A Relational View of God’s Sovereignty (by Roger Olson)

A Relational View of God’s Sovereignty as opposed to the following three (God allows himself to be acted up…VULNERABLE)…

*divine determinism: God micromanages history and individuals’ lives. Nothing surprises God. Nothing can happen that is contrary to God’s will (even evil/suffering)

*relational theism: creatures can and do actually affect God. The relationship between creatures, especially human persons, and God is two-way.

*mediating views: These are views that attempt to combine, usually with some appeal to paradox, divine determinism with relational theism…The plan of God is predetermined, but the way in which He realizes it is dependent partly on the free cooperation of His subjects.
“…a relational view of God’s sovereignty is one that regards God’s will as settled in terms of the intentions of his character but open and flexible in terms of the ways in which he acts because he allows himself to be acted upon. Only such a view of God’s sovereignty does justice to the whole of the biblical drama, to God as personal, to human persons as responsible actors and potential partners with God in God’s mission.”

This view gives the space for God to mourn and grieve with us as we lament loss, suffering, and pain.  But it also gives us the freedom to cry out and plead for mercy, transformation, and change.  What does it mean when it seems like God doesn’t intervene?  I’m not entirely sure but I lean in on the fact that God loves and cares.  He’s not a punitive, distant, unloving God.  These might not be “robust-theological-musings” but the theodrama of the scriptures point to a God that is concerned for creation and humanity, chasing and hounding us to turn to Him.


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