Saturday, October 08, 2005

Desiring God Conference (Live-Blogged)

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?
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.
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.

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...