The Decrees of God

            Philosophy and Theology touch on many of the same areas because both seek to understand truth.  But Theology is not Philosophy as Philosophy proper is blind whereas Theology has the light of the revelation of God.  And while God’s revelation often touches on many of the areas that are covered in Philosophy it must be remember that there is a fundamental distinction between the blindness intrinsic to Philosophy and the light that the Scriptural revelation brings.  In a proper discussion of Theology there is no need to reconcile the points of theology with all of the false systems of the world that present themselves at various points in time.  It is merely necessary for theology to present the proper facts of the Bible in a clear understanding in order to root out all of the false systems that are in the world.  In looking at truth, it must be remembered that the purpose of all things is not so that all people can merely know Who God is, although there will be a day in which all people bend the knee to the Lord Jesus Christ in this life or the next; moreover, it must be remember that the purpose of all things in the Creation is not for the good of all of we who are created; it must be remembered that all things are set up by God for the glory of God.  So many people have strayed from the path of truth under the false pretenses that God exists for our good when in fact we exist for God’s glory.

            God, it must be remembered, is eternal.  And He sees everything.  At this point to God Jesus is still on the cross, Adam is still in the Garden, I am being born, I am dying, and I am writing this essay.  To God all of the distinctions we make as creatures between past, present, and future are an illusion as He is in all time and space and cannot be contained by either time or space.  From the pages of the Bible we have the decrees of God as they have been declared to the different dispensations of man.  And yet from the pages of the Bible we can see that in the consummation of all things that all that seems so insignificant to our puny brains which cannot comprehend all of the details that we see at any given moment, that all will lead to the glory of God.

            The Scriptures declare that all of the decrees of God must certainly come to fruition.  The words of God will never fail.  And yet the Scriptures also declare that we as humans make free will decisions.  These decisions that we make out of our own free choice are completely in accord with the freedom that God has given us and so we really are free.  To whom God has made free will be free indeed.  And yet all of our free will decisions will completely work out in accord with the divine plan of God to the minute detail.  The concepts of free will and predestination are often presented as a dichotomy; however, it is a false dichotomy.  On the one hand it can be explained that God effects good, but that He merely permits sin and evil so that God is the author of all that is good and yet He is not the author of anything that is evil.  All events will bring glory to God.  Everything from the pain which we can see no purpose for today to the clearest good will all bring glory to God in the end.  In the course of events it has been revealed in various places in the Scriptures that everything from the roll of the dice, to the loosing of an arrow, to the death of the sparrow are all in the complete control of the LORD Almighty.  Everything in the history of the world can properly be said to be the evolution of the purposes of God in unfolding in actuality.

Yet it can be objected the there is little in history that is but the history of sin.  From the Scriptures we can see in the story of Joseph how all of the apparent evil which is in the world that God works out for good and for the glory of God.  While on the one hand it may be argued that God merely permits sin, it must also be said on the other hand that there are at least some major sins which God does foreordain and yet those who commit them are fully culpable for the free will choices that they made in the consummation of those sins.  A perfect example of the sins which God wills for us to commit can be seen in the crucifixion of the Son of God.  There is no Christian who could deny that the crucifixion of the Son of God was a sin.  There is no Christian who could deny that the crucifixion of the Son of God was necessary.  There is no Christian who could deny that the crucifixion of the Son of God was ordained from eternity past in the will of God.  Distinct from this doctrine is that of fatalism which makes the error of leading to the denial of morality, but the decrees of God are completely contrary to the heathen doctrine of fate because the decrees of God lead necessarily to the Glory of God.

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  1. EricCharlesSmith

    We can agree that philosophy and theology are not the same. But is it fair to describe philosophy as “blind” while you describe theology as “revelation”? Are you actually implying that philosophy is inferior to theology? Whose theology? Why yours and not someone else’s? This is the very value of philosophy — it is the incessant search for what is true. Often theology is a matter of the blind leading the blind.

    September 13, 2012
  2. waynespiker

    Philosophy per se has led me to a deeper life in Christ. True not all philosophies are equal, not all beliefs are the same but you have made the error of Stephen Hawking who said “philosophy is dead” and both he and you have philosophized about that. The Bible recognizes “vain philosophies” but it doesn’t say ALL philosophies are vain. Apologetics is a study of the philosophy of theology. Otherwise I enjoyed your essay. Good thoughts but bad conclusion.

    September 19, 2012