One of the many revolutions that are occurring in my life at the moment is my increasing attraction to the idea of predestination. Despite the ostensible mutual exclusivity of the two ideas of free-will and predestination, I tend to think that both being true is just one other example of a number of characteristics of God’s nature that is simply beyond the capacity for humans to grasp, the idea of the Trinity is an obvious one that comes to mind.
While it could be claimed that believing both are true is just pusillanimous fence-sitting, it seems to me that Scripture makes a convincing case that both are a reality.
The content of this post doesn’t deal with predestination specifically, but the theme of the post fits perfectly into it.
A recent revelation had exposed an interloper in my worldview. I realised that I had unwittingly adopted aspects of methodological naturalism, which is an atheistic concept that dominates every aspect of the Western world. I had fallen prey to naturalism despite the fact that I had spent the better part of the last decade furiously warring against this anti-theistic behemoth. I thought I knew it well enough to prevent it from invading my personal worldview, but it proved to be a far more insidious foe than I gave it credit for!
As keenly aware as I was of the atheistic worldview, I had no idea how deeply engrained it is into the thinking of the Western world, and also my own. My personal worldview was the result of having spent a great deal of time delving into the natural sciences. I noticed how everything in the universe ticked along like clockwork quite nicely (albeit clockwork that’s running down and malfunctioning) without the immediate presence of God; planets revolve, cells replicate, clouds precipitate, all without any supernatural action. All this logically led to the idea that natural events were random and devoid of any meaning or purpose, events like rain, earthquakes, celestial activity, bushfires, although God would most certainly use nature to bless or curse humans at will. Also, if natural events were random, what about stuff like kicking a toe on a rock, or winning two dollars on an Instant Scratchit, or a car pulling out of a park just in time for you? Are these types of things random as well? It’s a slippery slope. Once the principle of randomness is adopted, the simple fact is that there are no bounds to it’s ambit.
Randomness and purposelessness are simply NOT Scriptural concepts, but rather concepts that are wholly imported from the atheistic worldview of methodological naturalism which demands that everything must be purposeless and random if God does not exist. Many have unwittingly adopted this atheistic thinking into their Christian worldview to some degree.
While most Christians have no trouble believing that God is omnipotent, few are aware of what this logically leads to. God’s omnipotence, omniscience and omnipresence means that His dominion over His creation is total, He knows & sees all (1Jn3:20; Ps139; Pr5:21;15:3; Heb4:13; Isa46:10), and nothing is too hard for Him (Gen18:14; Job42:2; Jer32:17; Mt19:26). Even Satan and his minions are fully bound by the will of God, as the account of Job testifies. So if nothing happens without His knowledge, then absolutely nothing can happen without God’s approval; not a supernova explosion, not an earthquake, not a car crash, not a broken finger nail, nor even the flux of an atom in the atmosphere. God’s dominion is supreme.
God is described throughout Scripture, implicitly and explicitly, as conforming all things to His will. Everything does His bidding, and nothing can resist (Is 43:13; Rm8:28; Eph 1:11; Ps155:3,135:6; Dan4:35).
The picture of God that is painted in Scripture is a God of purpose and design. I can find absolutely no Scriptural reference, either explicit or even implicit, to randomness or purposelessness, it is totally alien. It is an interloper into the Christian mind, originating from an atheistic worldview.
So this puts things into a better perspective: If God has perfect control over the movement of even all the atoms, then it makes perfect sense that God would direct the motion of all things in the universe to accord to His will; the movement of the atoms, and molecules, and biological cells, and clouds, and the winds: Everything is in His control and is used to achieve his will. Thus not only does it seem nonsensical to me for a God who has total control over everything to allow random movements of things, I actually question if it would even be possible for there to be randomness if God has total control! It seems to me that this would be a logical contradiction, just like a ‘married bachelor’ or a ‘straight curve’. Since God is omnipotent, then He has control, so therefore in my mind there just can not be randomness in the world. Of course if nothing is random then nothing can be purposeless either.