Friday, January 13, 2006

Predestination, Free Will, and C3PO

If you haven't already seen it, check out my Independent Fundamental Baptist Blogpost. It's a hoot. After work at UPS tonight, Shane Morgan and I decided to mosey to Waffle House, where we have had several good conversations about the doctrines of grace, specificaly limited atonement. Yes, we talked more about it, and I am still at an impasse, though I am at a place now where I can grasp it logically. I'm just not grasping it theologically, that's all. But anyway, after we'd talked ourselves half-asleep, we talked a little bit about predestination, and I shared with Shane a story and metaphor I have about this doctrine. I've edited it for clarity and preciseness here, but in essence it is the discussion in question. Just so you know, I subscribe to this point of the flower. Now, you may be asking, what in the world does C3PO, or even Star Wars for that matter, have to do with it? Read on. Someone had asked me in the past whether or not I believed in predestination. I answered yes, and then that person said that I don't believe in free will. To which I responded: "On the contrary, I do believe in free will. In fact, I think that predestination actually magnifies free will. Take a look at C3PO. What is he? He's a droid, a robot. BUT he has been programmed to think and act of his own volition, freely following the protocols established in his programming. We're the same way; God has programmed us to think and act on our own, according to His laws. Sin is the virus that corrupts our programming and renders us unable to operate in a manner faithful to that free volition. That's all predestination really is--God has programmed us to think and act in a certain way, of our own volition." So yes, God does control our every act--He wrote the program by which we so act! But at the same time we've been programmed (given the ability) to do those actions willingly and freely. The fact that sin can prevent us from freely acting according to our programming only underscores both God's control and our free action. Now, technically, what we're talking about here is providence. But if we understand predestination to mean God is sovereignly in control, then providence springs forth from predestination. You see, if God decides something before the foundation of the world, then He will make sure that it comes about by every means necessary. He will create the conditions, work the miracles, perform the theophanies, what have you, that will allow His creation to freely perform His will, even when their programming is corrupted by sin. Indeed, even the virus that corrupts us is sovereignly decided upon by God before the foundation of the world! Why? To show His glory. Praise be to God, for His marvelous works! This post is dedicated to Joannis Lawlor. Have fun at Gardner-Webb this weekend, and may God sovereignly lead you where He has predestined you to go to college! I just know you're going to hit me for this post when you get home. *wink*

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