by My Anonymous Friend
I presume the heading above would serve as a good newspaper headline and would attract attention. It is exactly what happened to our new nephew by marriage this past week. Early on Friday morning we learned that he was taken to a local hospital and very shortly the medical team determined that his appendix needed to be removed. He was to be married at 4:30 that afternoon. All the myriads of finely planned details were now in great jeopardy. Everyone waited nervously and prayed. Options were considered. The hospital offered its atrium as a place to perform the wedding if necessary. Around noon the young groom was released and the decision was made to proceed as planned with the church wedding. It went forward almost as originally planned and all was well.
In circumstances like these I always tend to look for the philosophical or theological issues. Here are a few that came to my mind.
1. Man proposes but God disposes. This is not a direct biblical quote but the concept is very biblical. We make our plans but ought to always hold on to them loosely. Ultimately, God is in charge. Our niece, just like other brides, worked for months to plan every little detail of the wedding. She is an incredible organizer and nothing was left to chance. Flowers, music, colors, reception details, and on and on. In just one moment every single detail was up in the air.
2. God is omniscient. There is today in some circles a vigorous discussion about what God knows. It is known as Open Theism. The view is that God is not in exhaustive control of the universe and that He desires meaningful relationships with people who therefore must have the opportunity to exercise their own free will. The concept is passionately argued today. Just how does God's involvement in our lives actually play out in events like weddings and surgeries? As I get older my theological positions are becoming both more simple and more profound. The former because I am less willing to argue and debate the complexities involving an infinite God. I tend to simply accept even seemingly paradoxical statements about God. I view myself as finite and greatly limited in my understanding and I see God as infinite and high above my understanding. The latter position about my theology works well also. God is omniscient and omnipotent. I cannot possibly hope to fathom the depths and heights of the truths about who He is. I seek to bow in humility and awe before Him. It does not bother me that I am unable to answer many questions about Him. I do not believe there are contradictions about God. I believe God knows all and I believe that somehow humans have freedom to make choices. Are these concepts contradictory? Only to a limited mind. I leave it at that.