A Brief Response to Greg Boyd's Article on Predestination

I recently read an article written by Greg Boyd, which tackled the issue of predestination vs free will. In this brief response, I want to outline some issues that the article brought to my attention.

Thankfully this page is nigh visited by many, if any. So ... let's dive in!

First, Greg's Article: http://reknew.org/2012/12/grieving-with-the-god-who-pulled-the-trigger/

In summary, I believe Greg (correctly) points out that to believe that God controls all aspects of everything happening here on earth is to believe that God somehow causes evil. Since God, who is love, cannot (by nature) create evil, we have a big problem.

However, I think the problem is not with the doctrine of predestination, but with how people hold or carry that doctrine. In other words, The way in which we believe is just as important as what we believe (Exodus 20:7). Yes, there are times where a belief is just wrong, regardless of how we hold it. For example, if I believe that I should murder as many people as possible, no matter how I carry that out, it's wrong (and not to mention, illegal).

So I think there may be a better way to understand the doctrine of predestination than the one we currently inherited from the reformation ...

To begin, Here are a few points on what the Bible tells us about God
1) God practices enemy love (while we were still sinners, Jesus died for us)
2) God is gentle and humble of heart
3) God is alpha (beginning) and Omega (end)
4) God is just
5) God is righteous
6) God has complete understanding of the human heart

In each of these six points, we need to recognize that God is all of these things in their complete and utter perfection. If God loves, he does so with absolute integrity and perfection. So then the idea that God predestines some for belief and others for unbelief (or heaven and hell) must be predicated on the idea that God is perfectly just, loving, righteous and all-understanding/knowing. 

Are you with me?

It could also be framed this way: If you have perfect and utterly complete wisdom and utterly complete knowledge of someone (even foreknowledge), and you decided based on what you see that the only ... the literal, only option for this person would be to give them over to their own desires and send them to hell - is there any sense in which you could be wrong? Answer: only if you don't have complete and perfect wisdom, knowledge and understanding.

The big problem with modern predestination doctrines is that people take this doctrine and apply the precept to everyone they think is going to hell. That's a terrible mistake to make, because we don't have complete understanding. We barely have partial understanding!

In conclusion, Our job as Christians is not to predestine people to hell for God. Our job as Christians on this earth is to shine the light of Jesus into the darkness; to love all people with the same love we have in Christ. We must be willing to let God be final judge - because God does it perfectly, and with absolute integrity.

On this topic, I think Greg's book "Repenting of Religion" is an absolute must read for Christians of all stripes and creeds.


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