Tuesday, March 14, 2017
Gordon Clark answers: If a drunk man shoots his family is it God's will?
I’m still preaching through the 1689 confession. In last Sunday afternoon’s message I focused on the statement which affirms God is working all things according to the counsel of His own immutable and most righteous will, for His own glory (chapter 2, “Of God and Of the Holy Trinity, paragraph one). Here are my notes from the meditation on the concept of God working out his will in “all things”:
Last week I read the essay by the Reformed philosopher Gordon H. Clark on “God and Evil” in his book Religion, Reason and Revelation (see this book note). In that essay Clark cites a liberal professor (Georgia Harkness) who was celebrating what she saw, in the early twentieth century, as the decline and demise of Calvinism:
But not many, even of the most rigorous of Calvinists would now say that if a man gets drunk and shoots his family it is the will of God that he should do so!
To which Clark replies:
I wish very frankly and pointedly to assert that if a man gets drunk and shoots his family, it was the will of God that he should do so. The Scriptures leave no room for doubt … that it was God’s plan for Herod, Pilate, and the Jews to crucify Christ. In Ephesians 1:11 Paul tells us that God works all things, not some things only, after the counsel of his own will. This is essential to the doctrine of creation. Before the world was made, God knew everything that was to happen; with this knowledge he willed that these things come to pass. Only if God has been willing , could this world or any world, in all its details, have been brought into existence (, p. 221).