Hey guys, I hope you all enjoyed the discussion last night. Thanks to those who put in questions. I felt like, while some things were made a bit more clear for some of us, there were still some questions raised, which is good. Explore those questions with your home groups, with your family members, and with the Hope pastors. Next week I’ll be picking up on one of the things talked about by the panel and draw that out some more as a follow up sermon to the topic of sovereignty and providence.
I wanted to say that the reason I chose those three for panel last night was because the topic is pretty heavy and requires a great deal of theological understanding, experience, and application. I knew that they’d all be opinionated and thoughtful, but also that they wouldn’t quite agree on everything. And though no real debate reared its head, there could have been, it just was recognised that it wasn’t the right time for it.
That said, you might not have agreed with everything either, and that’s okay. I didn’t ask them to speak because I thought they had all the right answers (as I just said they varied amongst themselves even), but because they’d at least have some thoughtful responses that might help people who are trying to understand or reconcile God’s complete control and power with some of the crap that we deal with in this life and in our world.
Maybe, in groups, or on your own, consider and reflect on these thoughts/questions from last night’s panel:
What were your thoughts or anticipations going into the panel discussion last night?
Were you satisfied with the quality of the panel speakers?
Did you feel that the worship songs and prayers connected and supplemented the theme and the panel?
What was one thing that really stood out to you (for better or for worse) in last nights panel?
When we read the Bible from our point of view, how might we read it differently to how the original writers, readers, and hearers would have?
And how has our immediate interpretation helped, and how has it hindered in understanding the Bible’s purpose, especially when it comes to sovereignty and providence?
***********(if you weren’t there or can’t remember how sovereignty and providence were explained think of sovereignty as God’s rule; how God created and sustains everything with his almighty power; how nothing is more powerful than God; God is in charge of the universe and everything owes itself as it exists, and belongs to God. And think of providence as the way God brings about his sovereign rule; how God provides. Think of God’s ultimate plan, as it comes to fruition, the things that happen to bring it about are providential – that means to say that things happen because God needs/makes them happen.***************
With what things do you struggle when it comes to God’s perfect plan (providence) and his almighty power (sovereignty) and how you see that – OR DON’T SEE THAT – played out in the world today?
Israel was brought up last night (which is quite controversial) in terms of God’s providential plan, in that Israel plays a pivotal part in it. What are your thoughts on Israel today? Is what the Bible says about Israel applicable to the Nation State known as Israel today? Is God waiting for everyone in the nation of Israel to “recognise Jesus as messiah” before he comes again? [note: these are quite controversial questions and are very open to interpretation. If discussing this in a group, please do so with gentle consideration of each other’s notions.]