Mrs. Robinson Infers Determinism but Isn’t Determined to Clarify Deterministic Inferences

What Mrs. Robinson posted:

Remarkable passage regarding God’s sovereignty. Exodus 34:24 – “For I will drive out nations from you and enlarge your borders, and no one will covet your land when you go up three times a year to appear before the Lord your God.” Three times a year, every male Israelite, at the command of God, left his home and inheritance, and journeyed to Jerusalem to keep the feasts of the Lord; and in the above Scripture we learn He promised them that, while they were at Jerusalem, He would guard their unprotected homes by restraining the covetous designs and desires of their heathen neighbors. (Excerpt from the Sovereignty of God by A.W. Pink)

Interesting. So, you mean to tell me that God has access to ALL men’s hearts? I thought they had to give Him permission. He could only make that claim to the Israelites if He was sovereign over the reprobate.

“The king’s heart is a stream of water in the hand of the Lord; he turns it wherever He will.” Proverbs 21:1

I asked:

I understand you to infer here and elsewhere that anything and everything that would ever happen to anyone anywhere in the world is a direct result of God wanting it to happen. That is, nothing happens outside of what God has divinely ordained. Is this an accurate reflection of your beliefs? Would it be fair for someone to consider you to be a divine determinist?

What followed:

I waited for a response for nearly an hour. During that time, I noted that Mrs. Robinson had responded nine times to other people. And even after six hours, there was, unfortunately, still no response. After a day, it’s fair to conclude that she’s determined not to respond (best pun I could think of).

My perspective:

I have no doubt that Mrs. Robinson and I will disagree over the sovereignty of God. And I’m okay with that. But I’ve observed a wide and distinct variance between that which is stated versus how lives are lived amongst people who I’d consider very deterministic in their theology. And so, if anything, I was hoping to seek clarity over agreement by asking some questions.

My Position / Perception:

It’s my overall sense that guidance, revelation and leadings of God were only given to pivotal individuals in the Old and New Testaments such as Moses and the Ten Commandments or the burning of the bush. I do not believe that God ‘makes the choices’ that we ultimately enact.

A question I’ve posed to my theistically determined Calvinist friends – why is there so much angst against abortion in this country? Is it not accurate within Calvinistic determinism to affirm that God wanted abortion to be the law of the land back in 1973? And since then, God has deterministically decreed that greater than 40M infants should be killed. Why am I not hearing a bunch of hallelujahs from you Calvinist?

Can it not be accurately stated, per Calvinistic determinism, that God has brought about all sorts of specific diseases, heartaches, disappointments, financial difficulties, divorce, crime, etc? Wouldn’t any attempt to alleviate or cure that “God-given condition” be in direct violation of God’s determinist desire?

My Questions:

  • Who is your favorite author who ascribes to a deterministic worldview?
  • Do you have a favorite author who ascribes to a freewill worldview?
  • Why would God see the need to give us the book of Proverbs if he is, after all, determining everything that will happen?
  • Does determinism rule out personal choice?
  • Does determinism essentially mean that one’s choices are predetermined?
  • Do you differentiate predestination vs determinism?
  • Do you agree that divine determinism infers that all events that happen are pre-ordained to happen by God?
  • Did Adam and Eve have free will?
  • Do you believe that Jer 29:11 applies to you?

Conclusion

Arthur Pink, among many Calvinistic theologians has as much stated that any and everything that ever happens to anyone is a direct result of God wanting it to happen. I think this is foolish. So, if Pink is correct, God has determined that I am not deterministic in my theology and that I should think that the Doctrines of Grace within Calvinism are foolish.  

Two articles of note were published in yesterday’s The Christian Post

  • Beni Johnson’s cancer is progressing
  • Pastor Tavner Smith’s affair

Just so it’s clear – God sometimes determines that certain individuals should get cancer and others should become involved with an extramarital affair? Isn’t that the logical conclusion of the determinist’s perspective?

https://www.christianpost.com/news/audio-leaked-of-megachurch-pastor-confronted-over-alleged-affair.html

Author: Bob

I’m an upper Midwestern guy who has recently entered the "Buick stage" of life and decided to migrate to Florida. This blog is an attempt to rectify discordant aspects within my Christian faith ... or what often feels like my lack of Christian faith. Things which make life more enjoyable include strong black coffee, charcoal grilling anytime of the year, putz'ing at a table saw, playing chess, a good orthopedic surgeon and an occasional IPA. Please feel free to poke around and comment as you wish. I welcome discussion and the insights of others.

One thought on “Mrs. Robinson Infers Determinism but Isn’t Determined to Clarify Deterministic Inferences”

  1. To Mrs. Robinson’s credit, she provided some answers in the FB forum in which this discussion too place. I’ve taken the liberty of putting her responses as a comment within my MMM article. Other people within the FB forum have responded and perhaps I’ll compile those responses into a new article. As Mrs. Robinson states, “Stay tuned.”

    Does everything that happens only happens because God has divinely ordained it?
    The answer to that is yes. Ephesians 1:11 attributes all things are under His sovereign control and all things work according to His will.

    In him we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to the purpose of him who works all things according to the counsel of his will,”

    Lamentations 3:37 Who has spoken, and it came to pass, unless the Lord has ordained it?

    Am I a divine determinist?
    I have ventured into what is known as “hard determinism” but have kind of come back around to “soft determinism” also known as “compatibilism.” I felt hard determinism erred on leaving out man’s responsibility for his own sin.

    Who’re my favorite deterministic and freewill authors were:
    Deterministic – A.W. Pink is about as much of a high Calvinist and determinist as you can get. He made much of God and little of man, which is why I like the guy!

    Free-will – Adrian Rogers as my pastor for some 20 years and though he wasn’t Calvinist, I still have many of his books and will quote him regularly.

    Mrs. Robinson also indicated that she would respond at a later time on other questions I asked such as whether Adam and Eve had free will and why was the book of Proverbs was written if God determines everything that happens. As she would say, “Stay tuned.”

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