By Randy Alcorn
What good can come from studying the mysterious and often upsetting subject of God’s sovereignty and human free will?
In small-group Bible studies, at colleges and seminaries, on blogs and radio programs, sovereignty and free will are bantered about. Some recognize these issues as hugely important. Convinced of their position, they look for opportunities to make their case.
Others shrug and say, “These doctrines cause division and are impossible to understand. Why even try?”
I believe one compelling reason to study them is to better understand what we cannot fully understand. And in the case of God’s sovereignty and human choice, while it’s not imperative that I understand everything, it is important that I believe in both. If I don’t believe in God’s sovereignty, I’ll either despair or imagine that I must carve out my own path. If I don’t believe in my freedom to make meaningful choices, I’ll either give up on life or not take responsibility for my decisions.
Following are six excellent reasons to study God’s sovereignty and human choice:
1. To develop a deeper appreciation for God and His Word, which reveals Him to us
2. To help us mirror Christ’s humility.
3. To embrace all of God’s inspired Word, not just parts of it.
4. To foster unity in the body of Christ.
5. To avoid both fatalism and crushing guilt.
What is God’s role and what is mine? Is my life in God’s hands, my hands, or the hands of demons or other people? What we believe about God’s sovereignty and human choice has a significant impact on how we live.
6. To prevent us from becoming trivial people in a shallow age.
This article was originally published in the Fall/Winter 2014 edition of Eternal Perspectives Magazine.