Announcement

Collapse

Theology 201 Guidelines

This is the forum to discuss the spectrum of views within Christianity on God's foreknowledge and election such as Calvinism, Arminianism, Molinism, Open Theism, Process Theism, Restrictivism, and Inclusivism, Christian Universalism and what these all are about anyway. Who is saved and when is/was their salvation certain? How does God exercise His sovereignty and how powerful is He? Is God timeless and immutable? Does a triune God help better understand God's love for mankind?

While this area is for the discussion of these doctrines within historic Christianity, all theists interested in discussing these areas within the presuppositions of and respect for the Christian framework are welcome to participate here. This is not the area for debate between nontheists and theists, additionally, there may be some topics that within the Moderator's discretion fall so outside the bounds of mainstream evangelical doctrine that may be more appropriately placed within Comparative Religions 101 Nontheists seeking only theistic participation only in a manner that does not seek to undermine the faith of others are also welcome - but we ask that Moderator approval be obtained beforehand.

Atheists are welcome to discuss and debate these issues in the Apologetics 301 or General Theistics 101 forum without such restrictions. Theists who wish to discuss these issues outside the parameters of orthodox Christian doctrine are invited to Unorthodox Theology 201.

Remember, our forum rules apply here as well. If you haven't read them now would be a good time.

Forum Rules: Here
See more
See less

Does God have an individual plan for everyone?

Collapse
X
 
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • heartablaze
    replied
    Originally posted by Littlejoe View Post
    I think Paul made decisions and only changed them the few times God said to do otherwise. I think that is the pattern God expects from us. Get wisdom, knowledge and understanding from God's Holy Word, seek wise counsel, and make a decision. If God wants you to do otherwise, He'll tell you.

    Question for you. How would you say that God directs us? How do you think we know what decision would be God's perfect will in any given situation?
    Sorry, I've been travelling recently.

    I definitely agree with all of those decision-making steps and that's how I would say to find what his will is for us: His Word, counsel of others. I would also add in prayer, because it just makes sense to actually communicate with God when we make a decision.

    Also, many times I have had a specific scripture come up again and again from different sources and so I see that as a way of God directing my steps. For instance, I was praying recently about whether or not to go to seminary. Luke 10 came up on 3 separate occasions - from a devotional, from a Sunday school lesson, and from a sermon. All three sources were unrelated to each other (I'm travelling around right now). I see that as a call from God to be a part of sending out laborers and being a laborer myself. I see that as a confirmation of the desire in my heart - a God-given desire.

    So we agree on some of the ways that we make decisions as Christians, but I still hold that he has a specific path for each person, be it mundane or not.

    We may not know with 100% certainty, but I think you use the wisdom that God has given you to interpret what info he gives you on a specific decision. A lot of it is being close enough to Him to hear what he says, which is not always the case with me.

    The same God who inspired the writers of scripture to write the Bible is still alive and while we won't be writing anything else in the canon, I think that he still communicates with us today like a living being.

    Leave a comment:


  • Rushing Jaws
    replied
    Originally posted by fm93 View Post
    I always wondered what people who espouse the traditional view believe God's plan was for infants who died at birth or were aborted.
    ## Precisely what happened to them. This is where we get into the question of how exactly to conceptualise and speak of evil in relation to God's Will, and (of course) His Goodness and Holiness. Sin is contrary to the Will of God - it does not follow from that, that sinful actions are not in some way integrated into God's purpose, so that His Will is fulfilled, even through sin; though not because of sin as though it were something good. If God can use the sin and evil of the Crucifixion to His greater Glory, why not abortion, or every other evil ? Nothing in creation can frustrate the Will of God.
    Last edited by Rushing Jaws; 07-25-2015, 08:18 AM.

    Leave a comment:


  • dacristoy
    replied
    Originally posted by Littlejoe View Post
    Those work nicely


    That's quite a leap IMHO. The verse I think you are alluding to is Proverbs 3:5-6
    5 Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.
    6 In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.
    Yes?
    The only two versions to translate it that way are KJV and NKJV. Every other version uses something like "...make your paths straight." The root word (Yashar) translated direct in KJV is more accurately translated: Level, Straight, just or lawful. There isn't really a reference to guidance or direction.
    Dr. Bruce Waltke a member of the NIV translation Team who was tasked with translating Proverbs is the committee member being referenced here:

    “All of us have had the shock of discovering that a favorite verse in the KJV was inaccurate, and hence that we had been led into an inauthentic experience. I recall the astonishment of one of the committee members assigned to translate the Book of Proverbs for the New International Version when he discovered that Proverbs 3:5-6 had nothing to say about guidance. He had taken as his life text: “In all your ways acknowledge Him and He will direct your paths.” But when confronted with the linguistic data he had to admit reluctantly that the verse more properly read “…and He will make your path smooth.”


    Simple answer is no...every one of these verses are a command or encouragement (or admonishment?) to us to make sure we know and follow God's commands and follow His Moral Will. That puts us in the best position to be blessed of God.



    I think Paul made decisions and only changed them the few times God said to do otherwise. I think that is the pattern God expects from us. Get wisdom, knowledge and understanding from God's Holy Word, seek wise counsel, and make a decision. If God wants you to do otherwise, He'll tell you.

    Question for you. How would you say that God directs us? How do you think we know what decision would be God's perfect will in any given situation?

    Leave a comment:


  • Littlejoe
    replied
    Originally posted by heartablaze View Post
    Individual life plan = God has already laid out his best plan for your life
    Divine appointment = within that large life plan, God has places and people he wants you to be at

    What are your definitions?
    Those work nicely


    How do you include God in your plan? "If the Lord wills..." means that we are communicating with God about what he wants us to do. Isn't there something about God directing our steps in Proverbs? I think that means that he wants to have a part in our daily lives.
    That's quite a leap IMHO. The verse I think you are alluding to is Proverbs 3:5-6
    5 Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.
    6 In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.
    Yes?
    The only two versions to translate it that way are KJV and NKJV. Every other version uses something like "...make your paths straight." The root word (Yashar) translated direct in KJV is more accurately translated: Level, Straight, just or lawful. There isn't really a reference to guidance or direction.
    Dr. Bruce Waltke a member of the NIV translation Team who was tasked with translating Proverbs is the committee member being referenced here:

    “All of us have had the shock of discovering that a favorite verse in the KJV was inaccurate, and hence that we had been led into an inauthentic experience. I recall the astonishment of one of the committee members assigned to translate the Book of Proverbs for the New International Version when he discovered that Proverbs 3:5-6 had nothing to say about guidance. He had taken as his life text: “In all your ways acknowledge Him and He will direct your paths.” But when confronted with the linguistic data he had to admit reluctantly that the verse more properly read “…and He will make your path smooth.”


    "The plans of the heart belong to man, but the answer of the tongue is from the Lord...Commit your work to the Lord, and your plans will be established." Proverbs 16:1,3
    The answer belongs to the Lord indicates to me that we need to ask God about our plans. If our work needs to be committed to the Lord, does he not have a plan for our lives?
    "Many are the plans in the mind of a man, but it is the purpose of the Lord that will stand." Proverbs 19:21
    If the purposes of the Lord will stand, does he not have purposes for our plans and for our lives?
    "The steps of a man are established by the Lord, when he delights in his way..." Psalm 37:23
    If our steps are established by God, does he not have a plan for us?
    Simple answer is no...every one of these verses are a command or encouragement (or admonishment?) to us to make sure we know and follow God's commands and follow His Moral Will. That puts us in the best position to be blessed of God.



    Ok, why do you think he sometimes just made decisions and other times get word from the Lord? How would we know how to make decisions?
    I think Paul made decisions and only changed them the few times God said to do otherwise. I think that is the pattern God expects from us. Get wisdom, knowledge and understanding from God's Holy Word, seek wise counsel, and make a decision. If God wants you to do otherwise, He'll tell you.

    Question for you. How would you say that God directs us? How do you think we know what decision would be God's perfect will in any given situation?
    Last edited by Littlejoe; 07-13-2015, 09:31 PM.

    Leave a comment:


  • heartablaze
    replied
    Originally posted by Littlejoe View Post
    First of all, we need to distinguish between an individual life plan and divine appointments. I don't believe you can make a very good case from scripture on the former, but the later is all through scripture.
    Individual life plan = God has already laid out his best plan for your life
    Divine appointment = within that large life plan, God has places and people he wants you to be at

    What are your definitions?
    Originally posted by Littlejoe View Post

    Again, divine appointments are different from a step by step, moment by moment life plan. If you notice James doesn't tell them not to make a plan, he admonishes them for not including God in the plan. The whole chapter (ch 4) talks about staying close to God and His Moral will, not being proud or boastful...James is painting a picture here, a contrast between humility and boastful.

    Again, it's a difference between divine appointments furthering the Kingdom of God and thinking God has called you to be a school teacher. (for example)
    How do you include God in your plan? "If the Lord wills..." means that we are communicating with God about what he wants us to do. Isn't there something about God directing our steps in Proverbs? I think that means that he wants to have a part in our daily lives.

    "The plans of the heart belong to man, but the answer of the tongue is from the Lord...Commit your work to the Lord, and your plans will be established." Proverbs 16:1,3
    The answer belongs to the Lord indicates to me that we need to ask God about our plans. If our work needs to be committed to the Lord, does he not have a plan for our lives?
    "Many are the plans in the mind of a man, but it is the purpose of the Lord that will stand." Proverbs 19:21
    If the purposes of the Lord will stand, does he not have purposes for our plans and for our lives?
    "The steps of a man are established by the Lord, when he delights in his way..." Psalm 37:23
    If our steps are established by God, does he not have a plan for us?

    Originally posted by Littlejoe View Post
    Paul was sometimes directed to a divine appointment, and other times, he just decided which way to go. Look at Acts 15:36 - "36 Some time later Paul said to Barnabas, “Let us go back and visit the believers in all the towns where we preached the word of the Lord and see how they are doing."
    and Acts 20:16 - "16 Paul had decided to sail past Ephesus to avoid spending time in the province of Asia, for he was in a hurry to reach Jerusalem, if possible, by the day of Pentecost."
    Notice Paul decides to go places without even praying about it. The truth is, there are only 15 – 20 examples documented in the 1st30 yrs of church history...and a lot of these were specific to Paul…yet we see him having to weigh options or simply decide a direction many times. So, they don't pass the "normalcy" test.
    If you have some scriptures you would like to discuss, I would be more than glad to discuss them.
    Ok, why do you think he sometimes just made decisions and other times get word from the Lord? How would we know how to make decisions?

    Leave a comment:


  • Littlejoe
    replied
    Originally posted by heartablaze View Post
    Ok, I can get that God called out and chose specific people for specific tasks and that's why they were written in the Bible. I still don't buy that he doesn't have plans for each Christian's lives. I see it as his paintbrush adding strokes to the tapestry of the history of the world. Maybe we are one brush stroke, but it has a place and a purpose.
    First of all, we need to distinguish between an individual life plan and divine appointments. I don't believe you can make a very good case from scripture on the former, but the later is all through scripture.


    What about the James passage? How should we apply "If the Lord wills, we will do this or that?" I have specifically seen how being in a specific time and place has led to people coming to know about God. I think if we rely on the Holy Spirit, he will guide us in his will and plan for our lives and great fruit will come from that.
    Again, divine appointments are different from a step by step, moment by moment life plan. If you notice James doesn't tell them not to make a plan, he admonishes them for not including God in the plan. The whole chapter (ch 4) talks about staying close to God and His Moral will, not being proud or boastful...James is painting a picture here, a contrast between humility and boastful.
    Yes, a lot of it just involves being faithful, but also responding to the nudges of the Spirit. For example, a while back, I didn't want to go out, but felt this urge to get out on my bike and go. I ran into a girl I met the night before and she invited me to her home. From that, I was able to share the gospel with her and her family. This is what I mean when I say plan/will of God. God wills for us to spread the gospel generally, yes. And he wants us to be righteous and holy. Yes. But I think that he also interacts with us on a personal basis as well. When I want to make a decision, I pray about that. And we are to pray about all things. Paul prayed about where he was supposed to go and how to spend his time. I think we should. And that is what I mean by will of God/purpose of God. I also think if he can guide us with the small things he has an interest in the big things in our lives. Why wouldn't he? What y'all are saying just doesn't make sense to me.
    Again, it's a difference between divine appointments furthering the Kingdom of God and thinking God has called you to be a school teacher. (for example)


    Paul was sometimes directed to a divine appointment, and other times, he just decided which way to go. Look at Acts 15:36 - "36 Some time later Paul said to Barnabas, “Let us go back and visit the believers in all the towns where we preached the word of the Lord and see how they are doing."
    and Acts 20:16 - "16 Paul had decided to sail past Ephesus to avoid spending time in the province of Asia, for he was in a hurry to reach Jerusalem, if possible, by the day of Pentecost."
    Notice Paul decides to go places without even praying about it. The truth is, there are only 15 – 20 examples documented in the 1st30 yrs of church history...and a lot of these were specific to Paul…yet we see him having to weigh options or simply decide a direction many times. So, they don't pass the "normalcy" test.
    If you have some scriptures you would like to discuss, I would be more than glad to discuss them.

    Leave a comment:


  • heartablaze
    replied
    Originally posted by Littlejoe View Post
    I think Biblically, there were specific people called by God...Abraham, Moses, Elijah, Paul, just to name a few. Again though, they are the exception rather than the rule. God sometimes chooses a person for a specific time and place like Gideon, Amos...but it's for a finite period, then they return to their "regular life".
    Ok, I can get that God called out and chose specific people for specific tasks and that's why they were written in the Bible. I still don't buy that he doesn't have plans for each Christian's lives. I see it as his paintbrush adding strokes to the tapestry of the history of the world. Maybe we are one brush stroke, but it has a place and a purpose.

    What about the James passage? How should we apply "If the Lord wills, we will do this or that?" I have specifically seen how being in a specific time and place has led to people coming to know about God. I think if we rely on the Holy Spirit, he will guide us in his will and plan for our lives and great fruit will come from that. Yes, a lot of it just involves being faithful, but also responding to the nudges of the Spirit. For example, a while back, I didn't want to go out, but felt this urge to get out on my bike and go. I ran into a girl I met the night before and she invited me to her home. From that, I was able to share the gospel with her and her family. This is what I mean when I say plan/will of God. God wills for us to spread the gospel generally, yes. And he wants us to be righteous and holy. Yes. But I think that he also interacts with us on a personal basis as well. When I want to make a decision, I pray about that. And we are to pray about all things. Paul prayed about where he was supposed to go and how to spend his time. I think we should. And that is what I mean by will of God/purpose of God. I also think if he can guide us with the small things he has an interest in the big things in our lives. Why wouldn't he? What y'all are saying just doesn't make sense to me.

    Leave a comment:


  • alaskazimm
    replied
    Originally posted by Scrawly View Post
    Based on your comment, I don't think you quite grasp the concept of "Christian hedonism" - the doctrine is thoroughly biblical and faithful to the scriptures. In fact, I think the church at large could benefit tremendously from living as Christian hedonists, as challenging as it is:

    http://www.desiringgod.org/articles/christian-hedonism
    Quite likely not. I've only dipped the toe into the proverbial water and that was my impression of it. I may have to look into it more if it's significantly different from what I thought originally.

    Leave a comment:


  • Scrawly
    replied
    Originally posted by alaskazimm View Post
    I agree with this. I think he takes the life abundantly concept and goes to far with it.
    Based on your comment, I don't think you quite grasp the concept of "Christian hedonism" - the doctrine is thoroughly biblical and faithful to the scriptures. In fact, I think the church at large could benefit tremendously from living as Christian hedonists, as challenging as it is:

    http://www.desiringgod.org/articles/christian-hedonism

    Leave a comment:


  • dacristoy
    replied
    2 Peter 3:9
    The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.


    Appears God has a plan for all our lives, the fact that this plan is not consummated in all our lives is clear and present evidence that God does not micromanage...

    Leave a comment:


  • Littlejoe
    replied
    Originally posted by heartablaze View Post
    No individual plan for our lives? Does this individual plan idea come from our individualistic culture? Have we let our culture influence even this point? The cultures of the OT and NT were decidedly corporal. Does that make a difference? God has a plan for your nation or the church in general, which is made up of individual members, but those members are a part of the whole.

    But what about Jeremiah? Jeremiah 1:7: “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you,and before you were born I consecrated you;I appointed you a prophet to the nations.”

    God had a plan for his life. He knew Jeremiah and consecrated him for his work.

    Or Paul in his journeys. Many times he was led to a specific place at a specific time. God was not simply letting him wander, but had a plan for his life. Paul also used this kind of language. "But on taking leave of them he said, “I will return to you if God wills,” and he set sail from Ephesus." Acts 18:21

    So God could will him to make a specific decision or not. It is biblical to use this kind of language. In fact, James prescribes using this kind of language: "Come now, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go into such and such a town and spend a year there and trade and make a profit”— yet you do not know what tomorrow will bring. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes. Instead you ought to say, 'If the Lord wills, we will live and do this or that.'" James 4:13-15

    So it sounds to me like God is 'micro-managing.' He cares about decisions that we make in where we live and how we work as well as our being righteous. Both are part of his plan for us. I mean, if God knows how many hairs are on your head and cares, won't he care about our decisions?

    I think that God has an overall plan, a plan for his body, and also a plan for individual believers. He's that big. And our abba.
    I think Biblically, there were specific people called by God...Abraham, Moses, Elijah, Paul, just to name a few. Again though, they are the exception rather than the rule. God sometimes chooses a person for a specific time and place like Gideon, Amos...but it's for a finite period, then they return to their "regular life".

    Leave a comment:


  • heartablaze
    replied
    No individual plan for our lives? Does this individual plan idea come from our individualistic culture? Have we let our culture influence even this point? The cultures of the OT and NT were decidedly corporal. Does that make a difference? God has a plan for your nation or the church in general, which is made up of individual members, but those members are a part of the whole.

    But what about Jeremiah? Jeremiah 1:7: “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you,and before you were born I consecrated you;I appointed you a prophet to the nations.”

    God had a plan for his life. He knew Jeremiah and consecrated him for his work.

    Or Paul in his journeys. Many times he was led to a specific place at a specific time. God was not simply letting him wander, but had a plan for his life. Paul also used this kind of language. "But on taking leave of them he said, “I will return to you if God wills,” and he set sail from Ephesus." Acts 18:21

    So God could will him to make a specific decision or not. It is biblical to use this kind of language. In fact, James prescribes using this kind of language: "Come now, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go into such and such a town and spend a year there and trade and make a profit”— yet you do not know what tomorrow will bring. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes. Instead you ought to say, 'If the Lord wills, we will live and do this or that.'" James 4:13-15

    So it sounds to me like God is 'micro-managing.' He cares about decisions that we make in where we live and how we work as well as our being righteous. Both are part of his plan for us. I mean, if God knows how many hairs are on your head and cares, won't he care about our decisions?

    I think that God has an overall plan, a plan for his body, and also a plan for individual believers. He's that big. And our abba.

    Leave a comment:


  • dacristoy
    replied
    Originally posted by Scrawly View Post
    There comes a point when one or both parties have come to the conclusion that they have reached an impasse, and therefore, further dialogue will be fruitless/unedifying and the dialogue should be wrapped up by agreeing to disagree on matters.
    Yes sir Mr. Scrawly. Having reached such an impasse, there are a multitude of ways to end said dialog without the attitude illustrated above. Always open is the option of simply moving on without rude and abrasive comments.

    Leave a comment:


  • Scrawly
    replied
    Originally posted by dacristoy View Post
    What do you consider edifying Mr. Monk, would it help if I agreed with everything you said, void of any perspective on my own.
    There comes a point when one or both parties have come to the conclusion that they have reached an impasse, and therefore, further dialogue will be fruitless/unedifying and the dialogue should be wrapped up by agreeing to disagree on matters.

    Leave a comment:


  • dacristoy
    replied
    Originally posted by Thoughtful Monk View Post
    I have decided that you have your point of view and I have mine and neither one of us will change the other. Since I do not find this conversation edifying, I am done with it.
    What do you consider edifying Mr. Monk, would it help if I agreed with everything you said, void of any perspective on my own.

    Leave a comment:

Related Threads

Collapse

Topics Statistics Last Post
Started by nico, 10-08-2021, 12:18 PM
12 responses
108 views
0 likes
Last Post nico
by nico
 
Started by footwasher, 10-03-2021, 07:41 PM
0 responses
30 views
0 likes
Last Post footwasher  
Started by Cow Poke, 09-10-2021, 10:12 AM
16 responses
96 views
2 likes
Last Post footwasher  
Started by footwasher, 07-18-2021, 12:51 AM
27 responses
144 views
0 likes
Last Post tabibito  
Started by footwasher, 03-14-2021, 12:55 PM
244 responses
1,107 views
0 likes
Last Post footwasher  
Working...
X