We often get messages from people around the world asking questions about what we believe, or what our stance is on [insert your subject here]...below is a great example of one of those. President Dan Lockwood took a moment to answer.
The Multnomah Doctrinal Statement says "the Father has planned all that comes to pass." Could you please briefly clarify what this means?
The Multnomah Doctrinal Statement section, which says "the Father has planned all that comes to pass." is taken directly from such passages as Ephesians 1:11, “In him we were also chosen, having been predestined according to the plan of him who works out everything in conformity with the purpose of his will.” This statement emphasizes the sovereignty of God over all the creation and affirms that there are no accidents with God. It was included primarily as a response to “open theism” and “process theology,” which views some human events as occurring both outside the foreknowledge and outside the power of God to control. We believe these two views are unbiblical and unworthy of God.
Multnomah is by tradition “moderately Calvinistic,” and this phrase in our doctrinal statement, along with our statement about the security of the believer, are two reflections of this belief. We do not, however, imply that all things happen in a deterministic way (i.e., that God is the author of evil, or that human beings have no free will). That “the Father has planned all that comes to pass,” would include both God’s direct and indirect plan. Sometimes the Lord will directly predetermine things to happen (for example, the crucifixion of Christ, Acts 2:23). At other times, he will permit things to happen (e.g., evil human choices). The statement reflects a “compatibilistic” relationship between the doctrine of divine sovereignty and human freedom. That is, we believe the Bible teaches that both doctrines are true and that when seen from the perspective of divine revelation they are compatible—not contradictory—to one another. (Look again at Acts 2:23 for an example of this compatibilism.
Evidence With Faculty & Classes
Our faculty are encouraged to have differing views on what “the Father has planned” means in relationship to human freedom. Faculty opinions range from traditional Calvinism to forms of Arminianism.
In our theology and Bible classes at both the Bible College and the Biblical Seminary, all points of view are discussed fairly; students are encouraged to make up their own minds based on their interpretation of the Word of God.
Daniel R. Lockwood, Ph.D.
What Say You?
Yes, that's a lot of "isms" for one simple theology question (can any theology question ever really be simple?). Anyway, we're all wondering what you, the community would say about it.