Monday, January 08, 2007

The Mighty Holy Will

I got scared of this, at first I thought the song was not serious until I listened more towards the end. This was from a fundamental Baptist Christian college

I got scared because if I was asked by God to choose Him (with what I know now about my sin etc), I know I would not choose Him. I got scared because it depicted God as so great yet he is so weak he can not even override my will. He is depicted as helpless when my Holy Will is involved. He is depicted as a slave to my Mighty Will.

The good news is that God is so great he did not wait for me to choose him, he came to save in Jesus. At the Cross, Jesus chose us. The choice was not up to me, the choice was in Christ and he chose to die for us human beings as the Nicene Creed says...
For us [humans] and for our salvation
he came down from heaven:
If eternal life were up to me, I know I would muck it up.


Orycteropus Afer said...

I agree, Lito. Such a choice would be terrifying; that others actually think that there is such a choice is only slightly less scary.

L P Cruz said...

Thanks Pastor,

When I was in charismania, I would have sang this song and would have shouted Allelujia and Amen.

What further gives me anxiety is the thought that I can in a way self justify myself because I made the good choice of choosing God.


Kelly Klages said...

It's funny, but lately it seems that we've been posting very much along the same lines. (By the way, thanks for your previous comment and I'll add you to my blogroll as soon as my computer stops being so sludgy!)

Kelly Klages said...

Ugh! After my last post, I actually watched that clip. That is so desperatelyly troublesome! Only the *willing* are WORTH God wanting to save? I guess he doesn't want any of us then. What an amazing lot of credit that stupid song gives to us useless sinners; what an amazing shortage of credit it gives to our all-powerful, all-loving God.

I used to think that Baptist theology centered primarily around the role of Baptism (accident of words). In reality, what first made that confession of faith distinctive was not adult-only baptism (already practiced by Mennonites) nor baptism by immersion (already practiced pretty exclusively by the Orthodox). No, one of the things that made them most distinctive then and now was a particular notion of the word FREEDOM-- "freedom" and the subsequent mighty load of responsibility that is upon our shoulders as we prepare ourselves to will our way into heaven, since God can't get us there himself. The "freedom" thing is seen in Baptist soteriology, as well as the fierce sense of church autonomy and anti-credalism so prevalent there, as well as a heavily Baptistic America whose motto is freedom of choice, both in a conservative sense of forging your own destiny through hard work as well as the liberal sense of being able to choose whatever you want without it being "forced" on you.

Tim Kuehn said...

I think part of the idea that we have the "freedom to choose" comes from the original fall - Adam & Eve were in a state of perfection, and chose a path that led to separation.

However, I have yet to see an explanation from people that hold to this "freedom to choose" position when confronted with passages like this:

"The natural person does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are folly to him, and he is not able to understand them because they are spiritually discerned." 1 Co 2:14

If one cannot discern the things of God w/out the instruction of the HS, how can one be "Free" to chose them?

That was, indeed, a very scary little clip...

L P Cruz said...

Thanks for this insigth Tim, that is quite a wonder.

I do not know if you saw the Last Samurai. I am reminded of Katsumoto's conversation with the Emperor. He said, the Emperor must decide for them.

I'd rather have Jesus decide for me, I can trust that he has my best interest in heart. And I believe he did decide in favor of the sinner.


Kelly Klages said...

Hey Tim-- there's a brilliant little insight over at On The Wittenberg Trail that explains how Calvinists (and presumably Baptists and other Christians as well) view the "freedom to choose" thing in the Garden as a relationship with God predicated on obedience rather than faith. Go hop along the Lutheran blogroll and read it, it should be just about the most recent thing posted. Highly relevant to discussion!

L P Cruz said...


Faith in Calvinistic terms is obedience. They - Calvinism and Arminianism really are cut from the same cloth - they are the same paradigm with different explanation, when stretched, and I will get flamse for this it can degenerate to Islam or Pelagianism, sorry just my opinion.

I will go the Trail and read, sounds interesting reading


Eric said...


Thanks for visiting "the Trail," and thank you, Kelly, for the plug. There was something from the Westminster Confession I left out of the post you just read. In the very next paragraph it compares and contrasts the post-Fall covenant of grace with the pre-Fall covenant of works. Where the covenant of works was conditioned on perfect obedience the covenant of grace is conditioned on faith in Christ. Although the Westminster Divines (authors of the Confession) clearly understood faith to be a gift, by juxtaposing it against perfect obedience they make it into another sort of work/obedience. Perhaps that is an unfair stretch -- which is why I left it out of my post. But at the same time I can't help but think that this idea of faith being the one work God leaves up to us has its roots in Calvin and Zwingli.

I've enjoyed browsing your blog. Keep up the good work. :)


Tim Kuehn said...

I wonder if "Faith" can be justified as man's pre-fall condition. According to Heb 11:1 "Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen."

However, Adam & Eve were created in perfect harmony with God, they talked to Him, and had a personal fellowship with Him. As such, what was there to hope for? Besides the knowledge of good and evil, what was not seen? Was there anything that needed hoping for until the fall?

It's an interesting questoin.

L P Cruz said...

I think so in a way Tim, it was perfect trust. Because at that time, they simply believed God for what is good and what is evil, if God said this is good etc they simply trusted that. Then the devil came to cast doubts on the word of God. So I think the covenant model does not give the right picture.

jim cronfel said...

Dear Lito,

I haven't read why you have been accused of being hyper Calvinist yet. But as a Calvinist I want to explain that I do not believe that faith is a condtion. I beleive that we are justified by grace alone. For example Romans 4:25 says that Christ was raised because of accomplished justification on Golgotha 2000 years ago.

I believe that "faith" can be reduced to knowelgde of God --- or at a least knowlegde of God in the sacraments if you insist.

You defend yourself against the accusation of "ex opere operato" which of course is very agreeable.

Hence, is that why you have been accused of being a hyper Calvinist; because you don't believe that grace is a work but a gift and most Calvinist believe that it is a work? I think that you have been reading the New Perpective folks. They would say that faith was in the garden of Eden. Read "Covenant Confusion" to see that Richard Phillips does not believe that faith was in the garden or that grace is a work.

"Eric" would be correct about the New Perspective muddling grace into a work.

I don't know if I am on topic here.

"Bless you good"