When I teach the Westminster Confession of Faith, I ask the class to tell me why the first chapter is on Scripture and the second on God. Based on Westminster, the 1689 London Baptist Confession has the same order. Why do we put the doctrine of Scripture before the doctrine of God? The answer is that what we know about God is found in the Bible.
Therefore, having considered what Southern Christians say they believe about the Bible, let’s examine what they believe about God. As with our past notes, the responses are a mixed bag. First, a solid majority believes God is perfect, cannot make a mistake, and is a Triune. Great!
On Tuesdays, I conduct a homeschool class on the Christian worldview. We’ve reflected on the fact a man only understands the world correctly when he starts with God. God is not a cosmic footnote. He is the beginning of all things (Romans 11:36). As theologian Cornelius Van Til writes, “…for the human mind to know any fact truly, it must pre-suppose the existence of God and his plan for the universe.” That the one God is holy (Isaiah 6, Revelation 4), unchanging (James 1), and Triune (Genesis 1, Psalm 110:1, Matthew 2, Acts 3, Romans 8), are basic Christian pre-suppositions.
However, 49% of Southern evangelicals agree that “God learns and adapts to different circumstances.” This conclusion doesn’t square with Scripture. And it assumes the universe exists independent of God and that God must interact with his creation just as we do.
Scripture teaches us God is an absolute sovereign. He sits in the heavens and does as he pleases (Psalm 2:4, 135:6). Numerous Scripture passages confirm this, but consider just one with me.
In Isaiah 46:8-11, we read, “Remember this and stand firm, recall it to mind, you transgressors, remember the former things of old; for I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is none like me, declaring the end from the beginning and from ancient times things not yet done, saying, ‘My counsel shall stand, and I will accomplish all my purpose,’ … I have spoken, and I will bring it to pass; I have purposed, and I will do it.”
God declares that he is the one and only God. He proves this by “declaring the end from the beginning.” Before God spoke life into being, he declared everything that would come to pass in heaven and earth (2 Timothy 1:9, Titus 1:2). Therefore, he knows everything (Psalm 139:2-6).
I’ve seen a drawing that showed a representation of Jesus sitting at a chess board. Across from him sat the Devil. The picture’s message was that Jesus and the Devil were playing chess. The Devil makes a move, and Jesus makes a move.
Dear Christian, this is blasphemy. Not a sparrow can fall to the ground apart from God’s decree. God does not learn things. If he did, then all his promises are null and void. For, he cannot promise what is only a possibility.