I have about a half hour to kill, and a blackberry. Our parking garage is jammed up all the way to the the fifth floor. But, things are moving, if ever so slowly, and there are little kids hoping the Great Pumpkin comes. So, I must not give up and go to a restaurant to wait it out. I must get home, and hand out the candy!
Hmmm, and my power brakes won't kick in until I build up some speed.
I needed a leg workout anyway.
So, the question arises whether this was little predicament was predestined, or whether it is merely the outworking of a sinful world supported by the providence of God. Did God foreordain me to endure this parking jam before the world was created?
The largest objections to predestination in our little discussions have circled around the love of God, and the will of man. A predestinationist seems to assert that the love of God does not extend to those who are not elect. (Let's just agree to ignore those predestinationists who believe God created a group of reprobates for the pleasure of damning them. Nobody here thinks that.) If God knows that a person will eventually be damned, can He still love that person? What if the only reason a person is saved is because God gave special grace? Then God becomes the efficient cause of every damnation.
Could a loving God possibly withhold grace?
The predestinationist seems to say, "Yes, God has withheld grace." The rest seem to say that God has given His grace equally to all out of His equal love to all, but that some decline to receive it.
And then there is the argument from human nature. To recall Dostoesvsky's line of reasoning, man treasures above all other advantages, the right to capriciously choose even that which is to his own detriment. I could choose to drive all the way back up to the 5th floor right now if I wanted to (I am down to the second floor now) and I treasure that freedom. In exactly the same way, I could choose hell with a clear eye, and many do.
The argument continues that by honoring man with this ability, God gives man the highest degree of respect. And by rewarding man's choice of hell with eternal punishment, God affords his choice the ultimate dignity. God gives man a tremendous gift in free will, and exacts of him a tremendous price in honor of that gift.
And could a man who was nothing more than a piano key truly love God? If man falls in love with His God at the time and to the degree that God fingers his heart, is what man experiences love at all? Or merely the tinkling of a sounding piano? And could our love survive the revelation if we found out we were not its authors?
(I'm out of the garage, and onto real pavement now! Halloween may yet be saved.)
It is now almost 4 hours after the start of this post. 1.5 of those hours were spent getting from the office to home. There, I found that my son had decided to have mercy on the munchkins, and stayed home to hand out candy until I arrived to free him for an evening of rock climbing ... but he forgot to turn on the porch light. Chuckles. :-)
I handed out happiness to nothing but little kids tonight. It's wonderful to have gotten such a batch of pleasant little kids. Last year was a little rougher. I don't know why.
Dinner. A little discussion with the boy, and the dishes are done. My side work can wait until this is posted, and all is well with the world.
So, as I post Eph 1:b, you know the questions. How do you think this passage answers them? Was I fated to spend 45 minutes going from the 5th to the bottom floor of my parking garage tonight? Was I doomed to love the Lord and be thankful the experience? Or might I have resisted God's will, and been grumpy, bitter and damned?
To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved. In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace; Wherein he hath abounded toward us in all wisdom and prudence; Having made known unto us the mystery of his will, according to his good pleasure which he hath purposed in himself: That in the dispensation of the fulness of times he might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth; even in him: In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will: That we should be to the praise of his glory, who first trusted in Christ. In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise,