God is Not On Your Side: Duane W.H. Arnold, PhD

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87 Responses

  1. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    I agree… I think. I do not think you can read Scripture and come to any political conclusion. God has never spoken on tax policy, foreign policy or how a Christian should hold elections nor the divisions of parties.
    Anyone who claims to know God’s will in politics is lying and deserves to be marked and avoided.
    If I speak on political issues (and I do) I speak only as a citizen.
    Jesse Jackson, Al Sharpton and Jerry Falwell were all heretics in this area.

  2. Duane Arnold says:

    I think Scripture, Tradition and Reason can inform our values… but transferring those values to one political party is almost impossible, besides being unwise.

  3. Jean says:

    It’s amazing how much of our lives are spent on the quest for (self) justification. The politicization of our faith is but one such attempt at self-justification before God; in the process, we rob Him of His righteousness with which He alone justifies the ungodly apart from the Law. The old Adam and Eve do not die willingly.

  4. Duane Arnold says:

    Jean

    “God on our side” is the ultimate card to play in self-justification…

  5. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    As to what killed faith in Europe I doubt that it was politics (unless you are equating war with the type of politics you are addressing.
    I lived in Europe from early 1960 to mid 1963. The horrors of back to back world wars killed faith.
    I didn’t understand it at the time but we had 3 American missionary families living in our neighborhood trying to restore the faith – think early Francis Schaeffer pre L’Abri.

    I was living there as part of a Jewish family – there were no Jews (a generalization) who still believed in a God – they believed in a Jewish people without a God who had totally let them down. To put it in perspective, I moved there a mere 14 years after the war’s end – even before the Berlin Wall.
    Life kills faith and life kills the church. Politics, not so much.

  6. MM says:

    Duane

    Again nice thoughtful article.

    When I’m asked about voting and the “right way” my answer is this, “know what God teaches in the text about community, justice, and other things which pertain to getting along with others and then go vote your conscience.”

    God has survived through every human designed political system since He created everything. So, I expect the same will happen well into the future.

    I have to admit these days one of the leading things in my voting decisions is this, “does the candidate or change in law desire to take away the rights of individuals or do they enhance those rights?” It seems to me these days the former is more prevalent than the later.

    But, all things are never that simple.

    Thanks again!

  7. Kevin H says:

    Duane,

    Very well said. I believe we can take those values that we garner from God and apply them to how we speak out on political issues. We can take these values to the best that we understand them and apply them to political speech/action in efforts to protect the needy and helpless (i.e. the unborn and immigrants), or to call out those who are trying to gain by dishonest means at the expense of others (that would engulf a whole slew of politicians), or to call for justice and/or compassion. Yet if anyone claims that God is on the side of their political party (not for an individual issue but as a collective whole), they likely have given themselves to political idolatry.

  8. Michael says:

    Both sides of the current political scene represent biblical values on selected issues. They also abhor them on selected issues.

    Neither represent uniform biblical values…so a binary choice will both represent and abhor true biblical issues.

  9. Duane Arnold says:

    MLD

    The wars certainly had their effect (the result of politics, BTW). The positioning of the institutional churches with particular political parties “sealed the deal” for many…

  10. Xenia says:

    When I vote against candidates who promote abortion and the gay agenda, I believe I am on God’s side and He is on mine. I do not separate Christianity and politics: one informs the other.

  11. Michael says:

    Xenia,

    When I vote against candidates who promote abortion and the gay agenda in favor of those who promote the hatred and ruin of immigrants, refugees, and the most vulnerable among us, I’m simply deciding which sin offends me more…

  12. Xenia says:

    And you are therefore using your Christian-informed conscience to make a political decision, which is exactly what you should do.

  13. Glenn says:

    As has been somewhat intimated in the comments here, self… SELF… seems at times the core motivation for going to party X or party Y. Until and unless we move beyond party idolatry and consider our neighbors with greater compassion (regardless of details or their political views) it seems to me we drill holes in our own church boats. Then I consider the great pain and suffering from war, disease and political intrigue (common history, these) and the understandable response to the extent many actively dis-believe in God (see Motörhead’s “God Was Never On Your Side” approach) where war and rip-off pols are mentioned to bolster one’s (actual faith…) in atheism. Risen Christ help us get over ourselves!

  14. Michael says:

    Xenia,

    I would suggest that neither choice is worthy of being called Christian…we need to find a uniquely Christian way of influencing culture and politics.

  15. Duane Arnold says:

    Glenn

    Good to see you on the thread, my friend! Yes, it’s self, or as Jean commented above, self-justification…

  16. Duane Arnold says:

    Michael,

    Don’t know about others, but I get very weary of having to choose the lesser of two evils…

  17. Xenia says:

    My Christian-informed conscience does not allow me to vote for either party and this, too, is a political decision.

    The best way to influence culture is to live an authentic life in Christ, no matter what. And that means a sacramental life of prayer, charity and humility. But it is Christ Himself who is the Main Attraction, not us. We are not trying to attract people to us but to Christ.

    If Christians act like the world, the world will see no reason to join us in following Christ, since most of us barely follow Him anyway.

  18. Michael says:

    Duane,

    The more I think about it, the more I think we’re not supposed to…

  19. Jean says:

    The problem is saying “God is on my side” is that there are very few black and white moral issues in the political sphere. Abortion on demand is one of them. But, even there, if you say I will vote for Candidate A (who is on my side), who is opposed to abortion on demand, but who also advocates for other public policies that a faithful Christian may find morally abhorrent, then you are signing God up for the abhorrent policies too. Therefore, while I think you could say, with respect to an issue, that a certain position is God-honoring, I don’t think you could say that God is against you unless you vote for Candidate A.

  20. Xenia says:

    In other words, rather than asking what should an ambiguous *we* do, better to ask “what shall *I* do.

    All I can do is what all Christians are called to do on a personal level, which includes prayer and loving one’s neighbor and on an a communal level, which involves supporting my local Parish by helping my brothers and sisters live their lives in Christ. In my life, this mostly involves kitchen work and encouraging the mamas.

  21. Xenia says:

    So to be clear, I do not think God is on the side of either the Repubs or the Dems. When a person stands up for righteousness in a righteous manner, this person and God are “on the same side.”

  22. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    I am not registered to vote this time around (it’s one of the ways they find you for jury duty.
    Even though I can shoot my mouth off, I am a sinner saved by grace. My choices are probably soaked with sin just like the candidates.

  23. Jean says:

    To add to my previous comment, God displays His righteousness in two spheres: the righteousness of the Law; and the righteousness of the Gospel (Rom. 1:16-17).

    It is the peculiar vocation of the Church to proclaim the righteousness of the Gospel.

    Civil religion, whether the right or the left flavor, is the devilish strategy to muddy and silence the Church’s proclamation of the Gospel. The devil is happy to see Christ preached as the second and better Moses.

  24. Michael says:

    I’ll just say it…I don’t believe that you can be deeply involved in politics and have a consistently biblical witness.
    At least not in this present time…

  25. Em says:

    Well… 🙂
    it is incumbent on a Christian to evangelize – as much by lifestyle as by words, but history is going to play out exactly as God knew it would when He created Adam….
    vote your conscience as a Believer answering to God…
    we, who are Believers in the redemption that God supplied at Calvary aren’t here to reform the earth…. IMHO

  26. Xenia says:

    I don’t believe that you can be deeply involved in politics and have a consistently biblical witness<<

    I agree with this. I know several people who are so deeply involved in politics that they've killed any Christian witness they ever had.

    However, some people do get involved in a particular issue, as God calls them. Some areas where God has called people are opposing slavery, human trafficking, abortion and sexual perversion. They do this out of Christian conviction.

    I think if your efforts are concentrated on one particular politician (either party), you've missed the boat.

  27. ( |o )====::: says:

    American Republican Jesus
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=znaJlo8NRn8

    [Verse 1]
    White Jesus, why is Your goodness so bad?
    Why are Your people so mad?
    Why do You need so many old white racists
    To gather Your cash?
    White Jesus, I know the Donald’s Your Man
    I know He carries Your plan
    To purge all the world of all the non-white people
    Lest they go cash

    [Chorus A]
    Oh white Jesus
    How can You blame us
    For doubting Your heavenly Father
    Would burn us
    For doubting Your heavenly Father
    Would burn us
    Unless of course You believe in white republican Jesus

    [Verse 2]
    White Jesus, maybe it’s time You should go
    We pray that You’ll leave us alone
    Maybe we could find another Jesus
    Not so well known

    [Chorus B]
    White Jesus, oh how could You blame us
    For doubting Your heavenly Father
    Would burn us
    For doubting Your heavenly Father
    Would burn us
    White Jesus
    American Republic Jesus

  28. Steve says:

    Duane,. I like the article. One caviat that I would like to say is that God is completely in control of our duely elected leaders as well as the unelected deep state operatives. Those in power are there either because God allowed them to be or he specially decreed them to be. It behooves us to recognize this fact. To deny it is like living in a delusion.

  29. Duane Arnold says:

    Steve

    “Those in power are there either because God allowed them to be or he specially decreed them to be.”

    Hitler, Franco, Pol Pot, Stalin… While I believe in the providence of God, I also believe in the sinfulness of man. I would place such individuals as being full blown examples of Original Sin rather than the providence of God.

  30. ( |o )====::: says:

    “Those in power are there either because God allowed them to be or he specially decreed them to be. It behooves us to recognize this fact. To deny it is like living in a delusion.”

    Interesting how Jesus never said any of that, but it was Paul, who was a prisoner, who was playing politics knowing he was writing things that would be traced back to him, therefore placating the power that had him imprisoned.

    Jesus, in contrast, declared that we were to continue in the Kingdom He created which was about taking care of one’s neighbor, even if the neighbor needed food, clothing, shelter and healthcare. He was about rendering to God that which was God’s rightful possession.

  31. Steve says:

    Duane, although I can certainly sympathize with your sentiment, I do think God has things under control. John Calvin writes, “Ignorance of providence is the greatest of all miseries, and the knowledge of it the highest happiness” (Institutes 1.17.11).

  32. Randy Davis says:

    God is on our side? To the contrary, God is against us. He judges us. There are many sins that God is more than justified in judging us, but it is the sin of arrogance that seems to bind them all. Today’s church, across the board and all denominations have defected from a God’s purpose for us. We prop up the sins of the church and ignore the need for confession and repentance. Love has been supplanted by power. Arrogance parades around flaunting it self before the face of the Living God never understanding our humble position before him. This is sin that infects us all.

  33. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    G,
    “Jesus, in contrast, declared that we were to continue in the Kingdom He created which was about taking care of one’s neighbor, even if the neighbor needed food, clothing, shelter and healthcare. He was about rendering to God that which was God’s rightful possession.”

    Yes, as Christians and through the church – not through government intervention and power.

  34. ( |o )====::: says:

    MLD,
    Government intervention and power created and funded Social Security, The Affordable Care Act, the EPA, the FDA, the ERA. Oh yeah, we also abolished slavery. Essentially we enact principles from Torah and the teachings of Jesus to provide a safety net for those who have less, and to assure we are stewards of the land that God entrusted to us in creation.

  35. Duane Arnold says:

    Steve

    Human causality, originating in Original Sin, is also part of the doctrine of providence, as I’m sure you know…

  36. Em says:

    Gman @ 1:08… to extrapolate a bit on your point… the list mentioned was the result of a government guided by a serious Christian influence in the electorate… governments are dangerous as they attract people consumed with power lust (as do some churches, i guess)…

  37. ( |o )====::: says:

    Em,
    Serious Secular Enlightenment Thinking influence, just to clarify.
    Sadly, Fundamentalists and Evangelicals played the race and fear cards decrying “socialism!” while “liberals” and believers in “the social gospel” marched, and created societal change.
    This is why we enacted requirements for governmental transparency.

  38. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    G, I agree with the enlightenment thinking. For governmental issues, I prefer to look to natural law.
    All the things you mention are not Christian in nature – they are based on humankind – worked on by all;
    those who believe in the true God, called Christians – those who believe in no god, called atheists – those who believe in false god’s, called Jews and Muslims (among many) – those who believe in multiply gods, called Hindus and Mormons.
    But we work together.

  39. Duane Arnold says:

    G-Man

    On the slavery issue, both in the UK and US, there were Christians who made a difference… just to clarify😁….

  40. Steve says:

    Duane, no I didn’t know that and I’m not sure I totally agree. Although all have sinned, will all be saved or only the elect? Does the doctrine of Providence apply to non believers or to only the elect who will be saved?

  41. ( | o )====::: says:

    Here’s a very related piece on the soil, sustainability, and something to consider when we listen to the original charge to be stewards of the land. Consider God’s direction to respect the land we have…
    https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/the-robcast/id956742638?i=1000455854496

  42. Duane Arnold says:

    Steve

    Read the Heidelberg Catechism…

  43. Michael says:

    27. Q.
    What do you understand by the providence of God?
    A.
    God’s providence is
    his almighty and ever present power, 1
    whereby, as with his hand, he still upholds
    heaven and earth and all creatures, 2
    and so governs them that
    leaf and blade,
    rain and drought,
    fruitful and barren years,
    food and drink,
    health and sickness,
    riches and poverty, 3
    indeed, all things,
    come to us not by chance 4
    but by his fatherly hand. 5

  44. Steve says:

    Thanks for the Heidelberg confession reference. I like it. My question is that this seems to be written from the perspective of a believer and therefore instructive. However, what does the confession say about those who do not believe?

    Lord’s day #7
    20. Q.
    Are all men, then, saved by Christ
    just as they perished through Adam?
    A.
    No.
    Only those are saved
    who by a true faith
    are grafted into Christ
    and accept all his benefits. 1

  45. Duane Arnold says:

    Steve

    A bit off topic…I suggest you ask Michael for a good Reformed Systematics reference…

  46. Steve says:

    Duane,. This is also a bit off topic but I’m not sure I subscribe to all the reformed teaching. The more you get into it the more difficult certain parts are to embrace. Limited atonement being one of them. I’m starting to lean towards more Lutheranism with that but not quite.

  47. Duane Arnold says:

    Steve,

    Just my opinion, but you’re better off going back to Augustine. He’s the foundation for both Lutherans and the Reformed. A good start is the biography by Peter Brown… changed my life.

  48. Steve says:

    Thanks Duane,. If my wife gets me a Kindle for my birthday I hope to do some more reading. A book that has changed someone’s life is always a good endorsement for me.

  49. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Steve, as you can probably guess I suggest staying away from Reformed Systematics (in general I think systematic theologies fall well below Dogmatic theologies as they are too convoluted to fit each topic into the “system”.)

    I would recommend Christian Dogmatics by Francis Pieper – I have the 3 volume set published in 1950. Volume 1 page 483 begins the section “Divine Providence, or the Preservation and Government of the World” (De Providentia Dei) The subtopics =
    1.) Definition of Divine Providence
    2.) The Relation of Divine Providence to the Causae Secundae (second causes)
    3.) Divine Providence and Sin
    4.) Does God Permit Men to Sin?
    5.) Divine Providence and Free Will

    It’s pretty pricey so I would recommend checking out a library or a seminary library as the section is only about 25 pages.

    Beware of those who would come on saying that systematics and dogmatics are the same. 🙂

  50. Duane Arnold says:

    It is, btw, what Preus assigned in his “Systematic Theology” course in the 80s…😁

  51. Jean says:

    I use Pieper frequently and bought the set used on ebay.

  52. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Duane – so you agree that you do not use systematic texbooks to teach systematics – you use dogmatics.

  53. Duane Arnold says:

    In some circles, it is a matter of semantics and the terms are almost interchangeable. I use systematics to refer to the ten topics. I use the term “dogmatics” to refer to propositional/theoretical aspects of theology…

  54. Michael says:

    Steve,

    Charles Hodge or Michael Horton both have inexpensive Reformed systematics.
    There are many others gathering dust on my shelves,but those represent the best of both Princeton and modern Reformed thought…

    The works of Augustine are free online and in Kindle…that’s where the fountain starts.

    There is an excellent website on the Heidelberg…my favorite of the Reformed confessions.

    None of them will limit God’s providence to the elect…

  55. Michael says:

    Whenever I read the phrase “deep state” I giggle…

  56. Michael says:

    Actually, before I dumped a systematic on someone I would always give them two books.
    Knowing God and Concise Theology by J.I. Packer.

    It doesn’t get better from a Reformed perspective…

  57. Steve says:

    Michael, doesn’t the term elect by it’s very definition mean only they will be provided salvation? They may experience temporary providence but eternal?

  58. Michael says:

    Steve,

    You don’t understand the doctrine of Providence. The Reformed catechisms would be helpful to you.

  59. Duane Arnold says:

    Michael

    After all this time, I didn’t know you liked Heidelberg as well! I much prefer it to Westminster… then again, when it comes to Reformed Theology (in the words of the old song) “Don’t Get Around Much Anymore”… 😁

  60. Em says:

    “Deep state”. . Doesn’t make me giggle as it refers to hidden from view, powerful operators that work a subversive plan in their own interest, in my frame of reference… Perhaps we’ve had such for thousands of years – dunno

    Sorrowful news this morning of what is evidently more drug cartel dirty work in northern Mexico… burning innocent children alive?
    Perhaps it is time to round and lock up every drug user – recreational or addict – they are the life blood of these sub human trafficers

  61. Michael says:

    Providence

    by J. I. Packer

    “The lot is cast into the lap, but its every decision is from the LORD” (Pro. 16:33).

    “God’s works of providence are his most holy, wise, and powerful preserving and governing all his creatures, and all their actions” (Westminster Shorter Catechism Q.11). If Creation was a unique exercise of divine energy causing the world to be, providence is a continued exercise of that same energy whereby the Creator, according to his own will, (a) keeps all creatures in being, (b) involves himself in all events, and (c) directs all things to their appointed end. The model is of purposive personal management with total “hands-on” control: God is completely in charge of his world. His hand may be hidden, but his rule is absolute.

    Some have restricted God’s providence to foreknowledge without control, or upholding without intervention, or general oversight without concern for details, but the testimony to providence as formulated above is overwhelming.

    The Bible clearly teaches God’s providential control (1) over the universe at large, Ps. 103:19; Dan. 4:35; Eph. 1:11; (2) over the physical world, Job 37; Pss. 104:14; 135:6; Matt. 5:45; (3) over the brute creation, Ps. 104:21, 28; Matt. 6:26; 10:29; (4) over the affairs of nations, Job 12:23; Pss. 22:28; 66:7; Acts 17:26; (5) over man’s birth and lot in life, 1 Sam. 16:1; Ps. 139:16; Isa. 45:5; Gal. 1:15-16; (6) over the outward successes and failures of men’s lives, Ps. 75:6, 7; Luke 1:52; (7) over things seemingly accidental or insignificant, Prov. 16:33; Matt. 10:30; (8) in the protection of the righteous, Pss. 4:8; 5:12; 63:8; 121:3; Rom. 8:28; (9) in supplying the wants of God’s people, Gen. 22:8, 14; Deut. 8:3; Phil. 4:19; (10) in giving answers to prayer, 1 Sam. 1:19; Isa. 20:5, 6; 2 Chron. 33:13; Ps. 65:2; Matt. 7:7; Luke 18:7, 8; and (11) in the exposure and punishment of the wicked, Pss. 7:12-13; 11:6. (L. Berkhof, Systematic Theology, 4th ed.)

    Clear thinking about God’s involvement in the world-process and in the acts of rational creatures requires complementary sets of statements, thus: a person takes action, or an event is triggered by natural causes, or Satan shows his hand – yet God overrules. This is the message of the book of Esther, where God’s name nowhere appears. Again: things that are done contravene God’s will of command – yet they fulfill his will of events (Eph. 1:11). Again: humans mean what they do for evil – yet God who overrules uses their actions for good (Gen. 50:20; Acts 2:23). Again: humans, under God’s overruling, sin – yet God is not the author of sin (James 1:13-17); rather, he is its judge.

    The nature of God’s “concurrent” or “confluent” involvement in all that occurs in his world, as – without violating the nature of things, the ongoing causal processes, or human free agency – he makes his will of events come to pass, is mystery to us, but the consistent biblical teaching about God’s involvement is as stated above.

    Of the evils that infect God’s world (moral and spiritual perversity, waste of good, and the physical disorders and disruptions of a spoiled cosmos), it can summarily be said: God permits evil (Acts 14:16); he punishes evil with evil (Ps. 81:11-12; Rom. 1:26-32); he brings good out of evil (Gen. 50:20; Acts 2:23; 4:27-28; 13:27; 1 Cor. 2:7-8); he uses evil to test and discipline those he loves (Matt. 4:1-11; Heb. 12:4-14); and one day he will redeem his people from the power and presence of evil altogether (Rev. 21:27; 22:14-15).

    The doctrine of providence teaches Christians that they are never in the grip of blind forces (fortune, chance, luck, fate); all that happens to them is divinely planned, and each event comes as a new summons to trust, obey, and rejoice, knowing that all is for one’s spiritual and eternal good (Rom. 8:28).

    Quoted from Concise Theology by J. I. Packer

  62. Michael says:

    Duane,

    I much prefer Heidelberg…much more human…

  63. Michael says:

    What is being called the deep state are actually the workers and bureaucrats that keep this country running through all the changes in elected officials.
    Most are hard working public servants…that we should be grateful for…

  64. Jim says:

    Duane Arnold November 4, 2019 at 9:52 am

    Michael,

    Don’t know about others, but I get very weary of having to choose the lesser of two evils…

    Michael November 4, 2019 at 9:57 am

    Duane,

    The more I think about it, the more I think we’re not supposed to…

    ________________________

    Two hearty amens from over here in the cheap seats.

  65. Jim says:

    Need to take my amen back over the public servant statement. Having been born in the belly of the beast, lived with a life-long fed employee, worked with fed employees, and lived on the Space Coast when it was completely dependent on the space program, I can say what many “cilvil servants” have told me. It’s a giant workfare program where very little gets done. Very heavy psych drug use as being a parasite will eat your soul.

  66. Duane Arnold says:

    Jim

    Sometimes the conversations that Michael and I have on a thread are continuations of conversations that we weekly have in private. We discuss things. We don’t claim in those conversations to have it “all figured out”. We simply realize that by being honest about about how we are thinking, a synergy takes place – the result becomes greater than the sum of the parts. If we disagree, which happens on a few occasions, we take what the other is saying in good faith. It’s the sort of conversation that I for one would like to see happen more often between all of us on the threads.

    So, thanks for the “hearty amens” to us thinking out loud!

  67. Jean says:

    To me, the deep state are the oligarchs and corporate elites who shut the doors of the doctor’s office on middle class working Americans and the poor.

  68. Xenia says:

    My husband was a federal employee for 35+ years. He worked hard and did not take drugs.

  69. Jim says:

    X,

    There are certainly good people who work for the govt, and those with a work ethic are going to work. I could tell you 50 stories of people who did nothing of value for most of their careers, as could your husband.

  70. Em says:

    Interesting how many different definitions we have for “deep state.” Yes, there are some hard working conscientious people paid by tax dollars – no argument there.
    In my view those folk don’t come under the banner of deep state, though… I’m thinking big dollar payoffs and power with no national allegiance… Dunno, tho, do i ? .😉

  71. Em says:

    Should add that i suspect the deep state people have aligned their souls with the diabolical machinations of the devil. 😈
    Bankers? Dunno. Dictators and communists? Dunno. Ayatollahs? Dunno. Etc… Dunno. 😕. .
    But it’s . … somebodies 😇

  72. Jean says:

    Steve,

    It’s important to note that all people, believers and unbelievers, are subject to God’s providential governance of the cosmos. All people can glean enough from natural theology to be held accountable before God for their sin, but God does not forgive sin except through faith in Christ, who is the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world.

  73. Steve says:

    Michael,

    I take your word I don’t understand God’s providence doctrine but you don’t tell me where I am wrong. Instead you just point me to a bunch of confessions that I doubt you confess yourself. All of this is off topic though. Maybe we should start giggling about the deep state. It’s more fun. What makes me giggle is when Hillary called Trump a puppet of Putin and half the country seems to buy into this.

  74. Michael says:

    Steve,
    I’ve been posting in between doctors appointments and phone calls.
    I studied to show myself approved ( and I was well approved in Reformed circles)… I would expect you to do the same if the doctrine actually matters.

  75. Steve says:

    I got this from lligonier website which I respect. Seems appropriate for this article:

    One of the oldest sayings of the ancient church summarizes the essence of the relationship between God and His people: Deus pro nobis. It means “God for us.” That is what the doctrine of providence is all about. It is God’s being for His people.

  76. Michael says:

    Steve,
    You really need to study before you comment on this anymore.

  77. Jean says:

    “That is what the doctrine of providence is all about. It is God’s being for His people.”

    Steve,

    When a Christian child is run over by a drunk driver, is that God being for His people?

  78. Steve says:

    Jean,. In respect for Michael’s blog I’m not going to comment on God’s providence anymore until I study more.

  79. Michael says:

    Steve,

    I’ve tried to point you to numerous resources and posted one for you.
    It takes time to study and understand these doctrines.
    I thought it better that you do so than be told you are wrong continually.
    The greatest gift I’ve ever been given is to know where I’m ignorant…many, many times.

  80. Steve says:

    Michael,

    I know you have been patient with me. But is there something wrong about Liginior ministries that I should be aware of? Most of the stuff I have posted has in one form or another come from them. You may disagree with them but I thought they were respected in reformed circles. Just curious.

  81. Michael says:

    LIgonier is the ministry of the late R.C. SprouL
    Very Reformed.
    If you like their material I suggest Dr. Sprouls book on Providence or one of his full teachings on the subject online.

  82. Duane Arnold says:

    Steve

    Just to chime in… real theological study takes time. I don’t consider myself to be Reformed, but I’ve read Sproul, Packer, Hodge, Warfield and a host of others, including of course, The Institutes. I don’t consider myself Lutheran, or Eastern Orthodox, or Roman Catholic, but I’ve read widely in each of those traditions. Then, of course, there is the need to read Church History to place it all in context. As I said, it takes time.

    When I used to do cement work, I was always amused by the bag which said, “just add water”. It said nothing about grading the site, building the forms, laying in the gravel base, placing the rebar, mixing the cement to the right consistency, pouring the cement, edging and finishing it, letting it cure and then removing the forms. Like cement work, theological study is not, “just add water”. There’s a process. There are steps to follow and, it takes time.

    I’d encourage you, if you have interest, to take up the task. You’ve already been given some great suggestions…

  83. Steve says:

    Duane and Michael,

    I appreciate what both you guys saying. I’m very familiar with R.C Sproul and love his stuff. He is very much a systematician. I’m a systems engineer so I think like that but not sure this is the way we should approach God. But out of all the reformed guys I like him the most.

  84. Xenia says:

    Hey Steve, I never thanked you for answering my question about VP Pence. Thanks for taking the time to explain your point of view!

    -Xenia

  85. Steve says:

    Thank you Xenia. I forgot about my comment on Pence.

  86. bob1 says:

    Speaking of Mikey Pence…

    His little hometown in Indiana just elected Democrats to the majority of City Council seats. Home
    of Cummins Engines.

    Not a shock — put some normal folks in office instead of all the right-wing Loony Tunes out there.
    Starting with President Looney Tunes on down.

    https://www.wthr.com/news/election-results/bartholomew-county-columbus-election-results

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