Friday, October 19, 2012

More Pious than the Bible

I am working on the finishing touches of my book, Torn to Heal: The Good Purpose of God in Suffering.  One of the difficulties that I am having is in determining how strong to use language in relation to God’s sovereignty over suffering.  I find great comfort and encouragement from D.A. Carson:

Some theologians are shocked by and express bitter reproach against other theologians who speak of God ‘causing’ evil in any sense.  At one level, they are to be applauded: everywhere the Bible maintains the unfailing goodness of God.  On the other hand, if you again scan the texts cited in this chapter, it must be admitted that the biblical writers are rather bolder in their use of language than the timid theologians! 

Little is gained by being more ‘pious’ in our use of language than the Bible is, and much may be lost.  By being too protective of God, we are in fact building a grid out of only a subset of the biblical materials, and filtering out some of what is revealed in the Bible about the God who has so graciously disclosed himself.  The result, rather sadly, is a god who is either less than sovereign or less than personal, either incompetent and frustrated or impassive and stoical.  But the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ is utterly transcendent and passionately personal.  These are among the ‘givens’ of Scripture, and we sacrifice them to our peril. (How Long O Lord?, 199-200)

Pray for me as I continue writing this book.  Pray that the Lord would rescue me from being a timid theologians that attempts to be more pious and wise than the Bible itself.  Pray that the Lord would help me to trust the sufficiency of His Word and to point people to the only means of healing for suffering there is; namely, the Lord Jesus Christ.  People will not be helped by neat theology.  Nor will they be helped by muddy theology.  People will only be helped by theology that exalts Christ and leads to union with Him. 

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