To say that God (and you could likewise insert the “Laws of Physics” into this argument–it’s the same determinism) is in control of all things amounts to an impossible contradiction in terms, because the very idea by its own definition specifically declares an absolute distinction between God and the “things” supposedly under his control. Notice this quote from a magazine I found in the lobby of a “reformed” Protestant Church recently. The magazine cites the source for this quote as: Charles Hodge, from volume 1 of his Systematic Theology.
“That God does govern all His creatures and all their actions, is clearly revealed in the scriptures. And that fact is the foundation of all religion. It is the ground of the consolation of his people in all ages; and…the intuitive conviction of all men, however inconsistent it may be with their philosophical theories, or with their professions.”
Now, there are numerous things wrong with this abysmal declaration which is an intellectual and rational fraud on its face, not the least of which is the rank presumption and obvious dishonesty employed in passing off a specific and peculiar hermeneutic as proof that determinism is “clearly revealed in scripture”, and that said determinism is the “intuitive conviction of all men”. Indeed, one could devote an entire essay to the blatant fallacies of passing off utterly subjective interpretive premises as “proof” of what is “self evident”. (Note: If it is self-evident only via a particular hermeneutic, then you need to defend the hermeneutic as containing rationally consistent and irreducible metaphysical and epistemological axioms before you claim that it is proof of anything at all.) However, that’s not the focus of this particular essay.
Notice that in Chuck’s insinuation of the “obvious” reality of God’s absolute control (“That God does govern all His creatures and all their actions”) he nevertheless explicitly and repeatedly refers to absolute distinctions between God and His Creation, i.e.: God versus Creatures; God verses men; God verses People; God verse men’s philosophy; God verses men’s professions.
Do you see the contradiction? Do you see the defunct logic? The rational drought? The stunted intellect? This is truly horrific, and people should recoil at the evil implied in such shallow, mystic, and frankly, barbaric and medieval “reasoning”. And then, once they have recoiled at the ideas Chuck presents, they should feel an even greater revulsion that men like him are hailed as teachers. God help us.
You cannot make appeals to the absolute sovereign control of God over all things and yet appeal to those “things” as having an absolutely distinct existence of their own, apart from God. In other words, in order for God to control all things, all things must in fact be declared to be themselves, alone, in order that God may control them. But by the very determinism implicit in the statement “God controls all things”, such a separate existence is impossible, and thus it is impossible for God to control all things because God cannot control that which does not in fact exist apart from Him. To say that God controls all things means that he must control the roots of their very existence. Which means they can have no inherent being of their own, apart from God, which means that in order for God to control them absolutely it must be conceded that these things–that God’s creatures, that all men and their philosophies and professions–are in fact merely a direct extension of God, Himself, which thus means that there is no difference between the two…between God and his Creation. God’s creation, if he controls it absolutely, cannot be anything distinct from God, but IS God. And so for God to control all things really means that God simply controls Himself, and there is nothing in existence besides Him. All things are God. And it is this rank pantheism which passes for “Biblical Christianity” and “Sound Doctrine”.
Now, I’m not a biblical inerrantist (because the “biblical inerrancy” idea is childlike in its foolishness and naïve its intellectual defense), but I’m pretty sure that pantheism (the notion that all things are God) is NOT Biblical. Plus, how on earth can the Protestant proponents of deterministic pantheism (tongue twister!) rationally exempt God as the instigator of all sin since they both acknowledge that sin is evil and that God is, in fact, the very existential essence of anything which acts sinfully?
And this, ladies and gentlemen, is merely the nose of the dog. This is merely a fraction of the utter rational and moral bankruptcy which passes for “spiritual guidance” today in the institutional “orthodox” church (where implicit evil with deadly eternal consequences passes for “sound doctrine”) and merely one small tittle of why anyone who actually loves good and hates evil, and likes people and loves God, should withdraw his hand from Christian Orthodoxy as a he would from the flames of fire.