Doug McHone (Coffeeswirls) and Tim Challies are blogging from the Desiring God conference on Suffering and the Sovereignty of God.
This from Justin Taylor, interviewing John Piper caught my eye:
Q. You’ve become known as a champion of God’s control of All Things. Did you grow up with this belief?What Paul writes in Romans 9 nailed things for me too. At the end of my first year on UCCF Staff, I'd already have happily taken a calvinist tag, though with a fair degree of uncertainty, particularly having spent the first six years of my Christian life to that point under Arminian pastors.
A. no I didn’t start off believing this way. My dad lived the sovereignty of God. He doesn’t call himself a Calvinist and calls that a bad word. The act of regeneration precedes and enables faith, but he disagrees with this, and is totally inconsistent, but he’s my dad and I love him. Growing up, I heard and absorbed a lifestyle of radical dependence of God. At college though, I denied the full sovereignty of God. At Fuller Seminary I saw evidence of God’s sovereignty. I would go home after class and cry because my whole world seemed to be coming apart. Romans 9 devours free-willers like me. In time, my mind was conformed by the word of God.
Several students asked me to help them understand Romans 9. I stumbled through it with them. I then undertook six months of study of the chapter in the company of Roger Forster & Paul Marsden (God's Strategy in Human History), and John Piper (The Justification of God).
I still get frustrated when people keep reverting to "free will" to explain sin or suffering and so many other things. Where is that in the Bible? I recognise people have real questions about these things, but its not up to us to pick doctrine by what we like...