Saturday, March 09, 2019

Packer: the intolerance of the logical

Saturday, March 9, 2019
    For he says to Moses, “I will have mercy on whom I have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion.” It does not, therefore, depend on man’s desire or effort, but on God’s mercy.
    —Romans 9:15-16 (NIV)
    All Christians believe in divine sovereignty, but some are not aware that they do, and mistakenly imagine and insist that they reject it. What causes this odd state of affairs? The root cause is the same as in most cases of error in the Church—the intruding of rationalistic speculations, the passion for systematic consistency, a reluctance to recognize the existence of mystery and to let God be wiser than men, and a consequent subjecting of Scripture to the supposed demands of human logic. People see that the Bible teaches man’s responsibility for his actions; they do not see how this is consistent with the sovereign Lordship of God over those actions. They are not content to let the two truths live side by side, as they do in the Scriptures, but jump to the conclusion that, in order to uphold the biblical truth of human responsibility, they are bound to reject the equally biblical and equally true doctrine of divine sovereignty, and to explain away the great number of texts that teach it. The desire to over-simplify the Bible by cutting out the mysteries is natural to our perverse minds, and it is not surprising, that even good men should fall victim to it.
    ... James I. Packer (b. 1926), Evangelism and the Sovereignty of God [1961], Downers Grove, IL: Inter-Varsity Fellowship, 1991, p. 16-17 (see the book)
    See also Rom. 9:15-16; Isa. 41:9; Jer. 6:13-15; Matt. 12:35-36; John 16:7-11; Rom. 8:29-30; 1 Cor. 3:13-15; 4:6; 2 Cor. 4:1-2; Eph. 1:4-5; 1 Pet. 2:9
Quiet time reflection:
    Lord, Your wisdom makes a fool of me.
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