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"The Lord directs his steps"

"The Lord directs his steps"

Postby Clint » Thu Aug 03, 2017 8:33 am

In Proverbs 16:9, at face value, it seems to say that God controls a persons life. How would a nonCalvinist respond to this? Thanks!


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Re:

Postby steve » Thu Aug 03, 2017 3:55 pm

There is a contrast between the planning and the execution of the plan. Man proposes; God disposes.

Man makes his plans, says the proverb, but what actually ends up happening is up to God. It is similar to the first verse of the chapter.

The interesting thing, with reference to the Calvinism debate, is not that God controls outcomes, but that these verses say that the preparations and plans of the heart are in man's power. This is a challenge to the Calvinist position, which makes the preparations of the heart a matter of God's meticulous providence. The proverb distinguishes between man's prerogative (the preparation and the planning), on the one hand, and God's prerogative (the outcome) on the other. Calvinism makes both of these God's prerogative.
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Re:

Postby Clint » Thu Aug 03, 2017 7:45 pm

steve wrote:There is a contrast between the planning and the execution of the plan. Man proposes; God disposes.

Man makes his plans, says the proverb, but what actually ends up happening is up to God. It is similar to the first verse of the chapter.

The interesting thing, with reference to the Calvinism debate, is not that God controls outcomes, but that these verses say that the preparations and plans of the heart are in man's power. This is a challenge to the Calvinist position, which makes the preparations of the heart a matter of God's meticulous providence. The proverb distinguishes between man's prerogative (the preparation and the planning), on the one hand, and God's prerogative (the outcome) on the other. Calvinism makes both of these God's prerogative.




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"The Lord directs his steps"

Postby Clint » Thu Aug 03, 2017 7:47 pm

Great point, I didn't think of that! Thank you for your input, Steve!


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Re:

Postby psimmond » Tue Aug 22, 2017 8:51 pm

I also think we need to differentiate between what God can do and what God does. We don't want to say God devises every outcome because that would be making God responsible for all of the evil in the world. I think the Proverb is simply saying God can overrule the plans of men to get the outcome he desires, although in practice I suspect this rarely happens because people all around the world make plans--good and bad--and then do exactly what they planned.
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Re: "The Lord directs his steps"

Postby Clint » Sat Aug 26, 2017 9:18 am

psimmond wrote:I also think we need to differentiate between what God can do and what God does. We don't want to say God devises every outcome because that would be making God responsible for all of the evil in the world. I think the Proverb is simply saying God can overrule the plans of men to get the outcome he desires, although in practice I suspect this rarely happens because people all around the world make plans--good and bad--and then do exactly what they planned.


Thanks for your reply, psimmond. Sorry, I'm late responding, but my notifications come through my email... and, I don't check it daily.

Anyway, distinguishing between what God can do and what he actually does is a great point. I was talking to a brother in Christ the other night and I told him that God doesn't control all things (though He could if He chose to) And, he was polite in his response, but I could tell he was "concerned" about my theology ha!

You could tell that he's never been faced with the logical conclusion of his theology (determinism): if God controls everything, then He is the direct cause of sin. I'm not the smartest guy around, but I can't see any way around it! :)


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Re:

Postby Paidion » Sat Aug 26, 2017 11:11 pm

Here is a passage that seems to suggest, not only that God was not in control of Israel's actions, but that He thought Israel would do one thing, and she actually did the opposite:

Then the LORD said to me in the days of Josiah the king, "Have you seen what faithless Israel did? She went up on every high hill and under every green tree, and she was a harlot there. "I thought, ‘After she has done all these things she will return to Me’; but she did not return, and her treacherous sister Judah saw it. (Jeremiah 3:6,7 NASB)
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Re: "The Lord directs his steps"

Postby Clint » Sun Aug 27, 2017 3:12 pm

Paidion wrote:Here is a passage that seems to suggest, not only that God was not in control of Israel's actions, but that He thought Israel would do one thing, and she actually did the opposite:

Then the LORD said to me in the days of Josiah the king, "Have you seen what faithless Israel did? She went up on every high hill and under every green tree, and she was a harlot there. "I thought, ‘After she has done all these things she will return to Me’; but she did not return, and her treacherous sister Judah saw it. (Jeremiah 3:6,7 NASB)


Thank you for the reply and Scripture reference, Paidion! That verse definitely shows that God doesn't meticulously control every action of humans.

It reminds me of a verse (I can't remember the exact reference) in one of the talks Steve gave against Calvinism. God was referring to Israel when He said, "what more could I have done?" God evidently didn't want them to rebel against Him, but they chose to do so.


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Re:

Postby steve7150 » Tue Aug 29, 2017 11:41 am

God was referring to Israel when He said, "what more could I have done?" God evidently didn't want them to rebel against Him, but they chose to do so.












I'm not aware if any traditional Jews who are Deterministic and it's because you don't find it in the OT, it's a NT doctrine.
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Re: "The Lord directs his steps"

Postby Clint » Tue Aug 29, 2017 6:20 pm

Thanks for your reply, steve7150! I never really thought about that. I do not know any tradition Jews personally, but I do have a friend that's a friend who joined the Hebrew roots movement, and he's definitely not determinist. I guess most of the verse that support Calvinism do appear in the New Testament.


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