Thursday, September 29, 2022

Both and

Most thoughtful Christians, reflecting on the biblical story, would say that God’s purpose for creation is both to display his glory and to display his love. However, inquiring minds tend to move in one direction or the other—as the controlling or main purpose. Those in the Augustinian-Calvinist tradition tend to read Scripture as emphasizing God’s glory and power and the world as the place for displaying them. The result can be an interpretation of everything in the world, even evil, as purposed by God for his glory. Those in the Arminian-Wesleyan tradition (and also going back to the Greek church fathers before Augustine!) tend to read Scripture as emphasizing God’s love and desire for relationship and the world as the place for experiencing them. The result can be a softening of God’s lordship and a sentimentalizing of God as needing the world for his own fulfillment. The solution, of course, is to hold the two purposes of God in creation together in tension.The Essentials of Christian Thought, 192 (emphasis original)

<idle musing>
I tend (who am I kidding—I do!) read scripture through the Wesleyan-Arminian lens. But, I don't soften God's lordship! God created the world because he wanted to, not because of any need on his part!

And, the fact that prior to Augustine's arguments w/Pelagius, no church father (or mother) read it through a predestinarian lens just confirms in my mind that it is the correct one. But that's just an
</idle musing>

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