God’s Glory

An interesting twitter discussion has arisen between Mark Lamprecht Wes Widner and Jacob Hall.

Friends of Mark’s have a six year old son who has developed a brain tumor and on his blog, Mark posted John’s facebook entry about Faith, Sovereignty, and God’s glory. Go take a look at John’s response to this situation and the thanks people are expressing for the faith that he and his wife are showing in this trial. here is some of it, but go read it all.

First of all, I’m unsure about what kind of faith is being talked about. I’ve never been sure that it is God’s will that our Gideon be brought back to full health.

Now, when I say that, I’m not saying that I don’t think God could do that nor do I want you do think that I don’t desire that. I just don’t think that is the way God always works. However, I do know that God does work all things out for Him to get the maximum glory.

Now, many of you may ask “how can God get glory unless he heals Gideon?” My response would be that he definitely gets glory by healing Gideon, but He gets even more glory when we have our full satisfaction in Him and Him alone!

God isn’t all satisfying and worthy of my praise because he makes us healthy and wealthy. He isn’t worthy because He heals my little boy. He is all satisfying because He is God and He always does what is right! He is all satisfying because he rescued me from my biggest problem.

Our greatest problem isn’t poverty, lack of self-esteem, or brain tumors. Our biggest problem is we have sinned against a holy righteous God. He has saved me from my sin, and for that reason alone he is all satisfying. He is enough.

Yes, we have faith in our God, but our faith is that He will do what’s right and what is best…even if that meant taking Gideon from us.

Mark then posted the link to the blog entry on twitter as follows:

How would you react if your 6 yr old had a brain tumor? Would you glorify God? One family’s responsehttp://bit.ly/3IV3Xh

Wes responded with this:

@hereiblog Glorify God for what? Giving the strength and comfort to endure it or for giving the brain tumor? One isn’t glorifying.

Jacobhall jumped in then with this:

@kai5263499 Your view of God is totally skewed. He is worthy of Glory regardless of the situation.

then Wes:

@JacobHall86 Not if he kills innocent people for no reason. Sorry, that’s not the picture of God the bible paints.

then Jacob:

@kai5263499 Noone is innocent. That is the picture painted in the Bible. You assume with Pelagian views. None are Righteous.

Now look up at the two portions of Wes Widner’s entries that I bolded. do you see it? Wes has decided that he knows what brings God glory and he knows who is innocent and he knows when there is “no reason” for a death.

I have some questions.
Why does Wes have such a high view of himself and his own knowledge?
Why does he not approach this topic with a little more humility?
Why doesn’t he even give lip service to the possibility that God has something in mind in this situation that is far higher than our poor power to deduce as we rock along here in our finite bubble of right now with our limited intellects and our limited set of emotional responses?

Does Wes think God doesn’t at least have the ability to control this boy’s tumor?
If so, then what else doesn’t God control in Wes’ world?
If not, then isn’t allowing it to happen functionally the same as causing it?
Wouldn’t God remain culpable for the illness?
If that is the case, then isn’t it better to believe God to be fully sovereign over every aspect of this situation and every other situation in our lives?
Isn’t it better to fully trust a sovereign God who loves us, sent his Son to die for us, and promised us good things, with our illnesses and their outcome?
Isn’t it true that God is most glorified in us when we are most satisfied in Him, even in the midst of loss, heartache and pain?
Isn’t that what makes God look most fantastic to this lost and dying world?

just asking some questions here.

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7 Responses

  1. Thanks for the thoughts, bro. God is reaching people through this trial. I talked to John the last two days and he has told me that many unbelievers are contacting him wanting to know more about Jesus.

  2. and thank you for your work in spreading the news.

  3. Methinks you are misunderstanding a fundamental fact that the suffering of innocents doesn’t bring God glory in the least.

    Dr Little from SEBTS has a great series on it available here http://bit.ly/26g4Bn and Udo Middleman has a great book about how this kind of thinking (the idea that God “causes all things for His glory”) actually diminishes God by calling into question his innocence and holiness in his excellent book “The Innocence of God” available here: http://bit.ly/yjS1e

    Sorry, this isn’t a “well Wes says..” type of thing. It’s a pretty basic fact that God doesn’t cause the suffering of innocent (yes, innocent, you’ll have to go through a lot of biblical evidence about how God has suspended judgement, http://bit.ly/MamUg, in this age to prove otherwise) children or completely random acts of violence (something the exalted Piper has had to apologize for several times but yet still won’t refrain from trying to saddle God with the evils of the world).

  4. fascinating.

    See here
    here
    here
    here
    here and
    here

    Did Christ’s suffering bring glory to God? Did Stephen’s stoning bring glory to God? Did Peter and John’s beating in Acts 5 glorify God? Did the imprisonment of Paul and Silas bring glory to God? Did Israel’s wandering the in wilderness 40 years bring glory to God?

  5. In addition to the questions and links BK gave above, Dr. Little’s position seems to ignore questions of his own position. Andy Naselli offers a summary of objections that show this. Steve Hays gives further critique of Little.

    Suffering does not mean judgment either. Do we try to get around suffering by saying that God could not have prevented it? Even in the possible worlds of middle-knowledge it is God’s decision of actualizing that world in which the suffering takes place.

  6. BTW, doesn’t the doctrine of original sin provide for the guilt of people? Given this doctrine how are people innocent?

  7. […] what he said. “if that is too much for you to stomach, then you might as well become an atheist.” That is what I want to tell people like Wes Widner. […]

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