Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Ray Prinzing and The Shack....

I came upon the following quote on one of the many...(too many?) blogs I have stashed away at Bloglines.  The name of the blog is Baxter's Ongoing Thoughts.  The post was entitled "Two Gods." 

Since Christmas I have been working around the clock on a book on The Shack. For the next stretch I will be posting some of the material I am working on. By now, The Shack has probably become the best selling book in history, apart from the Bible, or at least it is close to it. Well over 11 million copies have been sold in about 30 languages. At least ten more translations are in the works. The wild, global popularity of The Shack in itself tells me that there is serious spiritual hunger in people’s hearts. I hope and pray it is a sign of the passing of the Augustinian captivity of the Church. Perhaps I am too critical of Augustine, but he is the Father of Western Christianity, and that version has handed down the deadly quagmire of deism, legalism and rationalism—the unholy trinity of the Latin West.

So much has been written on The Shack (pro and con) but I think the vast popularity of the book speaks for itself.  The world is desperate for the God portrayed within the pages of The Shack.  Listen up, world!!  Good news!!!  Great news!!!  He is that God!!  The Good News of the Gospel...if you've seen me, you've seen the Father!!  Hooray.  But...I digress. 

Upon reading this blog post, it reminded me of a post of my own that I started to write a while back comparing a point of theology between a quote from The Shack and a quote from kingdom minister of yesteryear...Ray Prinzing. 

It touches on the total sovereignty issue....a horse I've beaten to death in my mind many times!!  I am dredging my post from the queue....

On EU there was a recent thread called Salt and Peace.  It was a long thread...and honestly, I only had a chance to skim over some of the posts. The topic?  The problem of evil. Exactly what is evil?  Where does it come from? When we deem something evil are we eating from the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil?  How about when we deem something good?  Same tree?

Some of the posters seemed to look at evil as an illusion.  That really doesn't work for me.  I look around me and I see evil in the world.  If it is an oh man, is it ever convincing!!

Does evil come from the hand of God?  Great minds have pondered THAT question down through the ages.  So following are two of the many things that have been said and written about the POE.  The Problem of Evil.  

Are these two unlikely folks ("Papa" from The Shack) and Ray Prinzing expressing similar thoughts?

The Shack:

“Just because I work incredible good out of unspeakable tragedies doesn’t mean I orchestrate the tragedies.” 


Ray Prinzing:

So, what about the evil we suffer?  Did God cause this?  Certainly not in the sense that He would speak a word into a man, saying, "rape this child." Absolutely not! We will not "charge God foolishly." (Job 1:22).  However, as Creator, HE IS RESPONSIBLE FOR HIS CREATION, so the ultimate charge is laid at His feet. 

If He allowed it, in a sense He is responsible for it.  He has, however, given man a limited amount of freedom for self-expression, and it was out of this evilness in the wicked heart of man that the deed was wrought.  An example: you have a man with a dog on a leash, and the dog bites a child.  The man did not deliberately bite the child himself, nor did he command the dog to do so, yet, because the man held the leash, we lay the ultimate charge on him.  Satan is the dog on God's leash.  God has the power to control him, yet He allows the adversary to cause much havoc.  So what is the answer?  Look past the dog, look past the leash, and SEE THE HAND OF GOD IN ULTIMATE CONTROL!

Prinzing's message is usually total sovereignty but he back pedals a bit here when asked flat out by a woman who was repeatedly sexually abused during her childhood.  Did God plan it or not? 

More fodder to ponder on this issue that used to haunt me, hound me, torment me. 


Kansas Bob said...

"Satan is the dog on God's leash."

I like that imagery even if it isn't a complete description. Had a back-and-forth on my blog with someone call Happy that had a difficulty with the whole idea that God could but did not hold that leash tighter. The question of evil is a difficult one for sure but the alternatives are all that rosy.

Cindi said...

Interesting discussion. I have been round and round and back and forth on the POE. For a while it haunted me because I tied it so tightly to the total determinist point of view. The point of view that God orchestrated every evil thing that happened...for the greater good of course. Many believe that way. Many find comfort and hope and peace in that view. I did not. I was perpetually pissed at God.

John Gavazonni talks about contrarianisms. The POE is one for sure. He also says that God does not always give you answers...but he does temper the frustration a bit by giving you peace. Truthfully...I don't know but I am going with the inclination in my heart that echoes what Papa says in the Shack, God does not directly cause the evil in the world. He is responsible yes, because ultimately the buck has to stop somewhere...but he is not the direct cause.

Yet, I know that someone who believes differently can raise a dozen objections and what if's.



Cindi, I was discussing sovereignty with Terry Crisp on Facebook tonight and shared a short version of my realization of God's sovereignty. I thought to copy part of what I wrote tonight for you.

".... I speak of an incident, whereby a man with evil doings laid me as low as I could be laid. I wanted to die, but before hand I was going to kill this man. With grateful tears in my eyes right now, I will I tell you, God came to me and said, "I DID IT. Over and over, as I suffered the effects of this evil brought to me by another man, I would feel revenge rise up in me. Over and over, God would say, "I DID IT." Eventually I believed God. With that, I found peace and learned to love my neighbor.

To reiterate, with God's taking responsibility, I paradoxically came to Love God and in so doing I came to even love the man, that brought evil to my life. The man and his sin, was but a tool of God to bring me to Himself.

"Then said Jesus, Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do."

Cindi said...

Hi Jack...
yes..I read the exchange on facebook. A very interesting, civil discussion. This predetermination issue is such a hot button topic for many. I did like what Terry had to say about there being scriptures to support whatever postion you take.

The topic of the sovereignty of God and the will of man (which is really at the heart of your question) is a complex one, in that there are strong arguments for both views in scripture. I’m of the opinion that if those on either side of the issue can casually dismiss the other, it’s because they’ve really not understood it. I would also opine that to take a hard line for either position requires that we ignore certain very significant verses in order to make our case. I’m of the persuasion that there are passages that simply cannot be explained to any real satisfaction from either extreme.

I tend to agree with what Terry says. There is support in scripture for both views. I do understand the total sovereignty view. I could argue the case for it. However, eventually, we have to stop being tossed to and fro...pick a lane and stay in it. At least until God yells..."Get over! Get over! You're in the wrong lane!!"



Cindi, I used to scoff at those that participated in the lengthy hotly debated forum discussions with regards free will vs sovereignty. I thought both positions held some truth then I finally saw in Rom 8:20 the "vanity" which the soul was made to dwell in. I believe the belief of free will rises out of the very nature of that "vanity." The vain carnal soul made for destruction thinks it can reform itself, whereby avoiding it's death.

Death brings life and oh, how we fight death on every level. I truly believe the fear of death is the foundation of all fears, all phobias. And it is fear that drives the carnal soul that can never "let go, let God."

"I will" is dead works where as "Lord willing" is rest.

That is how I have come to see it and better yet experience it.

Lastly, yes the Bible is marvelously constructed to give evidence to almost anything we want it too. It takes the Spirit to find Truth there.

Cindy, thanks for the opportunity to share my thoughts. Thank you for your Facebook friend request. I so enjoyed seeing a picture of your precious daughter on your page. Please give my regards to Kieth.


Cindi said...

I didn't realize that you had never seen a picture of Beth. Most of the pics are of Emily simply because I had more pics of her on this computer. Beth's pic is on the top row last pic where she is making a peace sign with a mural here in town as the backdrop. Bottom row...with a blond girl eating pizza. All the other girls pics are Emily. She loves kids so several of the pics are of her with some of the kids she babysits for. The really big guy is Matt.

In the pics when they were little..Beth is the darkhaired one. Emily is the blond..with the ornery expression on her face. She channeled all that orneriness into a funloving outgoing nature. Adults used to hate to be around her. Now they love her. Beth was always more quiet and seemingly the better behaved of the two. Until the teenage years that is!!!

Beth seems to be doing better. Actually quite a lot better. When she turned 18 I think the realization hit that she did indeed not have to live with us anymore...but also that we did not have to let her live with us. Our legal obligation to her was over (of course the emotional one never ends) So she has been a lot better.

I do appreciate your prayers through the past two plus years...years which were many times pure hell. There were periods of time that I thought things would never, ever be okay. I am much more hopeful now...although she will always "march to that different drum beat."

Thanks again. I love facebook. It took me years to finally sign up for an account. Roy mentioned to Keith that he is pondering signing up for an account (at Joian's urging) Hopefully he does. It would make staying in touch with him a lot easier. He is such a great guy. Keith will be harder to convince.



Bless your heart Cindi. I had tears as I read your words about your children. It is not hard to see how dearly you love them all.

Thank you for taking the time to write that account. I am off again to your Facebook page to see Beth, the one that has driven us both closer to God.