Three weeks ago, in response to the idea that we non-Calvinists were as prone to contortionism as I accused the Calvinists of being, I offered The Calvinist Challenge, in which I asked Team Calvin to produce the five most difficult questions they could devise in order to determine whether or not I would be forced to resort to similar contortions of Scripture in my responses. Nine of the planet’s finest Calvinist minds busily occupied themselves with concocting more than 30 questions, and after an intense series of debate during which charges of heresy were hurled back and forth and Markku narrowly escaped the fiery fate of Michael Servetus, they finally settled upon five of them. Here is the first question, followed by my response.
AA. Vox: Is this paragraph something you could write and agree with? If not please make it something you agree with, while editing, changing and deleting as few words as possible.
The God I worship is probably not aware of much of what is happening on earth today. You should not tell a child that God has a plan for her, because not only does He not know which husband will be right for her in twenty years, He doesn’t even know that she will be alive tomorrow. And it’s quite possible that if she does die, he will not be aware of it. If on the other hand she lives through an accident in which the car is totaled, thanking God for protecting her may be giving him credit for something he didn’t do. It is quite possible that my God knows less about your daughter than you do. To find out what is happening somewhere on earth, my God has to do research (or, if you like, “go and see”) to find out about it. My God most likely doesn’t have enough knowledge about me and my soul to know what I will do in a given circumstance.
No. The edited version that is consistent with my beliefs is as follows:
The God I worship is not necessarily aware of everything that is happening on Earth today. You should not tell a child that God has a specific plan made just for her, because not only is it possible that He does not know which husband she will choose in twenty years, He doesn’t necessarily know that she will be alive tomorrow. And it’s quite possible that if she does die, He will not be immediately aware of it. If, on the other hand, she lives through an accident in which the car is totaled, thanking God for protecting her may be giving Him credit for something He didn’t do or even intend. It is even possible that God knows less about your daughter’s current activities than you do at the moment. To find out what is happening somewhere on Earth, God customarily investigates Himself or instructs others to find out about it and inform Him. However, due to God’s knowledge of human nature and the human heart, He most likely has sufficient knowledge about me and my soul to know what I will do in any given circumstance.