How could God be sovereign over history, yet give you free will? John Lennox answers

Short answer: It is a mystery. John Lennox:

Der Theologe und Philosoph John Lennox am 25. ...

Der Theologe und Philosoph John Lennox am 25. Oktober 2008 in Marburg (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

(1:25) When people ask me that question, I ask them, „What is consciousness?” And of course, they tell me they don’t know. They don’t even know, our physicist friends, what energy is. Those are much simpler things, that this question (you have asked me). You asked me the question: How? Now, the ‘how’, of these deep things, there are many of them we just cannot answer.

-How did God speak the universe into existence? I don’t know, But, that He spoke it into existence, I do believe there is evidence for it. So, I distinguish between the ‘how’ and the ‘that’ is this: You can see the evidences within Scripture and within experiences, that that is the most sensible way to understand the universe. In other words, I take Scripture seriously. And when Scripture tells me that God rules; His kingdom is, was, and ever shall be, I believe that. When I hear the Son of God stand on earth and say to Jerusalem, „How often I would have gathered you under my wings, but you wouldn’t,” I believe that too. That we have a real capacity to say yes or no to God. How that works, I don’t know. Let me illustrate that for you, because you might just find this useful.

I was asked at a big lecture I gave to about 500 senior physicists, in England- a man came up to me after, and said, „You know, that was a very interesting talk on science and religion, but, I perceive you are a Christian.” I said, „You’e very sharp.” He said, „As a Christian, you’re obliged to believe that Jesus is the Son of God.’ I said, „That’s right.” He said, „Explain to me how that can be?” I said, „Oh, very easily, but, as a quid pro quo, I’ll ask you a question.” And so, I asked him what consciousness was and he said he didn’t know. And then, I asked him what energy was, and he said, „Well we can measure it and use it.” I said, „That wasn’t my question, „What is it?” He said, „I don’t know.” So, I said, „That’s interesting, but you believe in both consciousness and energy, don’t you? And you don’t know what they are. Should I write you off as a physicist?” And he said, „Please don’t.” „But,” I said, „you were going to write me off 5 minutes ago, because I couldn’t explain to you how Jesus could be God and man at the same time. But, you observed that I believe it, quite correctly.”

„Tell me,” I said, „why do you believe in consciousness and energy?” Well, that was a bit too philosophical for him and I had to help him, cause I’m a soft person at heart. And I said, „You believe them, not because you understand them fully, but because of their explanatory power.” He said, „Thats right.” I said, „That’s exactly why I believe that Jesus is both God and Man not because I understand how. If we don’t understand the nature of energy, how could we possibly understand the nature of God? But, I believe it because there’s evidence that it’s true. Just as I believe that light is both waves and particles, however difficult I find that to get together. And you can see the relevance to your question.” It’s one of those questions, that people, because they can’t integrate it intellectually, tend to push it to one side or the other. It seems to me that Scripture both things and that what we are looking at is an unpacking of how it works, so that we can see how it relates to our lives.

VIDEO by CPA – Christian Prepared with Answers

For Judgement I Came into This World – Desiring God

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John 9:35-41

Jesus heard that they had cast him out, and having found him he said, “Do you believe in the Son of Man?” He answered, “And who is he, sir, that I may believe in him?” Jesus said to him, “You have seen him, and it is he who is speaking to you.” He said, “Lord, I believe,” and he worshiped him. Jesus said, “For judgment I came into this world, that those who do not see may see, and those who see may become blind.” Some of the Pharisees near him heard these things, and said to him, “Are we also blind?” Jesus said to them, “If you were blind, you would have no guilt; but now that you say, ‘We see,’ your guilt remains.”

It continually amazes me that the Gospel of John, even though it has the reputation for being the simplest Gospel, nevertheless, again and again tackles some of the hardest and most complex issues in life and doctrine, even in philosophy. These are always issues that really matter. And the Gospel does that again today in John 9:39–41.

One of the issues that troubles us when we start to take the sovereignty of God seriously—which this Gospel does, perhaps more bluntly than any of the others, especially in regard to our salvation—is that human beings seem less responsible, less accountable for what we feel and know and do. The more complete and the more extensive the sovereign power of God over our lives and our hearts, the more we start to wonder if we really can have any accountability for our own actions. If we sin are we really responsible for our sinning? That’s what these verses are about when you scratch just a little beneath the surface.

God’s Sovereignty in Our Salvation

Here’s a glimpse of what I mean by this Gospel’s emphasis on the sovereignty of God in our salvation.

In John 3:3, Jesus says, “Unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God.” And then he says in verse 8, “The wind blows where it wills, and you hear its sound, but you do not know where it comes from or where it goes. So it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit.” The Spirit gives life and sight where he wills. When we are aware of being awake spiritually, we have already been awakened. God did it before we did it.

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