Wednesday, December 19, 2007

A Prevenient God

One thing that has always bothered me was the “doctrine of the elect.” In a rough summary it means that God chooses who is saved and who is not. The reason I have a problem with this is that means God rejects people. I never felt comfortable with the idea that God rejects people. I always felt God was a wellspring of grace that was beyond human comprehension. I always felt that with this kind of logic God becomes exclusive. That God is only reachable by a certain group of people. My theological leanings lead me to think that the only exclusivity with God lies in the fact that Jesus is that only way to know God. This in turn is really the choice of a person. That one chooses God and not God choosing one person over another.

I was reading A. W. Tozer and he stated some things that made sense and where interesting. He stated that God put in us the desire to pursue God. I can understand this because humans have an penchant for spiritually. This explains why there are so many religions. A desire for spiritually is part of human nature. This then means that God is that one who can take credit for salvation because He was the one who created that desire to pursue spiritually matters. But also on a practical level it is man who has to work to pursue God. One cannot just accept God and be done, but must engage in action towards God.

So God is the starting point. Everything comes from God. Yet human reactions are important. God does the hard part and there is a call for humans to react and respond. It is not the same as letting God do all the work and it is not Humans doing most of the work. So I find God has put it in me and God desires a response from me. Really God has done all the hard work and I am just participating in God’s creation.


Dan said...

Dude, I've been thinking about the same thing recently.

I agree that God is the starting point, but I'm really still trying to figure out the "exclusivity" of God. If you're in the Calvin Club, you're saying you can't come unless God says so. If you're Arminian, you'll probably be pegged as unbiblical.

But how is it just? I guess we're saying God calls everyone, eh? And the "chosen" are the ones who respond? Or are the ones who "respond" actually the chosen?

It's tough. It's like the chicken or the egg question. It's all up for interpretation, really.

Dan said...

RYC: I really like the idea that good theology can be explained simply. There is certainly truth to that. Of course, there may be some terms that come with the territory...

And good luck with teaching the high schoolers. I still suggest starting with the story.