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QUOTES - PROVIDENCE

There is no doctrine about God more resoundingly proclaimed throughout the Bible than that of providence (Robert Duncan Culver, Systematic Theology).

Creation explains how there happens to be a world at all; preservation explains why it still exists in good order; and providence explains how it will develop toward God’s eternally planned goal. It is the consummation in time of the plan of God made in eternity (Robert Duncan Culver, Systematic Theology).

Fulfillment of prophecy requires divine governance in detail of everything that exists (Robert Duncan Culver, Systematic Theology).

Thus, in the light of Scripture there can be no doubt that God with His omnipresent power preserves all things and rules and governs them unto His own determinate end (Herman Hoeksema, Reformed Dogmatics).

Even as Reformed theologians confess and maintain wholeheartedly and emphatically that all things take place according to the determinate purpose of Him Who works all things according to the counsel of His own will, so that before the foundation of the world all things have been sovereignly established by the Most High, so they also confess in connection with this confession the unchangeable counsel of God that God alone executes His counsel (Herman Hoeksema, Reformed Dogmatics).

Providence may be defined as that continued exercise of the divine energy whereby the Creator preserves all His creatures, is operative in all that comes to pass in the world, and directs all things to their appointed end (Louis Berkhof, Systematic Theology).

But while we distinguish three elements in providence, we should remember that these three are never separated in the work of God. While preservation has reference to the being, concurrence to the activity, and government to the guidance of all things, this should never be understood in an exclusive sense (Louis Berkhof, Systematic Theology).

The Bible teaches that even the minutest details of life are of divine ordering (Louis Berkhof, Systematic Theology).

Scripture never doubts God’s command over every event, or that he determines everything that happens, in its entirety and in minutest detail: God is sovereign totally, radically, absolutely (Henri Blocher, Evil and the Cross).

The lazy and rather cowardly idea—cowardly because it lacks the courage of radical thought—that God would concern himself only with the broad outline of the course of events and not with the details, is striking by its absence. As far as Scripture is concerned, God is expressly interested in faithfulness in little things as well as in great undertakings (Henri Blocher, Evil and the Cross).

Under divine sovereignty Scripture also includes evils, calamities and transgressions (Henri Blocher, Evil and the Cross).

He governs and rules all things in such a way that they all cooperate and all converge upon the purpose He has established. . . . Behind all secondary causes there lurks and works the almighty will of an almighty God and a faithful Father (Herman Bavnick, Our Reasonable Faith).

Preservation and government are the two functions in the eternal providence of God (William G. T. Shedd, Dogmatic Theology).

The sovereignty of God. What do we mean by this expression? We mean the supremacy of God, the kingship of God, the godhood of God. To say that God is sovereign is to declare that God is God (A. W. Pink, The Sovereignty of God).

We affirm that He is under no rule or law outside of His own will and nature, that God is a law unto Himself, and that He is under no obligation to give an account of His matters to any (A. W. Pink, The Sovereignty of God).

We may define God’s providence as follows: God is continually involved with all created things in such a way that he (1) keeps them existing and maintaining the properties with which he created them; (2) cooperates with created things in every action, directing their distinctive properties to cause them to act as they do; and (3) directs them to fulfill his purposes (Wayne Grudem, Systematic Theology).

God’s works of providence are the acts of his most holy, wise, and powerful government of his creatures, and of their actions (Thomas Boston, A Body of Divinity).

The diocese where Providence visits is very large; it reaches to heaven, earth, and sea (Thomas Boston, A Body of Divinity).

The falling of a tile upon one’s head, the breaking out of a fire, is casual to us, but it is ordered by a providence of God. . . . things that seem to fall out casual, and by chance, are the issues of God’s decrees, and the interpretation of his will (Thomas Boston, A Body of Divinity).

God is to be trusted when his providences seem to run contrary to his promises (Thomas Boston, A Body of Divinity).

God’s works of providence are his most holy, wise, and powerful preserving and governing all his creatures and all their actions (Charles Hodge, Systematic Theology).

As this doctrine of Providence involves the question of God’s relation to the world, it is confessedly the most comprehensive and difficult in the compass either of theology or of philosophy (Charles Hodge, Systematic Theology).

Through Divine sustenance the possibility of a nothingness into which the world could fall, be it for an atom of an instant, is absolutely excluded (G. C. Berkouwer, The Providence of God).

Creation calls out of nothing into existence; sustenance calls to continued existing (G. C. Berkouwer, The Providence of God).

The doctrine of providence affirms an ongoing divine concern for and activity in the world subsequent to it original creation (Dictionary for Theological Interpretation of the Bible).

Apart from the doctrine of providence, the idea of God would be largely irrelevant to what is happening in the world (Dictionary for Theological Interpretation of the Bible).

Though there is no single technical term for providence in Scripture, the concept of the care and control of God for individuals, for Israel and the nations, and for the church is everywhere assumed and displayed (Dictionary for Theological Interpretation of the Bible).

All that is, and all that happens, takes place within the knowledge and the will of God. . . . All that happens is connected with the divine Purpose; all is ordered in accordance with, and in subordination to, the divine plan and the final divine purpose (Emil Brunner, The Christian Doctrine of Creation and Providence).

We must hold that the will of God is the cause of all things; and that He acts by the will, and not, as some have supposed, by a necessity of His nature (Thomas Aquinas, Summa Theologica).

“Providence” is only another name for the fact that the God who looks at me, and who never ceases to look at me, at the same time with His glance embraces the whole, and unites His will for me with His will for the world (Emil Brunner, The Christian Doctrine of Creation and Providence).

God knows our sin beforehand, but He does not will it; nor does He commit it; and yet it does not happen apart from His will (Emil Brunner, The Christian Doctrine of Creation and Providence).

So the doctrine of the sovereignty of God is no mere philosophical dogma devoid of practical value. Rather it is the doctrine that gives meaning and substance to all other doctrines (James Montgomery Boice, Foundations of the Christian Faith).

The basic reason why women and men do not like the doctrine of God’s sovereignty is that they do not want a sovereign God. They wish to be autonomous (James Montgomery Boice, Foundations of the Christian Faith).

The meaning of Christian faith in God’s care is an unconditional trust in that God who is sovereign even in relation to evil. . . . But faith in God’s providence does not mean that the course of events is mapped out beforehand by God. . . . Faith in providence affirms on the contrary that God is living and active in what happens, that God has resources sufficient for all emergencies, and that the sovereignty of his care is revealed by his ability to turn evil into good (Gustaf Aulen, The Faith of the Christian Church).


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