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Why Does God Let Bad Things Happen?

Virginia Tech…32 dead: why? The question that always comes up after something like this is: how can there be a good God if there is so much evil in the world? How come he doesn’t stop it right now?

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No Mercy For the Non-Elect? Romans 9

Romans 9:1-18 is (by common consent) a rough spot. Some go in with theological girding in place and a skewed reading is bound to occur while others go in thinking they have to walk away convinced with Something because of the foreboding rumblings in the Christian atmosphere way above them. People might look at my (rather Paul’s) Pharaoh versus Israel model and think that Israel was eternally saved and Pharaoh eternally damned from the get-go. I beg to differ.

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XXI. Romans: Why God’s Word Stands -tmp(Rom 9:10-15)

These next few verses wind up being breeding ground for lots of contention. Some have inappropriately used these verses to show that Jacob was “saved” and Esau “damned to hell”. It seems to me that this ignores Paul’s argument at this stage of his defense of the righteousness of God: that being, God’s Word stands and now, why it stands.

Paul has us look at Rebekah and Isaac’s situation (Gen 25:21-26). Here she is finally pregnant, and God be praised, with fraternal twins! The question about God’s Promise comes up: do they split Abraham’s inheritance? What if one of them is wicked or one of them careless…how will God’s Word stand if these men are faulty?

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XX. Romans: God’s Word Stands -tmp(Rom 9:3-9)

The question “what about the Jew” is frighteningly important in it’s historic context. Paul immediately impresses upon the reader how important his kinsmen according to the flesh are since it directly impacts God’s good word.

Paul’s not referring to only blood relatives although he makes the blood relation with his countrymen that important. These are the Israelites who were formed as a nation by the very word of God. This group finds its origins in Abram, who was called out from the Gentiles, crossed over the river into Canaan and traveled up and down throughout the land. God gave irrefutable promises to Abraham and eventually to his sons…setting them apart children of promise.

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XIX. Romans: The Problem of the Jews (Rom 9:1-2)

Let me start an investigation of the third movement of Paul’s defense by directing attention to Russ’ series on Calvanism. There are many discussions that may arise based on very old arguments that I don’t want to spend (too much) time discussing. Not that the discussions shouldn’t be—but rather it detracts from my purpose of going through the book of Romans. Calvinists and Arminians would both agree that their respective stance is a systematic doctrine. These camps do not establish their doctrine solely on the grounds of these three chapters of the Bible so I will not limit my overview of these chapters to those doctrines either.