Below is a good post by Scott Clark at the Heidelblog. First, here’s a bit from Article 13 of the Belgic Confession of Faith regarding The Doctrine of God’s Providence:
We believe that this good God, after he created all things, did not abandon them to chance or fortune but leads and governs them according to his holy will, in such a way that nothing happens in this world without his orderly arrangement.
Yet God is not the author of, nor can he be charged with, the sin that occurs. For his power and goodness are so great and incomprehensible that he arranges and does his work very well and justly even when the devils and wicked men act unjustly.
We do not wish to inquire with undue curiosity into what he does that surpasses human understanding and is beyond our ability to comprehend. But in all humility and reverence we adore the just judgments of God, which are hidden from us, being content to be Christ’s disciples, so as to learn only what he shows us in his Word, without going beyond those limits.
How can a good God allow an 8-year-old boy to be blown up – along with many others – in such an atrocity? The real question is why haven’t all of us been wiped out in a like or even worse manner? God moves in a mysterious way, His wonders to perform. We don’t have all the answers yet – we will some day. But the fact that men are alive on the earth right now is clear evidence of His patience, mercy and grace towards us.
Initially I wanted the authorities to take Suspect #2 dead, not alive. That’s a natural reaction. A supernatural reaction allows us to see a really messed up young man whom Christ can still save. I remember seeing images of Saddam Hussein hanging and thinking, wow…this man just (apparently) stepped into an eternity in hell – and I actually wept while looking at images of his lifeless corpse. Loving one’s enemies is always much easier said than done. “…human anger does not produce the righteousness that God desires.” James 1:20
Grace and peace,
Dr. R. Scott Clark
Boston and Free Choice
It’s been a busy week. Greg Reynolds is on campus this week to give the annual DenDulk lectures on pastoral ministry and that means additional (good) activities. We were in the studio yesterday recording an episode of Office Hours and at dinner last night. This by way of explanation for the silence thus far on the HB regarding Boston.
First, some cautions. Believers should be very careful about attempting to interpret providence just as we should be careful about seeking to know his hidden will. The truth is, according to Jesus (Luke 13), we don’t know why God permits evil in the world. More on this below. Where is God when bad things happen? Right where he always was, comprehending everything in his providence.
Second, there is more to say and know about how God relates to the world and evil in his mysterious providence. In Westminster Confession of Faith 5.2 the Reformed churches confess:
2. Although, in relation to the foreknowledge and decree of God, the first Cause, all things come to pass immutably, and infallibly; yet, by the same providence, he ordereth them to fall out, according to the nature of second causes, either necessarily, freely, or contingently.
Here is wisdom about how God operates in the world but it will take some time and meditation to begin to grasp what this little section means.