Sunday, September 7, 2008

Can Jesus Weep Over What He Wills?

In light of my little heretical piece below, Desiring God blog has a great post on what is part of my struggle with election and the sovereignty of God.

Check it here;

Let me know what you think.


mark said...

mate, this is something i've been thinking about heaps too. how does God not want anyone to perish, but all turn to him - yet at the same time sovereignly choose only some? How does Scripture say that God will's for us is not to sin, yet we do? Or, and this has been on my mind lately: a wonderful young fella in my bible study was diagnosed with a serious case of leukemia last week - does God weep over this awful thing which is somehow part of His sovereign plan?

A guy whom I really appreciate reading is a fella called John Frame. He says we feel two main problems: 1) the emotional problem and 2) the theological problem. The emotional problem is simply that jarring tension of what we can (or can't) understand. And the theological problem is the other.

With Jesus weeping over what He wills - I definitely feel the emotional problem. With the theological problem - John Frame pointed me to something really helpful: the reformers understood a distinction between God's *decretive* will and his *preceptive* will (based on His decrees and his precepts). The decretive being what He sovereignly decrees to happen (election, events, sickness etc), and the preceptive will is like His heart - what he yearns to see happen (obedience, relationship with all people, no sickness or death). So, that helps me to start to make a little sense of the very sad things of life (like the fella whom I'm praying would be healed of his leukemia), and it actually helps a little bit with the emotional problem too...

Here's a good Piper article on the sort of thing I'm rambling about!

geoffc said...

hi Mark, thanks for your thoughts.

How can God's heart be disconnected from his sovereign decrees? It's sounds a little strange for God's heart to not be in something he wills doesn't it?

I'll have a read of the article.

I should add if it is coming across otherwise that I am thoroughly committed to the doctrine of election and the sovereignty of God in all things, it just gives me the jitters some times while doing me head in.

geoffc said...

Hey Mark, the link didn't work, could you try and put it up again?

mark said...

hey mate - yeah my descriptions are pretty average! in fact, describing much via a blog kind of sucks eh! i don't *really* think God's "heart" is disconnected from his decrees - not at all eh. it's just my lame attempt at describing what John Piper says much better! :)

link here