Saturday, July 4, 2009


Supra what? Infra who? Someone once asked me what my view was on supralapsarianism. And why do we care?

Supralapsarianism means “before the lapse of the Garden.” It's the idea that God decreed, even before the Fall, that some would be saved and others lost.

Infralapsarianism means basically that God made his decisions concerning salvation “after the Fall.”

Doesn't seem to be much difference between the two because both still teach that God ordained who is lost and saved. He permitted the Fall in the infralapsariansism view, while He sort of planned the Fall in supralapsarianism. But practically speaking, the results are the same, as are the major objections.

God certainly has the right to decide who will be saved without sacrificing His character. It makes philosophical and logical sense. But (and this is a big but), it doesn't gel well with passages where God shows deep sorrow over the poor decisions of humanity.

Scripture suggests that God in some way suspended His absolute sovereignty to enable real choices in the human race, otherwise it is illogical for Him to weep over the lost (see Luke 13:34)

[34] "O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, you who kill the prophets and stone those sent to you, how often I have longed to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but you were not willing!" and Hosea 11:8 " [8] How can I give you up, O Ephraim? How can I surrender you, O Israel? How can I make you like Admah? How can I treat you like Zeboiim? My heart is turned over within Me, All My compassions are kindled."

Why would God's heart be in so much sorrow and why would Jesus long so much for Jerusalem's repentance if it was all decreed before existence? The typical hyper-Calvinist response is that these biblical references are anthropomorphisms and not actual descriptions of God's emotions.

I think that does violence to the Text. At any rate, I think there are probably certain situations where God suspends his sovereignty in some ways (ex. the incarnation itself, the crucifixion, in the realm of prayer--prayer really does move the heart of God, and in some way with the choice to accept or reject Him . . . I do lean toward prevenient grace--the idea that with the cross, the Spirit enabled the world to accept Christ as a real choice, though, technically, even the ability to choose comes from God).

How's that for an answer?

Wednesday, July 1, 2009


First, let me honest. I don't know why.

But I do know Who. God will make all 'wrongs' right one day. I don't have all the answers, but I know the One who does and rest assured, He will repair all the damage that this fallen world has caused. We will see that whether it's this side of Heaven or the next.

When I was a boy, my father was killed in a tragic car accident. That event caused me tremendous pain and damage. But God has used that damage to make me more insightful as a pastor and more dependent on Him in my spiritual walk. One day, I'll see my father again and all the pain of the incident will be forever gone, so much so it will be as if it never happened. You see, the epic of history is not over yet. We live for such a brief time compared to eternity. One day, we will see God fix it all and we'll understand. Until then, we must trust. And when we need more faith, we are to run to Jesus for it. He may not give us understanding, but He will give us faith . . . and that is so much better!

When the enemy of your soul attacks during a catastrophe, look to God’s Word for protection and grow in faith.