Endnotes: Chapter 2

  1. These plans are spelled out further in Romans 15:20-28.
  2. This fascinating case history in decision making is developed in detail in chapter 14 of Decision Making and the Will of God, revised edition, by Garry Friesen with J. Robin Maxson (Sisters, OR: Multnomah Publishers, 2004).
  3. Other passages that refer to the sovereign will of God include Daniel 4:35; Proverbs 16:33; 21:1; Revelation 4:11; Ephesians 1:11; Romans 9:19; 11:33-36; Acts 2:23; 4:27-28.
  4. The mystery of God’s sovereign will may well be one of the “secret things” referred to in Deuteronomy 29:29.
  5. A more thorough treatment of these points may be found in Decision Making and the Will of God, revised edition, chapter 12: “God…the Only Sovereign.”
  6. See Psalm 115:3; Romans 11:33-34; James 4:15. The only exceptions to the secrecy of God’s plan are statements of prophecy in which events are foretold (Amos 3:7; 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18), and explanations of the destinies of the saved and the lost (John 3:16,36; Revelation 20:11-15; 21:8).
  7. The existence of tension between biblical doctrines is not an unusual feature of Christian theology. We encounter seeming contradictions, for instance, within the doctrines of the Trinity and the Incarnation. Kenneth Boa’s book, Unraveling the Big Questions About God (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1988), previously titled God, I Don’t Understand, provides an excellent treatment of the tension between truths that are biblically necessary but appear contradictory. He and other theologians call these mysteries “antinomies.”
  8. Os Guinness, In Two Minds: The Dilemma of Doubt and How to Resolve It (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 1976), 255 (italics his).
  9. J.I. Packer, Knowing God (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 1973), 246.