Open Theism vs. God’s Redeeming Plan in Suffering

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“[Open Theology] puts God in the cheerleading section of the game of life. Many people do this so that they can live with the reality of evil. If God could not have stopped what happened, then he is acquitted in their mind of any charge of creational malpractice.

“However, this is not the God of Christianity. The God of Christianity is a God who is sovereign over everything that happens. Daniel 4:34-35 is one of the great passages in all of Scripture speaking of God’s sovereignty. “His dominion is an eternal dominion; his kingdom endures from generation to generation. All the peoples of the earth are regarded as nothing. He does as he pleases with the powers of heaven and the peoples of the earth. No one can hold back his hand or say to him: ‘What have you done?’” Even Satan has to come to God for permission to act (Job 1:6-12).

“This does not mean that evil and suffering are part of God’s perfect plan, but they are a part of his redeeming plan. Death, sin, and suffering are all evil. They were brought into the world when man fell in Eden. But God’s redeeming plan uses sin to right the wrong. This is why God brought the greatest evil in the history of the world upon his Son. What seemed to be a defeat when Christ died on the cross was a wonderful expression of God’s love, redemption, and sovereignty introduced, not by the will of man, but by the predeterminedplan of God (Acts 4:27-28).

“God is in control of all things, even our suffering.”

– C. Michael Patton

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