Monday, June 21, 2004

Dependence On God

I just got through taking the class called Introduction to Reformed Theology. There we discussed the nature of God, that he was independent which is in contrast to man. God does not need creation to exist. Growing up I was always taught the theology of choice. That is, we are being called by God to choose him and if we will only make the choice, we will be saved. I believed this up until I found the logical limits of determinism. Determinism comes in many forms: biological determinism (we make our choices based on our biological programming), chemical determinism (we make our choices based on the chemical process in our body), and psychological determinism (our choices are determined based on the psychological motivations). In a sense this type of thinking started breaking down my idea of a theology of choice. I did not adopt determinism but I starting thinking about the logical conclusions of choice. I started thinking about the limits of choice in each person's life. Teachers will say things like, "You can be anything that you want to be." It is good to inspire children to their own potential. However, there are limits to human ability. I found that in my career choices, I really did not have that many options. In many things in my life, I had few choices. I was not only limited by my own hard work, talents, and attitudes; I was also limited by the environment that I was living within. The very context I was living within had limits. If there was so many things limiting my choices how is it that God would use the freedom of the will to save mankind's souls.

This past week in looking at the nature of man, he is inherently dependent upon God for his physical subsistence. We constantly need food, sleep, warmth, and a host of other things to keep us healthy. Adam and Eve were dependent in their nature to eat and sleep just as we are. If God made us so dependent upon him for our physical natures, how is it that he would make us independent in the area of our will? Long story, short. Our will is dependent upon the grace of God, just like our physical body is dependent upon God's common grace.
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