Is there a tension? Really?

Some have contended that there is tension between God’s moral purity and His love. How would you respond to such a charge?

Well this is a great question and I love for people to ask this question because it gives us an example to explain to people with a misunderstanding of God’s character who God is truly. As I look at this question it never seems to be God’s moral purity or justice that is question, but as a result of God’s moral purity and justice how can He truly be loving because that would require some to be lost forever in Hell. Well unfortunately this is a common misunderstanding but when one looks at the whole of the revelation of God, God’s Holy Scripture, the answer becomes quite obvious. For one to believe there is a tension means that one believes God is at fault for death, oppression, and separation that comes as a result of sin. However, at the beginning of God’s story we find it was not God who chose this path to occur but it was man. It was not man who chose for humankind to be separated from God and face physical death it was a result of the human decision.
In the New Testament this is show as well, Jesus had come to bring salvation not to condemn the world, but through individual denial of Jesus some would condemn themselves (John 3:16-21). Some choose hell or separation from God in this age and in so choose hell or separation from God in the age to come. We see the NT filled with the idea of a new covenant that is established through Jesus and through this covenant one comes into relationship with God (one gets God that is what it is all about) and as result of getting God one receive forgiveness. Despite the great Calvinism and Arminianism debates one cannot look past the covenant that takes place in the Old and New Testament (which actually means Old and New Covenant). A covenant is an agreement by two parties and to believe in a covenant one must believe that both parties then choose to make an agreement with each other. It is not just God and not just man, it is both parties at work coming to an agreement or covenant, and as we know the covenant is one of faith.
We also see all throughout the NT that Jesus died and raised as the means of defeating sin and that this is defeating sin totally. As the author of Hebrews discusses it was one sacrifice to defeat sin once and for all. If God really offered himself as a sacrifice to defeat sin then how can one believe that he only defeats sin in regard to specific individuals He picks out, does he not defeat it and invited people into a kingdom in which sin is defeated (all of this can be seen through his covenant with Abraham in Gen. 15 and his call of Abram in Gen. 12 in which he desires all the nations of the world). How then does this make God unloving if He defeats sin for all the world and offers an invitation or covenant agreement to the world for those who would turn to him in faith? God never choose for people to go to hell, to die, to be separated from Him that is what people chose and some will continue to choose in this age and find themselves still there in the age to come.
No matter what ones theology is about Calvinism or Armeninism one cannot deny the flowing idea all throughout scripture of the covenant. This is one situation where theology in narrative for and taking into account the entire narrative account could save much debate. One cannot deny that God acts, that God is all knowing, that time and space to do not hinder God, that He sacrifices Himself to defeat sin, that he invites people into a covenant with Him and that at the same time people must respond in faith to the calling, that all though totally depraved God is active and gives his law that is written on the hearts of all humanity (Romans 2:15) leading humanity to look for God as they see their totally depraved nature and realize help is needed (Romans 7), that when one truly seeks for God then God will always reveal himself, once God is revealed then one must accept of deny God’s covenant agreement, that humanity takes part in the action of salvation by responding in faith (Romans 10:9-19).

With all that being the case it is easy for one to see that God’s love nor his moral purity/justice is at tension in any way. God so loves that he offers a covenant (Gen. 15) and he so loves that He even fulfills the part of Abram when He offers himself on the cross for all the world. His desire will be seen one day as we look to the end of Revelation and see him redeeming humanity and all creation.

I know some will disagree greatly with me, and that is fine if you do. Thankful the predestination vs. freewill debate is one that is debated by those who do know Jesus so that does not matter really. As you can see I do not fall on either side but find a middle ground through the covenant. If you do disagree I challenge you to look at the fullness of scripture and as you do I hope it will become clear to you as it has me that neither extreme is right or can be right. However, if one just looks at the handful of verses each side uses to defend itself then one can come to that conclusion. May we reclaim the whole of the revelation of God. May we see, understand, and teach the entire story and as we do may we be willing for God to change our understandings as we have known it to line up more closely with His truth.

  1. December 11, 2009 at 11:25 pm

    Interesting affair, I didn’t thought this would be so cool when I klicked at the title with link!!

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