Romans 9.2 pptx

Romans 9.2
Is Free Will Free?
When building a
theological house…
What do you build on?
What can support
everything else?
Our generation is really
good at deconstruction,
but not at construction
Mechanics who strip
cars for parts
But sometimes
deconstruction is where
you have to start…
Romans 9
N.T. Wright
“For too long we have read
Scripture with nineteenth-century
eyes and sixteenth-century
questions. It’s time to get back to
reading with first-century eyes and
twenty-first century questions.”
Romans 9
The Bible wasn’t written
to you…
Romans 9 is not about
free will/predestination
as we talk about it…
Everything Paul has
talked about to this
point has been about
9-11 is begging the
question of ISRAEL
Romans 9
The questions are centered
Israel’s identity as CHOSEN
and God’s PROMISES
Paul retells Israel’s story in
ch. 9 (patriarchs, exodus,
God doesn’t cause sin but
“hardens” pre-existing sin
Pharaoh had hardened his
own heart several times in
Exodus before God started
working in that situation…
Romans 9
But God used that to
bring about good…
And later in prophecy
the Egyptians are invited
in! (Isa. 19)
Paul says the same thing
is happening with the
Potter reference is also
found in Jeremiah 18
and Isaiah 45
This is about the
FLEXIBILITY of the potter
and God’s FREEDOM
Romans 9
Remember that God’s plan
through Israel was to save
the world (Exo. 19)
God is going forward with
His plan, not limited by
Israel’s faith or unfaith!
Not reprobate, but
hardened faith
Romans 9:32, 11:25-36
Paul Achtemeier and
Austin Fischer
What does it mean if God
acts like this and not that?
Two Problems
Idolatrous ideas of God
HOLY and OTHER and
HOW is God different?
When we think SOVEREIGN we
TOTAL Depravity
God is so far away, so other, so
different that we can’t come
close to comprehending Him
There’s a difference between
So we look at REPROBATE and
say, well, God understands it
but I don’t
Not just bad theology, it’s lazy!
The Bible & GOD
C.S. Lewis and Good
Where to start?
Christian theology starts
with Jesus and moves to
God, not vice versa
Jesus is…
“The exact imprint of
“The source of all
wisdom and
“Holds everything
The Apostle Paul
“For no one can lay a
foundation other than that
which is laid, which is Jesus
Christ.”—1 Cor. 3:11
Jurgen Moltmann
“The crucified Christ is the
foundation and criticism of
Christian theology. What cannot
stand there (at the cross) must
Paul’s Master Story
Philippians 2:6-11
Not just a new
understanding of Jesus,
but of GOD
Verse 6, “THOUGH”
Means “to be”
Should be translated
God acted IN
character, not OUT of
Paul’s Master Story
Paul is saying God is like
The alternative is selfish
exploitation of status
About DOWNWARD motion
We don’t understand this
because we are about
UPWARD motion
3 progressively degrading
This is how God exercises
his Godness
This is HOW He is HOLY and
The Vulnerable God
Go back to Genesis
God makes man in His
image and then shares
power and authority with
Shares sovereignty!
He has power to give
Is God love or control?
People have a problem
with God limiting Himself,
but that’s exactly what the
The Vulnerable God
God is a person
Love is always full of risk
and vulnerability…
The most meaningful
knowledge we have is
relational knowledge
Always partial and always
Doubt is closer to faith than
We have CONFIDENCE not
Theologians that aren’t
humble aren’t
The Vulnerable God
Faith is not about figuring out
as much as entering in
Not reducing, but exploring
Jesus never said “worship
He said “follow me.”
Discipleship is built on
choice, commitment,
What inspired the disciples to
follow Jesus was not that
God was FAR AWAY, but that
God, like the universe, is
moving OUT
Relational Sovereignty
Roger Olson
“I argue that such a view of God’s sovereignty, one that sees God
as truly relational with us, that views us as genuine partners with
and sometimes against God, can support and give impetus to
commitment to participation in the mission of God. The picture of
God as invulnerable, static, unmoved, all-determining derived
from much traditional Reformed theology, for example,
undermines participation in the mission of God towards God’s
kingdom because it makes our participation with God
superfluous. We are then seen as pawns rather than knights. A
relational view of God’s sovereignty is one that regards God’s will
as settled in terms of the intentions of his character but open and
flexible in terms of the ways in which he acts because he allows
himself to be acted upon. Only such a view of God’s sovereignty
does justice to the whole of the biblical drama, to God as
personal, to human persons as responsible actors and potential
partners with God in God’s mission.”
C.S. Lewis (Screwtape Letters)
“You must have often wondered why the Enemy does not make more use
of His power to be sensibly present to human souls in any degree He
chooses and at any moment. But you now see that the Irresistible and the
Indisputable are the two weapons which the very nature of His scheme
forbids Him to use. Merely to over-ride a human will (as His felt presence in
any but the faintest and most mitigated degree would certainly do) would
be for Him useless. He cannot ravish. He can only woo. For His ignoble idea
is to eat the cake and have it; the creatures are to be one with Him, but yet
themselves; merely to cancel them, or assimilate them, will not serve. He is
prepared to do a little overriding at the beginning. He will set them off with
communications of His presence which, though faint, seem great to them,
with emotional sweetness, and easy conquest over temptation. But He
never allows this state of affairs to last long. Sooner or later He withdraws, if
not in fact, at least from their conscious experience, all those supports and
incentives. He leaves the creature to stand up on its own legs—to carry out
from the will alone duties which have lost all relish. It is during such rough
periods, much more than during the peak periods, that it is growing into the
sort of creature He wants it to be.”
Peter Kreeft
“It is the Godfather, not God the
Father, who makes you an offer
you can’t refuse.”
So What?
What does it mean if
God is like this?
If powerlessness and not
power is what changes
If vulnerability and
weakness is the way
and not strength as we
know it?
The most successful
spiritual movement of
the 20th century in the
AA. The first step?
So What?
Only the vulnerable can
Only the vulnerable can serve
Only the vulnerable can be
Only the vulnerable can make
real music and art (Pam and
Billy Corgan)
Only the vulnerable can give
The cross was the place of
both ultimate vulnerability but
loss of identity
Incarnation is the mode of
vulnerability we follow as
Lord Peter Wimsey
Dorothy Sayers
“On the other hand, there is in the human creator
a parallel desire to create something that shall
have as much free will as the offspring of
procreation. The stories which tell of attempts to
manufacture robots and Frankenstein monsters
bear witness to this strange desire. It is as though
humanity were conscious of a hampering
limitation of its functions; in man, the image of the
divine strives, as it were, to resemble its original in
both its creative and procreative functions: to be
at once father and God.”
Harriet Vane
Questions and Prayer

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