The Horror of Meticulous Determinism | Jesus Creed

Those holding the divine meticulous determinism view argue that Boyd’s view undermines God’s sovereignty and omniscience while Boyd argues that his view magnifies those realities in God. (Boyd was actually the subject of a heresy trial over his open theism views.) There is no way to escape that God is the author of evil when you hold that all that happens is decreed by God in God’s eternal, comprehensive decree. I remember J. I. Packer writing about this issue in his little paperback, Evangelism and the Sovereignty of God, by introducing the term antinomy. The issue was God decreeing Satan’s resistance to God’s own will. God willed Satan’s willful resistance. We need a word for that: antinomy. I call it “the Calvinistic punt.” Boyd asks, “Does this [classic view of] omnipotence necessarily entail that God is all-controlling, as the classical-philosophical tradition after Augustine has been inclined to assume? Does affirming that God is omnipotent commit one to the view that a good divine purpose lies behind particular events…?” (41).

Did God decree evil and then send Jesus to “mop it up,” so to speak? Did Jesus come to reverse God’s decree? Is there a disunity in the Trinity? The classic omni-control view’s appeal to antinomy and mystery seems to be a way to escape where simple logic would lead anyone.

If everything, down to the a single molecule’s activity (R. C. Sproul), is decreed by God and is so decreed for God’s glory, then when Zosia, an alive young Jewish girl in the Warsaw ghetto, has her beautiful eyes gouged out by Nazi soldiers to make two rings—one for a Nazi leader and his wife—the loving God of the universe decreed this for his matchless glory (see Boyd, 31-72).

I stopped drinking the kool-aid of Augustinian/Calvinistic determinism. Rather than getting mad at God about evil or reciting inadequate platitudes (“all things work together for good”), I was able to focus energy on the real enemy and the real cosmic conflict.

[Excerpted from the original article: —Read On, ]



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