I believe John Piper’s tweet demonstrates clearly the illogical view Calvinism holds on the sovereignty of God.
I have always questioned the logic of Calvinism. I remember learning the TULIP in bible college and did not agree with many of the points. Recently, I read John Piper’s tweet on X, and it immediately shocked me.
Let us think about the Proverb he quoted.
“The lot is cast into the lap;Proverbs 16:33
But the whole disposing thereof is of the Lord.”
How would you apply it to your life? Would you suppose if you wanted to buy a car, sell your house, find a church, etc., would you ask God what to do and then roll a die believing that it will show God’s will? If we knew that God directed every roll of the die, we have answered that age-old question of how to know the will of God. Calvinism would tell us you can.
Let us consider what we can learn from the Bible about this.
“And they appointed two, Joseph called Barsabas, who was surnamed Justus, and Matthias. 24 And they prayed, and said, Thou, Lord, which knowest the hearts of all men, shew whether of these two thou hast chosen, 25 That he may take part of this ministry and apostleship, from which Judas by transgression fell, that he might go to his own place. 26 And they gave forth their lots; and the lot fell upon Matthias; and he was numbered with the eleven apostles.”Acts 1:23–26
We need to back up a few verses here to see what was taking place.
“These all continued with one accord in prayer and supplication, with the women, and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with his brethren.”Acts 1:14
About one hundred and twenty people were praying about the direction they needed to go. They had just been told to be witnesses to all the world of the resurrection of their Savior. The first task at hand was to fulfill the missing apostle spot that Judas left. After spending time in prayer, they realized there were two men who they felt met the requirements of the office. There was an impasse because both seemed equally qualified. What could they do to choose?
Moses was told this when God instructed him about the high priest attire.
“And thou shalt put in the breastplate of judgment the Urim and the Thummim; and they shall be upon Aaron’s heart, when he goeth in before the Lord: and Aaron shall bear the judgment of the children of Israel upon his heart before the Lord continually.”Exodus 28:30
God had a Urim and a Thummin stored in the priest’s breastplate to determine judgment. Nobody is exactly sure how these were used, but we get an indication in the following.
“And he shall stand before Eleazar the priest, who shall ask counsel for him after the judgment of Urim before the Lord: at his word shall they go out, and at his word they shall come in, both he, and all the children of Israel with him, even all the congregation.”Numbers 27:21
“Now, if we refer to Numbers 27:21, where Joshua as the commander of the nation is instructed to go to the high priest Eleazar, that the latter may inquire before Jehovah, through the right of Urim, how the whole congregation should walk and act, we can draw no other conclusion, than that the Urim and Thummim are to be regarded as a certain medium, given by the Lord to His people, through which, whenever the congregation required divine illumination to guide its actions, that illumination was guaranteed, and by means of which the rights of Israel, when called in question or endangered, were to be restored, and that this medium was bound up with the official dress of the high priest, though its precise character can no longer be determined.”Exodus 28 Keil and Delitzsch OT Commentary (biblehub.com)
The idea was that God could control everything, so they could use a medium for God to interact with them. We can also think of Gideon and the fleece. So, the disciples took the principle of the Urim and used it to decide between the two candidates for the missing apostle.
We should not conclude that every fall of every lot is, therefore, directed by the hand of God. That all things work like the Urim. Should we assume that we cast lots to choose a deacon?
John Piper’s view of sovereignty is so illogical and dangerous. God is sovereign by the laws of gravity, but that does not mean God controls how every lot will land or how each grain of sand is arranged. He can manipulate things at any time; however, His laws are doing His work for Him.
As I think about this, logically, a person could take this view of Calvinism and do the wrong thing. If a person was in a position of sin that made them want to take their life, they could roll the dice believing it would tell them what to do. You may say we are not to tempt the Lord by doing such a thing, but that would not affect the outcome because if a person did such a thing, God would still cause the dice to land a certain way.
Should I take my life, or should I face tomorrow? If it is odds, I will kill myself; if it is even, I will not. The dice roll odds! It does not matter if the person should have done this because the dice have to roll as the sovereign God orders.
My view on the sovereignty of God is that God set up rules to run His world is different than Calvinism. The wind, gravity, and the shape of the grain of sand dictate how it lays. How the dice land depends on the angle of the throw, the height they were tossed from, and if they hit each other. If God wanted a grain to be laid a certain way or a die to land on a specific number, He could do it!
I do not believe that every bubble is created by God’s direct intervention. I do not believe that God determines every roll of the dice while playing a game and, therefore, determines who wins. I do believe that God does, at times, intervene in all things to accomplish His will. Our responsibility is to pray for God to intervene in all things in our lives.
The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord:Psalm 37:23
And he delighteth in his way.
I wrote a book on election, and if you would like to read it, you can find it here. A Fair Election: Tank BA, Mark E.: 9781475094213: Amazon.com: Books