Life is like a …

On one of the Society of Evangelical Arminian (SEA) forums, we were exploring illustrations on how we might describe the world, specifically how can we describe the interactions between God’s sovereignty and man’s freedom and responsibility.

In one view life is like an improv show. Think of the show Whose Line is it Anyway? In that show several comedians would get up on stage and do what comedians are supposed to do – try to make people laugh. They would do this by acting out various scenes, making up songs, and throwing out various zingers.
What really made the show entertaining was the fact that it was unscripted. The actors had to come up with their material on the fly.

But the show was not a free for all. The actors were free to do just about anything to get a laugh but had to work within certain constraints. The moderator Drew Carey would guide the comedians on stage influencing what was happening by setting up the theme and making available different props. Sometimes Drew would even interact with them as they performed playing off of what they were doing.

In another view, life is like a comedic movie. Well maybe not necessarily comedic but I was keeping with the theme above. The movie tells a story which is written out ahead of time in a script. office-space-miltonThe script describes everything that will happen in that movie, scene by scene. The lines that are said, the responses that people have, and actions they take, are all written out ahead of time. The script is there to make sure that the story is told in just the right way and ends up just they way it is supposed to.

The actors in the movie are each playing a part. They (usually) are not free to change what is going to happen. They must act in the ways that the script has predetermined they should, with the director, who oversees the whole project, making sure that the script is followed.

Does God want all to be saved? A response to Dr. Kruger.

Dr. Kruger is the President and Professor of New Testament and Early Christianity at Reformed Theological Seminary (RTS). His interests in the formation of the NT canon and the early history of the church align with my interests in these areas. In a recent post on his blog (Canon Fodder), he writes about the question: does God really want all to be saved (link). It is a very short treatment, answering the question from a Reformed perspective.

By way of background, it is clear in Scripture that God’s desire is for all to be saved and none to perish (1 Tim 2:3-4; 2 Peter 3:9; Deut 30:19; Ezek 18:23,32; 33:11).

In the Reformed view, those who will be saved and those who will perish are rooted in the unchangeable and unconditional decree (or choice) of God. It is by God’s design that some (known as the elect) are granted mercy and an efficacious, irresistible grace so that they are saved. And it is by design that others (known as the reprobate) do not receive this same mercy and grace insuring that they perish. Continue reading

The Parable of the Midwives

Horus_presents_Regalia_to_Pharaoh - CopyBREAKING: the midwife murderers have just entered the court room. Tamar and Gomer are each charged with 10 counts of infanticide.

In the process of helping young Hebrew parents deliver their babies, Tamar and Gomer are accused of examining the child as it enters the world. If the baby was a male, they would grab hold of it and rush out of the tent and proceed to kill it. In order to be sensitive to our viewers, we will not go into the gruesome details.

The trial room is hushed as the judge begins to question the two women.

The Judge asks, “were the two of you present when each of the Hebrew male children were born”?

A hushed yes from both of the trembling accused.

“And did you kill the infants”?

Another barely audible yes. Continue reading