Random thoughts to throw out there.
1. Verificationism analogy.
– Unless X can be empirically verified by empirically by the 5 senses…
– Unless X can be verified by the Bible, don’t… So we see people who will not move or do a single thing unless you have a Scripture to tell them to move or do that thing.
– “How did it come about that Z?” “God did it. God told me ____”
– How did you become a Christian? Well God made me one.
God of the Gaps…
2. The preceptive/prescriptive will of God is all the guidance you need.
Response: Are we Moral Turing Machines then?
The Hermeneutics of Providence:
3. How do I know with 100% certainty that X is an answer to prayer?
~ Lets say I pray for Joe to be healed and even though the doctors said just this morning that he is dismally beyond hope and that tonight he will die. I pray and within 30 minutes he makes an incredible recovery. He comes out of a coma, fully recovers from brain damage at breakneck(!) speed and what not and then goes on to live a remarkable life. Coincidence? Its extra-biblical speak – No?
~ I can pull an even more remarkable “coincidence” that this… how do I know that its of God?
– the atheist/agnostics test.
Go wrong here and your Hermeneutics of Providence can become a Necromancy of Providence!
Check Triablogue on this.
4. Does God speak outside the Bible? Proving too much vs. Proving too little.
– Yes God does. This proves too much. Now anything can be deemed to be God speaking. “God told me you were the one. You better marry me otherwise you would be sinning!”
– No God does not. This proves too little. Now even the most remarkable prayer answers are deemed to be just coincidences. We also have the problem cited in (1) up above.
5. A 1,001 distinctions!
The sovereign/decretive/absolute/secretive/perfect/active/hidden/efficacious/ultimate will of God. You cannot step out of it.
The prescriptive/preceptive/revealed/passive/moral/declared will of God – you can step out of it.*
And yet still one more… God’s preferential (desiderative) will.
And also… God’s “directive will”.
There are distinctions galore in the topic… whew!
“the decretive will of God is that will of God by which God sovereignly brings to pass whatsoever He wills.” ~R.C. Sproul
*Yes. There really are that many synonymous names or terms for the same concept!
6. Individual Will
~ The individual will of God. To what degree is the individual will a part of God’s decretive will?
~ Just how secretive is God’s sovereign will? To what degree? If God tells you something from His sovereign will and then its no longer a secret then is it still sovereign. Sure. No?
~ If God is truly sovereign, how can He not have an individual will?”
I think that an individual will can be wholly secretive or partially secretive. Either way it is be a part of God’s sovereign will.
7. Open & Closed Doors:
~ Suppose you find yourself facing an open door to do some amazing stuff?
– Could this open door in fact be a form of temptation from the Devil?
– Is an open door from God a command? If so then would you be sinning if you did not step through the door? (I.e. Does an open door from God have the same weight as a moral command from the Bible?”
– Is an open door from God rather an opportunity? Such that were you to say no, you would not be sinning.
– Or is it something in between?
~ Suppose you find yourself facing an closed door ?
– Did God shut the door? in which case you ought not to go in that direction or …
– Did the Devil shut it so that you need to keep trying?
~ Now that said, it needs to be mentioned that the Bible never uses the terms “closed door”. You will that the Bible uses the phrase “open doors” but the phrase “closed door” – no, never. Why?
“Every time you see this concept of an open door in the Scripture, it is always an open door for evangelism or ministry.” ~ Kirk Youngblood