We have seen there is biblical support for both predestination and free will. So which is it? And how can we know? At this point in the conversation, I’ve seen four different responses offered as the best way forward. I don’t think any of them are right. After outlining these four paths, I’ll offer a fifth way that I think is more helpful in resolving this conflict.
In trying to answer the question “Is our salvation the result of predestination or free will?” we have discovered that this is actually the wrong question to ask. It is not nuanced enough. This superficial question leads to confusion, disagreements, and conundrums. In Post #4, I clarified the question we should be asking. This week I’ll begin offering a helpful way to approach answering it.
The question of predestination or free will is one we all struggle with (sometimes without even realizing it!). Some passages of Scripture seem to indicate God predestines us to be His. Other passages give the impression that our salvation ultimately comes down to our free choice to accept Jesus’ offer of new life. Which is it? Or is it somehow both?
Every believer I know struggles with understanding how God acts in our lives. Are we predestined to make choices, including even our decision to follow Christ? Or is this a decision we freely make? Or is the answer somehow both? If both, how can this be without entailing a contradiction? Or is a contradiction acceptable in this case?
In addition to a healthy theology of grief (last week), a healthy theology of death is also essential to being able to say “goodbye” well when the time comes. Having a “theology of death” may seem odd, morbid, and even wrong. Ours is such a life-affirming and life-focused culture that we rarely think of death. Therefore, it is not surprising that most of us don’t have a theology of death, much less a well-developed one. But this is exactly what we need in order to be able to say goodbye well.
Happy Thanksgiving! During this season as we stop to reflect on our many blessings, I am posting the last in a three-week series of reflections on finding my birth mother after nearly 55 years. This discovery has also helped me understand more of what my adoption meant to both my mothers and the many blessings I received as a result. The biblical passages about adoption have come alive to me in new ways, causing me to be even more thankful for what it meant for God to adopt me, and the many blessings I have received from Him as a result.
“Hello, is this Stan? My name is Jean. I think I’m your mother.”
These are the amazing words I heard when I answered the phone on September 7, 2017. After nearly 55 years I was reunited with my birth mother. I blogged last week about two of the three truths I’ve understood more deeply since getting to know her these past few months. But this has also caused me to reflect on the love and courage of the woman I have and always will call “Mother”—the woman who adopted me.
Within the past two weeks, Hurricane Harvey ravaged Houston and Hurricane Irma swept over Florida. My wife and I have many friends and relatives in Florida, and so we have been glued to the news. Now that we have all had time to catch our collective breath and begin to assess the damage, there is much to learn. I see three reminders in the events of the past few weeks: we live in a fallen world, everyone knows this is not the way it ought to be, and our call is to be good stewards of this world. (I’m interrupting my leadership blog series to discuss these reminders this week.)