Don’t worry, RC Sproul’s views troubles me too. I cannot agree on this extreme view of things.
In light of this it seems well-nigh incredible that the doctrine of predestination has been extrapolated to become an all-encompassing divine determinism that knows no bounds – as in the view of R. C. Sproul cited earlier:
The movement of every molecule, the actions of every plant, the falling of every star, the choices of every volitional creature, all of these are subject to his sovereign will. No maverick molecules run loose in the universe beyond the control of the Creator. If one such molecule existed, it could be the critical fly in the eternal ointment.
Lennox, John C. Determined to Believe: The Sovereignty of God, Freedom, Faith and Human (p. 112). Lion Hudson. Kindle Edition.
I would have a simple question in response to theological determinism.
Why would Jesus, who is God in the flesh, teach us to pray and include the line
“Thy Kingdom come, Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven”. If Sproul is correct in that every atom in the universe is already in it’s place, why would Jesus pray and teach us to pray a prayer that seems pointless.
This is the problem with things, God’s will is not being done on earth; sin has entered the picture, and the results of sin is death (death of relationships with others; as Andy Stanley says ‘sin kills’)… Death was not God’s original design in the Garden of Eden - God designed Adam and Eve to live forever with Him. This is why, just quietly to myself, I object to animal death before the Fall, and don’t believe that God used evolution to create; I believe that because of the result of the Fall it was subject to decay;
19The creation waits in eager expectation for the revelation of the sons of God. 20For the creation was subjected to futility, not by its own will, but because ofthe One who subjected it, in hope 21that the creation itself will be set free from its bondage to decay and brought into the glorious freedom of the children of God.…
I think that the problem of natural ‘suffering’ (as opposed to ‘evil’ being active)… is because the free moral choice of Adam and Even also brought natural suffering into the world.
That’s another big problem with theological determinism - in my opinion - is that it also assigns the source of evil and suffering back to God - thus bring the character of God into question. This is a big problem for me.
I’ve had a friend who went down the path of universal salvation; I believe in response to your first quote from RC Sproul. “I don’t doubt For a moment that God has the power to save all, but I know that he does not choose to save all. I don’t know why”
His view was that if God was all powerful, and everything was determined, then this gave weight to universal salvation. It’s fairly logical to assume that an all-powerful God who loves and is completely sovereign would cause all to be saved via unconditional election.
Of course, this position of universal salvation still doesn’t deal with personal responsibility or morality being actually real, or our love being a choice (our choice is in response to God reaching out to us). It still reduces humanity to (in my opinion) autonotoms which seems to remove all meaning from love.
just a few thoughts, perhaps not clearly laid out - I don’t claim to know answers of course (I can only rest on the revealed love of Jesus shown at the cross)…