KINGDOM COME: CHAPTER THREE

God Still Works: Trusting God’s Providence is the title of the third chapter of Kingdom Come.  You can purchase the book HERE. Chapter three begins with two striking quotes, one from Lipscomb and one from Harding, that establish the theme of the chapter. Very interesting life details of both men set the tone for the focus on the chapter, which is how the apocalytic vision of Lipscomb and Harding affects their view of God’s activity among men. Both of them suffered significant losses and lived during extremely trying times. These facts are essential for grasping the seriousness with which they embraced the special providence of God. 

What is written about providence here is in relation to pain and suffering. “Everything that happens, according to Harding, serves God’s purposes. ‘He loves us and he allows no pain, no sorrow, no disappiontment to come to us except it be for our own good’” (p. 45) Two divergent views of providence characterized disciples of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. One view has God only working through natural law without any personal action in the lives of people. The other view is that God is deeply involved in our lives. This was a core belief, according to Harding, and Anything less than God’s active invlovement would be considered “unbelief” (p. 46).

Suffering and difficulties in life are viewed by Lipscomb and Harding as leading us through stages of development, remaking us into the image of Christ. Everything that happens is leading toward the end that God desires.  “God is constantly ‘in some way incomprehsible to mortal men…causing all things to work together for their good’” (p. 48). Three text that were especially important to Harding are Psalm 37, Matthew 6:33, and Romans 8:28.

God Ruleth Over Everything is an excellent section of this chapter that all would do well to study. It presents a theological basis for special providence. The next section begins with a bold and pertinent assertion. “Our response to God’s sovereignty is faith rather than pride; dependence rather than self-reliance. This child-like trust does not understand everything” (p. 52). If God is going to allow suffering, then how shall we continue in faith in Him? Because of Jesus and his demonstrations of love. Jesus demonstrates the loving care of God. Jesus reveals the compassionate Father. Jesus demonstrates the soveriegn power of God. (p. 53)

H & V conclude, “We know we cannot interpret God’s acts in the world. We know we do not have all the answers to the difficult questions which love and sovereignty create for our myopic minds. Nevertheless, we trust” (p. 55). Of course there is much more in the chapter than we can summarize. And I’m sure H & V would agree that the subject of providence is bigger than one chapter in any book. However, their aim is to show how the life experiences of Lipscomb and Harding did not shape their theology, but rather they lived by faith in the God that He really would work all things to our good.

What was something that meant a lot to you in this chapter?

Do you think this puts all suffering in the hands of God? Or only that He works through the suffering that exists?

Thanks for reading along with me.

Brilliance

Just so you guys know I’m not the web-savvy guru that some of you think I am, I deleted my first post. Accidentally. I was trying to merge my posts from the old blog into this one, and blogger wouldn’t allow it to happen totally. Only about 75% of my posts came through, so I tried again. In my little world I thought that WordPress would just see that it already had most of them and get the ones it didn’t have. Wrong. I had three and four copies of all of my previous posts…hundreds. Yes, hundreds of posts to delete one by one. And when I was zoned out on this duty, my post from today got deleted as well. And I had like 16 comments!!! But rest assured I saw them all … they also arrive via e-mail. I appreciate your encouragements so much! I just decided the best way to deal with this is to allow my brilliance to be on exhibit! Ah well, I’ll get used to this thing…it’s just different from Blogger.

Well, Celebrity Duets is on and I don’t want to miss the performances nor the winner. I’ll update in a little while. Wonder who will win? Perhaps Hal Sparks?

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u1ZnI_l3IIg]

I guess we’ll have to wait until tomorrow night to see who wins.

I encourage you to read Joe James’ post on how consummerism destroys the church.

 Who is Your Jesus? Stuart Delony offers a few thoughts.

Al Sturgeon’s last two posts are about heroes… one true, one imagined.

Gary Kirkendall resolves the cat-catching mystery!

Phil Wilson invites us to caption a picture.

Jim Martin asks, What Is So Difficult About Marriage?

Thursday Tornado: Many Without Power.

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