Sometimes I come across ideas and theology that I find hard to understand.
An example of this is the fact that God ordains evil. It just makes me a little taken aback, and makes me think that somehow I must have got something wrong.
I was listening to a talk today by John Piper on Ruth (from Forum08), in which he was talking about how God ordains that evil should happen. We see various examples in the Bible. In the life of Joseph: his brothers intended his selling into slavery for evil, but God intended it for good. We see it in the appointing of a king by the Israelites - a sin, an act of rebellion against God as they wanted a human king to rule over them instead of the true King - God. Yet God allowed it, that through the line of Kings would come the King of Kings: Jesus Christ.
The ultimate illustration is the cross. God planned it all along - he planned for the evil that was to happen from the men that crucified Jesus would lead to his death, so that through it God could bring good - the redemption of many (better than good!!).
To say that God used the bad for good is absolutely fine. But to say he planned the bad to bring good is harder for me to grasp. Now I accept it because I know it to be true as that is how God has revealed it. I know ultimately that God is good so I trust that he has it sorted and so praise him!
BUT... what I find most difficult of all to get my head around is the fall. Did God ordain that? Was it God's plan all along for the fall to happen? Did he make creation intending for it to fall? That seems a bit twisted? Or did humanity really have free will in the beginning and really make the choice to rebel against God?
I honestly really find this one difficult, and it has caused me to doubt at times. I do trust that whatever is true was right, but I find it hard to understand that if God ordained and planned the fall, how we can conclude anything other than that God is evil, as through it SUCH evil has happened.
I can see your heresy alert going off, and I am expecting many tackles from those of you in Manchester, haha. But fear not! I trust that God is perfectly good. I trust that whatever the answer is, my mind is far smaller than the reality of who God is, and so I accept and praise God for whatever is the truth, even if I don't quite understand it!
Is the answer the annoying on that it is just an antimony? It is perfectly true that Adam and Eve completely chose what they did, and it is perfectly true that God ordained it and planned it to happen so that he could ultimately reveal his glory in the cross, even though to our feeble brains these two statements seem to contradict. But saying that God planned it is very hard for me to swallow - the reality of their choice seems to fall away! Argh!
I would appreciate anyone's thoughts!