Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Real Predestination: Part 2

What does the vision of predestination that I outlined earlier mean in everyday life? I think, first of all, that it drives the Christian to worship: this God is accomplishing His good plans of mercy and salvation, even in the midst of great evil. This is not the only thing, though.

A second practical corollary is that this God humbles us. Especially me. I often want to "bring in the Kingdom" on my own, at my own pace, in my own way. But this is not what is happening. God is doing the work. I am coming alongside -- what He calls us to is not to establish the work, but to fidelity. Our living in the Spirit, our Chalcedonian existence if you will, leads us to participate in the gradual recreation of the world by the Spirit. God is doing it, so we can come alongside. Note here that the brunt of the doctrine is not "God is doing it, so we don't have to." That is to fall headfirst into fatalism, which assumes that God is abstract and impersonal. If God does nothing without first revealing it to his prophets (Amos 3:7), why should we assume that God does anything without involving the body of His Son? (Here is another reason that I have turned back to orthodoxy -- incarnation is inescapble). Predestination, when viewed historically, produces humble action as the people of God exercise fidelity to God's plan, which He set out through the prophets and apostles, and supremely in Jesus the Messiah.

We reach, then, Ephesians 1, where Paul -- as prophet -- proclaims what the will of God is: to reconcile all things to Himself through Christ and His Church. He will do it -- it is now time to join Him.

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