?'” (that is, to bring Christ down) 7or “‘Who will descend into the abyss?'” (that is, to bring Christ up from the dead).

    Jesus came, lived, died, and rose on His own accord. Open theism attempts to do this for Him.

    John 10:
    14 I am the good shepherd. I know my own and my own know me, 15 just as the Father knows me and I know the Father; and I lay down my life for the sheep. 16And I have other sheep that are not of this fold. I must bring them also, and they will listen to my voice. So there will be one flock, one shepherd. 17 For this reason the Father loves me, because I lay down my life that I may take it up again. 18 No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have authority to lay it down, and I have authority to take it up again. This charge I have received from my Father.”

    and;
    25Jesus answered them, “I told you, and you do not believe. The works that I do in my Father’s name bear witness about me, 26but you do not believe because you are not part of my flock. 27 My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me. 28 I give them eternal life, and they will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of my hand. 29My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all, and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father’s hand. 30 I and the Father are one.”

    John 6:
    37 All that the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will never cast out. 38For I have come down from heaven, not to do my own will but the will of him who sent me. 39And this is the will of him who sent me, that I should lose nothing of all that he has given me, but raise it up on the last day. 40For this is the will of my Father, that everyone who looks on the Son and believes in him should have eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day.”

    and;
    60 When many of his disciples heard it, they said, “This is a hard saying; who can listen to it?” 61But Jesus, knowing in himself that his disciples were grumbling about this, said to them, “Do you take offense at this? 62Then what if you were to see the Son of Man ascending to where he was before? 63 It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh is no help at all. The words that I have spoken to you are spirit and life. 64But there are some of you who do not believe.” (For Jesus knew from the beginning who those were who did not believe, and who it was who would betray him.) 65And he said, “This is why I told you that no one can come to me unless it is granted him by the Father.”

    • http://www.thegodtheyneverknew.com Preston Nesselrotte

      Chris

      Again, after years of interacting with Calvinist such as yourself, I am neither ignorant or unfamiliar with the these so called proof-text you attempt to present here. Trust me I have heard every argument on your side of the theological fence and for me the issue always boils down to hermeneutics and intellectual honesty. When one has to wrap their minds around the axle presented by those of your ilk we might as well begin the long tedious process of swallowing a softball – yes it is possible to eat it, but it does take some time to finally choke it down past our gag reflexes. So instead of addressing each one of these verses I think I can sum up your theology pretty quick here:

      You believe that since God is sovereign that if sin exists he ordained it (How am I doing so far?)

      Therefore, God’s sovereignty overules our will. (So far so good?)

      Then why Oh why when God tells people to stop sinning throughout the Bible do people keep sinning? Is God impotent? Whatever he says gets done right?

      Chris, obviously his sovereignty does not violate man’s free will. His sovereignty is righteous and respects the will he gave us, and he will judge us on how we used it. The thing is your god makes the real God the author of sin and horrifically maligns the Nature and Character of God. Again, when I see Jesus I don;t see your god, but I see the God demonstrated in the Bible.

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  • http://approvedworkmanonterrafirma.blogspot.com/ Chris P.

    Those of my ilk?? lol
    I am not a calvinist, never have been.You have never interacted with anyone such as myself. Talk about broad-brushing and strawmen. (which are favorite liberal/emergent/ accusations btw.)
    I am biblical.
    I read scripture literally, not through a cultural/ historical/arminian hermenuetic.By literally I mean for what it actually is conveying as Truth.
    The scriptures are one complete Word from Genesis to Revelation.They are the literal Word of God and they are that which reveals Jesus Christ. He is inseparable from the Word as He is the Torah/WORD made flesh.

    I am talking about God’s foreknowledge which is complete.
    He has a plan He has a will, and both will be established.
    Acts 4:23-32,Psalms 2,Psalms 139, Isaiah 46:8-11, Job 42:1-2 show us that even the apostles, prophets, and patriarchs understood God’s sovereignty. Apparently you don’t.
    One tires of those who criticize “proof texts” which shows me that like the rcc, your opinions over-ride the scripture.The new magesterium. You offer no answer to any of the swcripture I brought up except to say that you have heard it all before. Yawn, I have heard all such arguments before.You can’t answer is the real issue. Oh but you worship the real God (capital G) because you say so.
    You offer no scriptural evidence. What’s new? You do however use a condescending and insulting tone.
    God created men,angels etc who have rebelled, and He knew it all ahead of time. What is the atoning death of Christ if not God taking responsibility for all of it?
    God commands us not to sin and gave us a Law, which Paul makes quite clear that we were destined to break, so that we would know we are sinning, and which sins we are committing.
    Ket Let God be true and every man liar.
    We are not judged by how we “do” anything. Men are condemned by unbleief, which Jesus makes clear.Our sins don’t send us to “hell”.
    I am saved by believing through faith like Abraham, but we are told that even that faith comes from God as we do not possess it at all.
    There is a Lamb’s Book of Life, and your name is either in it or it isn’t. We are created for God’s pleasure, He does not exist to make you feel good. There would be no creation of any sort had He not willed it, and he didn’t create because he was bored or lonely. Your “god” is not God.
    Your disingenous approach to me reveals a lot. You “coversational/tolerant” types do not want dialogue at all.
    You are forgiven, however. What is it you are afraid of, as the smell of fear is all over your eiesgesis.
    Freely choose dude, your choices don’t save you at all. God foreknows all that are His.
    Goodbye
    I am through with you “intellectually honest” liars.

    “Why do the unbiblical bloggers plot in vain?”

  • http://manofdepravity.com Tyler

    Hey Chris P and Preston…I’ve seen enough of this back and forth. You can take your argument to your own blogs.

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