Sunday, March 28, 2010

Lemuel Haynes on The Providence of God...

"Some are unwilling to acknowledge the absolute and unlimited providence and agency of God in the production of all things, especially with the respect to the existence of moral evil, that it implies wickedness in Jehovah; as though there must be the same in the cause as in the effect: should this be admitted, we must deny God in the greater parts of creation and providence. Would men learn to distinguish between events in their own nature, and the good to which they are made subservient, it would relieve them of many difficulties. However wicked Pharaoh was in devoting the Hebrew children to death, yet good was effected thereby, and the hand of God shone conspicuous....

All will allow that God permitted or suffered sin to take place; But if, on the whole, it is not promotive or made subservient to the highest possible good, then He cannot be vindicated in permitting it to be; but if it is best that sin should have existence, why cannot the divine Character be cleared in causing it to take place? Some, to relieve themselves of difficulties, suppose sin to be merely negative, consisting in the want of holiness; But can this be criminal only as implying positive exercises of hatred to God? Should I tell my neighbor who stands by me, that the pen with which I now write is crooked - should he reprove me for my impertinence and deficiency of language, and say I had not declared the thing as it is; for it wants straitness, should I gain much philosophical instruction by the remark? "

from "Divine Decrees" by Lemuel Haynes
an excerpt from Thabiti Anyabwile's "The Decline of African American Theology"

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