The following are my notes of David Platt’s message at T4G 2014.
I feel so inadequate to preach a message on the wrath of God. I want to pray, but I have this sin sick desire to impress you all when I pray. I also know that many of us within seconds of praying we let our minds wonder. Do we realize that we are talking with God when pray and who he is?
“Prayer is a huge hole in the canvas of the reformed resurgence.” (John Piper)
We have seen a renewed interest in theology, ecclesiology, and missiology. All of these things are growing, but something is missing. It is prayer.
Back when they would gather for the Westminster assembly they would spend an hour praying and an hour preaching. Two hours preaching and two hours of praying. Yet we spend hours preaching in our church, but just a few minutes praying.
We are known for preaching and teaching, but not our praying and our fasting. Every movement of God has been marked by passionate panting before God. The missions movements, the puritans movements, and every revival of the church has been marked by prayer. Yet our movement of growing theology, ecclesiology, and missiology without prayer. Continue reading
The following is an excerpt from John Frame’s book The Doctrine of God, Chapter 9, “The Problem of Evil.” The headings are added by David Mathis; the paragraphs are Dr. Frame’s.
God Is Sovereign Over Sin
. . . God does harden hearts, and through his prophets he predicts sinful human actions long in advance, indicating that he is in control of human free decisions. Now theologians have found it difficult to formulate in general terms how God acts to bring about those sinful actions. . . . Do we want to say that God is the “cause” of evil? That language is certainly problematic, since we usually associate cause with blame. . . . [I]t seems that if God causes sin and evil, he must be to blame for it.
Words: The Theologian’s Tools
Therefore, there has been much discussion among theologians as to what verb should best describes God’s agency in regard to evil. Some initial possibilities: authors, brings about, causes, controls, creates, decrees, foreordains, incites, includes within his plan, makes happen, ordains, permits, plans, predestines, predetermines, produces, stands behind, wills. Many of these are extra-scriptural terms; none of them are perfectly easy to define in this context. So theologians need to give some careful thought about which of these terms, if any, should be affirmed, and in what sense. Words are the theologian’s tools. In a situation like this, none of the possibilities is fully adequate. There are various advantages and disadvantages among the different terms. Let us consider some of those that are most frequently discussed. Continue reading