Dirty bible words, viz 'predestination'

For some the doctrine of ‘predestination’ would be the one doctrine they would remove from the Bible. For others it would be one among many. Many Christians today find this teaching not only hard to understand, but hard to accept. Why has God told us about predestination? Why is this teaching even in the Bible? And does this bible word deserve the ‘dirty’ image it has among many today?

Over at my other blog, Talking Christianity, I've fleshed out an answer in terms of the following five reasons why God has told us about predestination

1. To humble us
2. To give us assurance
3. To uphold our responsibility
4. To motivate our holiness
5. To give us confidence

And here is what I conclude: 

Dirty bible words (such as predestination):

There are no doctrines in the bible that are not vital. They all interdependently arise from the one true God who has inspired the Scriptures by his Spirit, and given us in his Word everything that we need for our salvation, for our good and for our holiness.

We must not play ‘favourites’ with doctrine; we must not be 'choosy' with any truths of God’s word. In fact, being 'selective' at all with the Bible poses great dangers to Christian maturity. This is one of the major limitations with memory-verse systems and the like. We invariably give the upper-hand to our biased preferences which influence how we approach the Bible. We end up imposing our systems above the bible which are based upon our limited understanding, presuppositions and worse still popular appeal. 

But it is God who is speaking and we should be listening. And he speaks through all of his Word. It is all given to us for our instruction and our good. We must not ignore or silence anything that the Bible says to us. It was original sin to doubt that God’s word was good and for our good, and to cease listening to everything that God had said to us.

Whether the doctrine of foreknowledge or of final hell, there should be no doctrine we’d even dream of sidelining in the Bible, much less changing or removing; and least of all the doctrine of predestination, which to the Christian should perhaps be the grandest and sweetest of all truths. Though for many Christians today, this teaching may remain hard to understand, we should do more than simply accepting this doctrine. We should embrace it with two hands from our heavenly Father, with childlike faith, knowing that by grappling with it and growing up into this doctrine, it will come with all the rich rewards we’ve learned to expect from our good, gracious and loving Lord and God.

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