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Wednesday Giveaway - Four Views on Divine Providence

Categories Theology

“in Ronald Maxwell’s film adaptation of Jeffrey Shaara’s historical novel Gods and Generals, a shell- shocked captain in the Confederate army asks Lieutenant General Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson how he could remain so tranquil in battle when the fight was raging all around him. “General,” the young captain asks in an almost reverential tone, “how is it that you can keep so serene and stay so utterly insensible, with a storm of shells and bullets raining about your head?”

Jackson’s response reveals his unshakable confidence in the absolute sovereignty of God over all things, including the seemingly random events that take place on the battlefield. “Captain Smith,” Jackson thoughtfully responds, “my religious belief teaches me to feel as safe in battle as in bed. God has fixed the time for my death; I do not concern myself with that, but to be always ready, whenever it may overtake me. That is the way all men should live; then all men would be equally brave.”

Divine ProvidenceOur understanding of God’s sovereignty can have massive implications for the way we live our lives, even if or most of us that won’t look quite like it did for Stonewall Jackson.

But what does it mean for God to be sovereign?

Does everything, from my salvation to the path of a bullet on a Civil War battlefield, happen according to his preordained will? Does God experience time and choices unfolding along with us? Or does the answer lie somewhere in-between?

Questions like these have preoccupied Christians for generations, and in this week’s giveaway, Four Views on Divine Providence, leading theologians wrestle with those difficult theological and philosophical issues.

The four positions are represented by Paul Helseth (God causes every creaturely event that occurs); William Lane Craig (through his “middle knowledge,” God controls the course of worldly affairs without predetermining any creatures’ free decisions); Ron Highfield (God controls creatures by liberating their decision-making); and Gregory Boyd (human decisions can be free only if God neither determines nor knows what they will be).

To enter the giveaway, simply comment below with your answer to this question: What are the practical implications of our view of God's sovereignty?

Also, a bonus entry is a available if you comment a second time letting us know that you shared a link to this giveaway on Facebook, Twitter, or your blog.

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*If you are reading this via Facebook, email, or RSS, please visit the blog to enter. Two winners will be determined by Random Integer Generator. Giveaway ends Thursday at midnight*

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