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Discussion in '2005 Archive' started by Gershom, Dec 31, 2004.
By John Piper
I think God told it plain enough to Job, God is in control. That brings me great comfort and peace. It does not mean I understand it. But I am happy about it.
I had an atheist email me, telling me that the tsunami shows a cruel God, and he asked me how many God would kill tomorrow.
I told the atheist about how death and corruption of the earth came into the world (through sin) and that one day the earth will be redeemed (and man is redeemed through faith in Christ). I also told him that since God is the Creator of life, He is the only one who has the right to take it away or to allow death.
It is interesting, in light of other threads on evolution/creation, that as a creationist I am able to answer this question due to confidence in God's word. If I believed in evolution and that there was death before sin, I would have to agree with the atheist to a certain extent that death is something God created, and this indeed would make God seem cruel.
IMHO Piper is sometimes difficult to understand. I do not think he should have said that God is the cause of death.
I think that Paul's statement would be better:
Romans 5:12 "Therefore, just as sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, in this way death spread to all men, because all sinned."
Death has entered because of sin.
[ January 01, 2005, 05:31 PM: Message edited by: El_Guero ]
What you say is true, but Paul goes on to say later that "the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of him who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself will be set free from its bondage to decay and obtain the freedom of the glory of the children of God" (Romans 8:20-21). God did subject creation to futility, which includes calamity and desctuction and all manner of death, and He did it so that later He could set it free when death has been abolished. So, Piper is correct too.
I guess the scientific term "Fault" is unbiblical.
Please ask yourself the only question that matters in light of all said here: "Did God willfully move the plates of the earth to start an earthquake, that led to a Tsunami, that led to 150,000 dead so far? And if He did, for what pupose?
Tsunamis are a natural occurrence in several parts of the word due to the shift of the tectonic plates. Low lying coastal areas in these parts of the word are periodically deluged as a direct consequence. These same areas are very desirably places to live for other reasons and many people live there and gamble that that a tsunami will not occur while they are living there just as those of us who live where I do gamble that a major earth quake will not occur while we are living here. There have been very strong earthquakes here before, and there will be more of them. Those who are in the wrong place at the wrong time will be affected by those earth quakes. The very same thing applies to those persons who are living in the next area where a tsunami occurs.
I don't know and I don't know.
Why do you willfully say that "God willfully move[d] the plates of the earth to start an earthquake"?
I don't think God moved the plates of the earth to start an earthquake. I think it was a natural occurance, like volcanos, storms, hurricanes, blizzards, tornados, etc. as a result of the earth's curse and corruption from man's sin.
God cursed the earth and so it leads to these things, but that is different from saying God intervened and moved the plates of the earth Himself.
I am not saying that. I am asking the posters here if they believe that.
Did God cause Sodom and Gomorrha to be destroyed, or was it a natural disaster.
Did God cause the walls of Jericho to fall down or did they fall by a natural disaster.
How about Jonah - did God cause the storm and the big fish to be there or was it all coincidence?
Did God cause the Great Flood or was it a natural disaster?
Is it so different though? If God allows it to happen, that makes it His will because if He didn't want it to happen, He could have stopped it. God was the first cause for the plates moving because He subjected the creation as the verse in Romans quoted earlier states.
*random rant-type comment*
I don't see why it's so hard for Christians to acknowledge God as being in control ofevery aspect of all things, good or bad, especially when the Bible says this is the case.
*end of random rant-type comment*
I don't see it the same way - I see a difference between God directly moving the plates versus God setting the whole thing in place after creation. God allowing the plates to move seems different than God actually moving the plates directly. God is in control either way - but the two are different to me.
We are told that God did these things.
Natural disasters arepart of the earth waxing old and being folded as a garment as recorded in Hebrews.
Did God specifically shift the plates to kill all of those people? Maybe - we don't know God's mind. I tend to think that it just a part of the earth's natural processes. This does not detract from the fact that God is in control.
But see, Roger, my point is from the secular/scientific point of view (if they even acknowledge that these events happened at all) - they are all natural disasters (except for Jonah which is regarded as a tale).
Christians generally view the above S&G, G. Flood, etc., as acts of God. See?
I'm not sure.
Are you saying that Christians should see all of these events as direct "acts of God?" There is a sense where all that happpens is an act of God. He designed weather, tectonic places, etc knowing how they would act even knowing when and where disasters would strike. However, I don't necessarily agree that God intervenes with every snowstorm, rain shower, tornado, or earthquake.
In a previous sermon Piper states the following:
full text here
Would seem to me that if God is soverign and in control of all things and nothing happens outside His will than this was of God's will; but his 'will of decree' as Piper puts it.
By that answer, you fell into his trap. That answer only works on gnostics, but not on atheists.
If an atheist had said to me that the tsunami shows a cruel God, I would have replied "So you at least acknowlege a cruel God". After all, if one can acknowlege that God can be cuel (whether it's true or not), then it leaves the possibility open to acknowlege that God is sometimes not cruel. It's called a "foot in the door" reply.
Yes, and yes.
Yes, and yes.
Yes, and yes.
Yes, and yes.
I don't require God to work outside of nature for His will to be done. I believe in the Great Physisian, not the Great Magician. Miracles are works of wonder, not works of magic. If I were to insist that every miracle must be supernatural, my faith would likely be very weak.