We may content ourselves by saying over the sin of Adam and Eve what Joseph said over the sin of his brothers when they sold him into slavery: “As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good” (Gen 50:20).
As for you, Adam and Eve, you meant evil against God as you rejected Him as your Father and Treasure, but oh what an infinite good he planned through your fall! The Seed of the woman will one day bruise the head of the great Serpent, and by His suffering He will display the greatness of the glory of the grace of God. You have not undone His plan. Just as Joseph was sold sinfully into slavery, you have sold yourselves for an apple. You have fallen, and now the stage is set for the perfect display of the glory of the grace of God.
Suffering and the Sovereignty of God (2006, p. 85)
The suffering of the utterly innocent and infinitely holy Son of God in the place of utterly undeserving sinners to bring us to everlasting joy is the greatest display of the glory of God’s grace that ever was, or ever could be.
This was the moment — Good Friday — for which everything in the universe was planned. In conceiving a universe in which to display the glory of His grace, God did not choose plan B. There could be no greater display of the glory of the grace of God than what happened at Calvary. Everything leading to it and everything flowing from it is explained by it, including all the suffering in the world.
Suffering and the Sovereignity of God, (2006, p.82)
In the academic classroom and in the apologetics discussion, the agency of Satan in our suffering may lift a little of the burden of God’s sovereignty for some; but for others, like Job, there is more security and more relief and more hope and more support and more glorious truth in despising Satan’s hateful hand and looking straight past him to God for the cause and for His mercy.
Suffering and the Sovereignty of God (2006, p.23)
Against the overwhelming weight and seriousness of the Bible, much of the church is choosing, at this very moment, to become more light and shallow and entertainment-oriented, and therefore successful in its irrelevance to massive suffering and evil. The popular God of fun-church is simply too small and too affable to hold a hurricane in His hand.
Suffering and the Sovereignty of God (2006, p. 18 )
That liberals justify their support for butchery in the name of freedom, and conservatives justify their indifference to the miseries of poverty in the name of freedom, does not conceal the selective nature of the freedoms they want. The one says, Keep your hands off my body. The other says, Keep your hands off my wallet.
Will there ever arise a leader who can articulate a dream for overcoming this divide? There is such a Leader. But he will never be elected. His kingdom is “not of this world.” Therefore, it is both infinitely relevant and intolerably repulsive to the world. When he promotes his Way he gets crucified.
“Overcome Contradictory Compassion”
April 1st, 2008
Desiring God Blog
The fact that we all have blind spots and profit from perspectives different from our own does not imply that we should hire someone to teach those perspectives in our pulpit or class room. It means we read and listen and carry on whatever conversation or dialogue or debate is appropriate.
In my 22 years of formal education from age 6 to 28 (Summit Drive Elementary School, Greenville Junior High School, Wade Hampton High School, Wheaton College, Fuller Seminary, University of Munich) it became increasingly clear to me that diverse theological positions on the same faculty of a Christian institution diminished the importance of those differences.
For some issues, that is good. For others it is not. Which those are is one of the great challenges of every generation.
“Calvinism, Arminianism, & Education”
March 4, 2008
Desiring God Blog
In Christ ethnic and social differences cease to be obstacles to deep, personal, intimate fellowship. Colossians 3:9-11, “You have put off the old self with its practices and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge after the image of its creator. Here there is not Greek and Jew, circumcised and uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave,free; but Christ is all, and in all.”
The point of Colossians 3:11 is not that cultural, ethnic, and racial differences have no significance; they do. The point is that that they are no barrier to profound, personal, intimate fellowship. Singing alto is different from singing bass. It’s a significant difference. But that difference is no barrier to being in the choir. It’s an asset.
Racial Harmony and Interracial Marriage
January 15, 2005