Thursday, July 28, 2011

Freewill and Not

Just recently I was discussing the notion of fate and destiny with someone in the context of careers and learning. During the conversation, The Purpose Driven Life by Rick Warren was brought up as an example of motivation and self-help that we both had read.

While I believe whole-heartedly in the concept of being deliberate or driven by purpose, and have written extensively myself on the subject, the context under which this particular book was framed caused me some concern. For example, the dedication states:
"This book is dedicated to you. Before you were born, God planned this moment in your life. It is no accident that you are holding this book. God longs for you to discover the life he created you to live - here on earth, and forever in eternity."
Not to single anyone out, consider that Heaven Is Real by Don Piper has the same type of sentiments within; effectively suggesting that every aspect of your life, down to the moment at which you hold a book, has been predestined by God.

Now as an intellectual exercise I believe in predestination. Well, I believe in dual responsibility, which has the timelessness of God at the core and is often interpreted as predestination. But what I struggle with is the idea that these authors are somehow able to interpret the path and course of a life. And more specifically they are slanting this forecast in such a way as to lead precisely to their own benefit!

As a sweeping generalization, I have no problem with the idea that God ordained those who read the books to be those who read the books. Because this doesn't try and limit His Will into the confines of how we view time. But applying this specifically to a reader or individual is a misuse of the concept of predestination and just plain wrong.

When it comes down to it, I'm fine with the idea of God knowing the plan for my life. I'm vehemently opposed to the idea that anyone else does. After all, I rarely keep a handle on it myself.

No comments: