Tuesday, May 08, 2012

Generous Sovereignty

I'm at a retreat as part of the formation of the new Misio Alliance, meant to be another option for evangelical-minded individuals that is not the Gospel Alliance or Emergent Village.  How to frame the alliance is one of many topics of discussion.

It occurred to me today that one dimension of the distinction this group is trying to frame might be a phrase like "generous sovereignty."  A lot of us are often criticized for not believing in the sovereignty of God, but that's completely off.  What we believe is that God, in his sovereignty, loves everyone in the world and wants everyone in the world to be restored.  We don't believe that God fixed the deck before dealing His hand in creation.

In His generous sovereignty, God gave choice to humanity.  In His generous sovereignty, he reaches out and gives light "to everyone coming into the world."  His discipline is restorative rather than punitive.  "God is love" is the verse in 1 John 4:8, not "God is justice."


Angie Van De Merwe said...

Isn't "Generous Sovereignty" a way to "redeem" (theologize) the faults/presumptions of leadership/government, while getting those that have been "dismissed" or marginalized a way to frame their realities? That way evangelicals can hold to their cherished view of "God's active intervention" in history and with personal lives! And at the same time bring "discipline" to those they wish to "train" to further this undestanding of "Providence"?

Phil said...

I like it! An understanding of God's sovereignty that isn't coercive or dictatorial, empowering and life giving. A sovereign God whose sovereignty doesn't equal self-centeredness.

Angie Van De Merwe said...

Maybe "Gospel Alliance" is the group for evangelization, while the "Emergent Village" is for the youth and the "Generous Sovereignty" is for the humanitarians?

There are always ways to frame the rhetoric to sell a "idea" and get people on board! It's called "marketing" the Church! And the idea is to create a place for "everyone". But, is everyone going to be "sold"?

Anonymous said...

thanks for sharing..