Mailvox: control freaks come out at night

Daniel writes: In other words God promises to micromanage every detail of history to produce a good outcome for His people.

You’re still evading the point. I was not criticizing a broad transhistorical notion, I was criticizing the very common idea that God controls every single action of every single person every single day for the benefit of every single individual. Hence the appellation uber control freakdom. One reason that I have very little regard for the control freaks’ arguments is that their intellectual disputation tends to be either disingenuous or dishonest – giving them the benefit of the doubt in assuming that they even understand simple concepts like sovereignty in the first place – and continuously attempt to bring back the discussion to ground on which they feel comfortable without addressing questions that have been put to them.

If I have no free will, if I am not an acting individual, then God, the great puppet master, is simply amusing himself with his perfect plan by pulling everyone’s strings. Does God promise to micromanage every detail of Daniel’s life to produce a perfect outcome for Daniel? Does he promise to micromanage every detail of my life to produce a perfect outcome for me? That is the question that the control freaks are doing their best to dodge and evade, because the implications are both obvious and distasteful, but that is precisely what the average non-theologian in the pews believes when they talk about God’s plan for their life and isn’t it wonderful that God killed little Jennifer as part of his perfect plan.

This clumsy thinking is precisely what prevented me from becoming a Christian for more than 20 years. It’s why I thought Christians were a bunch of idiots who didn’t even understand their own Bible. Now, it is not for me to judge God, nor do I, but I can certainly judge the quality of the thinking of those who look at God’s sovereignty and from a misunderstanding of the concept develop a dogma that leads large quantities of Christians to believe they are helpless victims of what might as well be called fate.

You have said that you believe that God is sovereign but that He chooses to limit Himself to acting through human agencies.

Yes, I believe that because Jesus Christ said that. What do you think the point of all the parables about stewards and managers was, if not to point out that we are the ones responsible for the management of the place on the owner’s behalf. The control freak concept reminds me of the servant who receives his coin, does nothing with it and says, “hey, it’s your coin.” If God is at least in part limited to acting through angelic agencies on occasion, why is it inconsistent to theorize that he’s got other limitations as well, especially when there is Scripture to support the notion?

Of course remember this: Vox is more commited to his theory than letting Scripture reform his theory.

The fact that no control freak has directly answered a single point I’ve made, but has either a) reacted angrily; b) quoted Scripture that is tangential at best; or c) gone evasively off in an entirely new direction, does not mean that I am inextricably wedded to my theory. I’m even open to concepts that I see as far more dubious than control freakdom. But if you can’t even understand the very simple statement “I don’t know and neither do you”, then I have serious doubts about your perfect understanding of God’s perfect plan. I don’t question your faith, I don’t question your motives and I don’t question your heart; I do, however, question your understanding, and in some cases, your basic reading comprehension.