10

What does it mean to pray "in Jesus' name"? Is it a magical formula that guarantees that your prayer will be heard? For example: Dear God, please give me a new bike and a chocolate cake and a magical telephone and an elephant. Also, please kill all the bad people. In Jesus' name, Amen. Does that prayer make more sense because it has "In Jesus' name" at ...


9

While the idea of God's sovereignty is closely associated with Reformed theology, other traditions also deal with it. Here are a few examples from prominent authors from various traditions. Lutheran: Mueller, Christian Dogmatics, 170: Scripture describes God a) in His supreme majesty, as independent of anything outside Himself, or as absolutely ...


9

God does answer every prayer, but the answer may be “No, I don’t think so.” Mgr Robert Mercer said as much in a sermon (at the funeral of a priest who, gravely ill, died a few days after ordination): It goes without saying that we are disappointed that God gave no miracle of healing. Jenny and Philip went to Walsingham. They prayed. We all prayed. Doctors ...


7

To understand the Reformed approach to this challenging question, we should begin with the concept of the "wills" of God. Reformed theologians typically refer to the relevant ones as the decretive (or "secret") and preceptive (or "revealed") wills of God, which R. C. Sproul defines as follows: Decretive will: The sovereign, efficacious will of God ...


7

It's important to remember that just a few days earlier, Jesus had warned his disciples: Matthew 18: 7: Woe unto the world because of offences! for it must needs be that offences come; but woe to that man by whom the offence cometh! Yes, having Jesus be betrayed and killed was part of the plan, but that does not mean that the specific persons who ...


5

Yes Pilate carried out God's plans but his actions were still sinful. In Acts 2:23 Peter explained that the crucifixion was God's plan carried out by the Jewish and Gentile leaders: But God knew what would happen, and his prearranged plan was carried out when Jesus was betrayed. With the help of lawless Gentiles, you nailed him to a cross and killed him. (...


5

As a Calvinist, I believe God's Sovereignty to mean God has actively decreed all that will come to pass, and has done so for His glory in all things. God knows all that will come to pass because He has determined it, however not in the passive sense like I determine the temperature of water by touching it. Rather, God has actively determined all that will ...


4

You are overlooking several very important points in your question. Jesus was telling this to his disciples, who he knew were going to establish his Church, and it can be said that he was telling them that he would provide all they needed for that purpose. It also is true for us today, but you have to remember that that promise was primarily made in ...


4

The reformed view would believe both those types of verses you have quoted but would add a third type to ensure the whole picture in presented: "For many are called, but few are chosen." (ESV Matt 22:14) So what we have are three things: God offers the gospel to all Only some respond Those who do respond are 'the elect' God is sovereign in his ...


3

Marc, You are not alone in your struggles with the doctrine of predestination. Many others (including myself) wrestle with these profound doctrines. In your particular case where God is speaking to Cain, some light may be shed by observing that God is speaking here of "acceptance" which might also be translated "honored." However, God is not telling Cain ...


3

I'm not aware of any Christian philosophers who take a hard-line determinist point of view. Of course, no one has read everyone, so I can't say for sure, but it seems like a Christian philosopher who ultimately holds no one except God morally accountable for their actions might be hard to come by. I'm not saying that the position doesn't have any logical ...


3

St. Thomas Aquinas addresses this in his Summa Theologica I q. 19 a. 1 article, "Whether God has free-will?" He answers (c.): We have free-will with respect to what we will not of necessity or of natural instinct. For our will to be happy does not appertain to free-will, but to natural instinct. Hence other animals, that are moved to act by natural ...


3

You are not the first thoughtful person ever to have thought what you think about the "free will of man" and the sovereignty of God. (I put the free will of man in quotation marks, because I think it more accurate to say "man's ability to decide," or "man's ability to make decisions." The only will which is truly free belongs to God, and He alone is free to ...


2

A man of God once told me that God answers our prayers in three ways- YES: God answers our prayer when (1) it is His will, (2) God wants to manifest His power, (3) God wants to glorify His name. NO: God says No to our request when (1) it is not His will, (2) it is not good for us and God knows best. Know that even a 'NO' is an answer. WAIT: Sometimes God ...


2

We don't yet know. Even if God used Pilate as an instrument in his plan of salvation, we don't know enough details about the rest of Pilate's life. Whatever else he might have done or not done, if he truly repented before his death, he would have gone to heaven; if he did not repent, he would not have.


2

Put aside the question of whether the Jerusalem which Jesus will enter and rule from is: 1) The Jerusalem we know (but fixed up) 2) A new physical city that descends fully built from Heaven, as described in Revelation 3) An image of the Church, where the people of God are the walls and buildings to be inhabited. How can Jesus be seen by the world? 1) ...


2

The main issue about unconditional election is the basis upon which God elects people. God elects people to salvation by His own sovereign choice and not because of some future action they will perform or condition they will meet. Those who come to Christ become His children by His will, not by theirs. “They were not God's children by nature or because of ...


2

There seems to be a difference between a change of mind, and being interactive, and a change of mood. Earlier God gave them the choice: Deuterenomy 30:15-18 (NIV) 15 See, I set before you today life and prosperity, death and destruction. 16 For I command you today to love the Lord your God, to walk in obedience to him, and to keep his commands, ...


1

It all seems to boil down to how “free will” is defined. Here are brief extracts from two articles that analyse Sam Harris’ book ‘The Illusion of Free Will’: Philosophy News: Sam Harris says the concept of free will is incoherent. Humans are not free and no sense can be given to the idea that we might be. There are good arguments in philosophical and ...


1

You say "our deeds". What are our deeds? My nose is mine but I did not create it because God created all things. I inherited my D.N.A. which made my nose. So things become ours not because we create them but because we are given them. We inherit our nurture and nature they make us who we are we don't choose them. 1 Pet 4v5 we give back[apodo] an ...


1

God is and always has been the sovereign ruler of this world. Satan may be an usurper of Adam's throne, but God has ultimate rule. "The Most High ruleth in the kingdom of men, and gives it to whomsoever He will" (Daniel 4:17) Satan's dominion was one that was wrested from Adam, but the earth is God's. Satan can do nothing except that is allowed by God. ...


1

The Kingdom of God and The Kingdom of Satan is a mystery that many theologians are trying to unravel. There has been no consensus so far. It is true that God is sovereign. The earth is the LORD's, and everything in it, the world, and all who live in it (Psalm 24:1, NIV) However, according to scripture, it seems the world as we know it today is under ...


1

This is a great question and one I had to take a few minutes to think through. I am Catholic and I think I have an answer for you- though there may be several others, possibly better ones. Remember that Satan was one of the most powerful angels when he rebelled, and that he did not get stripped of his nature when he Fell. That means that Satan is an ...


1

Throughout the Bible we see that God uses not only people, but circumstance and even Nature to affect his plans. When God uses people to fulfill his needs, God uses that person's natural tendencies to do his will. God does not change a person to fit the situation; he changes the situation to fit the persons natural tendencies. Take the following Scriptures ...


1

Technically, Reformed Theology does not exclude liberty from sovereignty. Quoting from The Westminster Confession of Faith, Chapter III, point I: I. God from all eternity, did, by the most wise and holy counsel of His own will, freely, and unchangeably ordain whatsoever comes to pass; yet so, as thereby neither is God the author of sin, nor is violence ...


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