Loving God's Sovereignty
Maybe someone could help me here BUT I don't get the conflict between human freedom and God's sovereignty. First, let me explain my theology-making process. I believe the reader will come to understand that both our mind and our experience can come to adore the doctrine of God's sovereignty. What follows is a description of how I come to know God. I am contending that this is the right way to make theology by the way.
1. We start with the bible. The bible is very clear on the sovereignty issue. God can predict the details of the future and He says these events happen according to His intention. I do not see how such a scenario could transpire of both prediction and intention without absolute sovereignty. God decrees history.
2. Then having believed I and all believers ultimately come to a direct experience of the truth. Some in this life some in eternity. The Holy Spirit takes a truth about God and reveals to us its application in our personal history. This intimate knowledge of the truth about who God is produces passion for God and a love for who He is.
In my personal life, I have found passion for the experience of the Father's love and also passion and worship for God's sovereignty. I think many people are confused because they have not had the experience, and, because the truth of God's sovereignty is very hard to understand, it becomes almost impossible to describe and therefore integrate into life. In the abstract, freedom and God's sovereignty may seem hard if not impossible to integrate intellectually (like Einstein's physics), but, after experience, the task changes from explaining an abstract intellectual problem to one of describing an experience in light of the truth of both scripture and one's intimate knowledge. In this intellectual codification process, scripture and experience support one another.
Einstein is a good example. Einstein's theories are very hard to understand and seem both counter-intuitive and illogical BUT they are true.
For example, Einstein's theories (which are now proven) would describe the following seemingly illogical reality:
An example of Einstein's Theory
Imagine that I am on a train, and the train is traveling forward (lets say west) at .99 times the speed of light. While on the train, I shine a light from a flashlight westward. How fast is the light traveling with respect to me and with respect to a person "watching" the train drive by from the perspective of the side of the railroad tracks?
It seems that from my perspective as I travel at .99 times the speed of light, the light would move away from me at the speed of light. Therefore, to the guy on the side of the road, the light from the flashlight would be traveling westward at 1.99 times the speed of light (i.e. the speed of the train plus the speed of the light from the flashlight) BUT that is not correct.
The light is traveling 1.00 times the speed of light from my perspective and also 1.00 times the speed of light from the perspective of the guy on the side of the road.
Think about it - this is impossible!! If I am traveling at .99x the speed of light and a light is traveling away from me at 1.00x the speed light, then the light has to be traveling 1.99x the speed of light to the guy on the side of the road. NOPE!! Reality is not what you intuitively would think. HMMM?? Seem illogical. NOPE. The problem is our understanding of reality is just immature. Reality isn't illogical. It just is. Our job is to search the truth out and understand it and even stand in awe of the beauty of how the universe works.
The reality is that light travels at 1.00 times the speed of light from every perspective because time and distance are relative. If the speed of light is a constant, then it is time and distance that has to change.
Now here is the point. After many actual observations, man has come to actually observe and "experience" this seemingly illogical reality. Now that we know it is true by experience, the job is no longer to theorize about this reality in the abstract but to begin to describe the reality.
So (whether you agree with the analogy or not), the same is true with God's sovereignty. We start with the revelation of truth - the bible. Then, some time in life, we experience the reality of God's sovereignty in our life, and, then, we really know the truth intimately. The truth even becomes beautiful to us. At this point, we are ready to describe the experience (passionately I might add) by telling the story of our experience of God's glorious sovereignty. At this juncture in life, the one telling the story, who has both the scriptures and His experience and the evidence of prophecy and history all on his side, cannot ever be convinced to the contrary.
This is the methodology of my theology.
Next, the story from my experience.