Apologetics Thursday – A response to The Penny-Pinching Extravagance of God’s Providence

The original article can be found here.

The opening of this article is a hot mess. Four paragraphs of recounting an unquoted discussion, in likely less than generous terms, written perhaps in overly emotional terms. The fifth paragraph is far to deep into the article to start discussing the real issues. But I do like this as the actual introduction to the article.

Let’s talk about some of your claims:

First claim: First, meticulous providence brings comfort to the Childlike.

How? In this view of the world, God controls individuals to become Calvinists, and then become apostates. How can any Christian be assured of anything? Coupled with the realization that all evil is directed by God, even against His own people. That seems horrific and not at all comforting. You quote Gen 22, but you may miss the double entrendree implied. God will provide the sacrifice, my son. The sacrifice, then the name of the sacrifice. It is a play on words. In the narrative, Abraham expects his son to die. In the New Testament, they speculate that Abraham was thinking that God would raise his son from the dead.

Second claim: Second, meticulous providence is how God frees his children from a life of religious horror filled superstition.

This is an interesting claim. In classic Calvinism, the current state of the world is to God’s greatest glory. If any one detail changes, it would not be to God’s greatest glory. There is a reason for everything. That seems like the very definition of superstition. Let’s read the tea leaves, because there is meaning in them.

Third claim: Third, the providence of God is both penny pinching and extravagant at the same time.

The Romans passage you cite uses the word “synergy”, which is multiple actors working together. Perhaps a better translation, as posited in the book “Double Take: New Meanings from Old Stories” by Timothy Geddert, is that God works all things with us.

Meticulous, in Calvinism, takes on a new meaning. Every particle of dust is controlled by God. This is just not what we find in the Bible. In the Bible God exercises soviergnty. He rules and responds to evils as they occur. Israel rebels, God sees, God punishes, God repents, and then God restores. It is reactive, as God describes Himself:

Jer 18:7 The instant I speak concerning a nation and concerning a kingdom, to pluck up, to pull down, and to destroy it,
Jer 18:8 if that nation against whom I have spoken turns from its evil, I will relent of the disaster that I thought to bring upon it.
Jer 18:9 And the instant I speak concerning a nation and concerning a kingdom, to build and to plant it,
Jer 18:10 if it does evil in My sight so that it does not obey My voice, then I will relent concerning the good with which I said I would benefit it.

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