Thursday, January 03, 2008

I Don't Believe in Fatalism

My friend David reminded me the other day of this helpful passage from a book I read a few months back:
Scripture teaches that, as King, [God] orders and controls all things, human actions among them, in accordance with His own eternal purpose. Scripture also teaches that, as Judge, He holds every man responsible for the choices he makes and the courses of action he pursues. Thus, hearers of the gospel are responsible for their reaction; if they reject the good news, they are guilty of unbelief. . . . God's sovereignty and man's responsibility are taught side by side in the same Bible; sometimes, indeed, in the same text [see Luke 22:22, Acts 2:23]. Both are thus guaranteed to us by the same divine authority; both, therefore, are true. It follows that they must be held together, and not played off against each other. Man is a responsible moral agent, though he is also divinely controlled; man is divinely controlled, though he is also a responsible moral agent. God's sovereignty is a reality, and man's responsibility is a reality too.

(J.I. Packer, Evangelism & the Sovereignty of God, pp. 22-23.)

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