God Preserving and Governing: The Mystery of Providence

The Mystery of Providence by John Flavel

“The greatness of God is a glorious and unsearchable mystery. The condescension of the most high God to men is also a profound mystery. But when both these meet together, as they do in Psalm 57:2, they make up a matchless mystery. Here we find the most high God performing all things for a poor distressed creature.

“O how ravishing and delectable a sight will it be to behold at one view the whole design of Providence, and the proper place and use of every single act, which we could not understand in this world!”

I’ve had The Mystery of Providence (1678) on my list of books to be read for quite a while, and with all the crazy stuff that has taken place in 2020, the time seemed right to read it. I don’t know about you, but I’ve thought a lot about the sovereignty and providence of God over the past year. Providence is defined in the Westminster Shorter Catechism as God’s “most holy, wise, and powerful preserving and governing all His creatures, and all their actions.” This statement presupposes that God is the Creator of all things, and as such, has the prerogative to do whatever He wishes with it. A pastor friend of mine recently shared this definition of the word “providence” from the Westminster Dictionary of Theological Terms:

The vigilant care which God exercises in relation to all the works of his hand in their preservation and government. God has not merely created all things, but he continues to uphold them, and all his attributes of omniscience, omnipotence, omnipresence, justice, goodness, faithfulness, etc. are continually illustrated in his providential control.

Continue reading “God Preserving and Governing: The Mystery of Providence”

Resistance is Futile: Chosen by God

chosen-by-godChosen by God by R. C. Sproul

“I have grown to love [the doctrine of predestination]. It is most comforting. It underlines the extent to which God has gone on our behalf. It is a theology that begins and ends with grace. It begins and ends with doxology. We praise a God who lifted us from spiritual deadness and makes us walk in high places.”


Predestination. Foreknowledge. Election. Free Will. Reprobation. These are among some of the most controversial and misunderstood terms that come up in theological discussions amongst evangelical Christians, and they are the concepts that Dr. Sproul addresses in his most influential little book, Chosen by God. All of these concepts are linked very tightly to one truth that most if not all orthodox Christians claim to accept: the Sovereignty of God. This topic, though, can lead to another whole discussion, as the question is raised: Just how sovereign is God? This, in my opinion, is rather a pointless question, because if God is not completely sovereign in every area of life, both material and spiritual, then He’s not sovereign, period. And if He’s not sovereign, then He’s not God. But the next question becomes: Can or does God choose at times or in certain situations not to exercise His sovereign control? Continue reading “Resistance is Futile: Chosen by God”

A Sneak Peek Behind Enemy Lines: The Screwtape Letters

screwtapeletters-bookcoverThe Screwtape Letters by C. S. Lewis

“There are two equal and opposite errors into which our race can fall about the devils. One is to disbelieve in their existence. The other is to believe, and to feel an excessive and unhealthy interest in them. They themselves are equally pleased by both errors.”
 

Martin Luther is quoted as stating, “The best way to drive out the devil, if he will not yield to texts of Scripture, is to jeer and flout him, for he cannot bear scorn.” I believe that was one of C. S. Lewis’s purposes for writing The Screwtape Letters. In this creative literary work, Lewis has composed a series of letters from a chief demon named Screwtape to his apprentice, his nephew Wormwood, as he offers him guidance and advice.

Of course the entire work is for the most part based on speculation, for we know very little about how Satan and his cohorts operate or what goes on in the spirit world around. We do know, however, based on Scripture, that Satan is real and that spiritual warfare is ongoing and has been since the fall of Man in Garden of Eden (Genesis 3).  Continue reading “A Sneak Peek Behind Enemy Lines: The Screwtape Letters”

Comfort in the Arms of an All-Sovereign God: Who’s Your Father?

Who’s Your Father?: Returning to the Love of the Biblical God by Robert Bernecker

WhosYourFather“What is neglected by most Christians today is the comforting, awe-inspiring truth of our God’s sovereignty, his great love for each of us, and the eminent trustworthiness of his eternal purpose, which includes each of us in infinite detail. This negligence robs us of our real joy and comfort in our Father who loves us, chooses us, redeems us, and perfects us.”
 
“A ‘god’ whose will is resisted, whose designs are frustrated, whose purpose is checkmated, possesses no title to Deity, and so far from being a fit object of worship, merits naught but contempt.” (A. W. Pink, The Attributes of God)


Last year I was contacted by the author of Who’s Your Father? Robert Bernecker, who asked me if I’d read and review his book, which he had recently published. He was kind enough to send me a copy and patient enough to wait for me to read it. Mr. Bernecker is not a theologian, pastor, or seminary professor, but merely a layman who came to an understanding of the sovereignty of God through his own personal, in-depth study of the Scriptures. His book is written for the lay Christian and is chock full of scriptures. Continue reading “Comfort in the Arms of an All-Sovereign God: Who’s Your Father?”