The subject of Gods sovereignty is usually fairly easy for most believers to comprehend. But many struggle with authentically believing and trusting in Gods sovereignty. Additional questions seep through this overarching issue in regards to evil and free will. Essentially it is extremely complicated and difficult for one to believe Gods sovereignty with unwavering faith.
Sproul attempts to lay out the reality of the sovereignty of God as seen through Scripture, history, theology, and doctrine. Several questions are addressed throughout the chapters:
Why does sin exist if God is sovereign?
How does free will correspond to Gods sovereign providence?
Did God create sin?
Does prayer work if God is soverign?
In the first chapter, What Is Providence?, he boldly reveals his disappointment in the absence of attention and responsiveness to Gods active presence in the 21st century compared to previous centuries. The rise of evolution and atheism has influenced our culture to where it has become an oddity if one does not reject the providence of God.
Sproul defines providence as the following: literally means to see beforehand, His seeing something beforehand with respect to time. He references the Hebrew word bara, found in Genesis for the English word create. This word carries with it the idea of sustaining. In other words, God creates and proceeds to preserve and sustain.
I found his brief section on government rather thought-provoking. He explains that the democracy of the United States has made it difficult for us to truly believe the idea of sovereignty. Our social contract declares that no one can govern here except by the consent of the governed. But God does not need our consent in order to govern us.
Sproul then addresses the issue of evil. After defining evil as any want of conformity unto, or transgression of, the law of God, he further explains that this encompasses sins of omission and sins of commission. Simply put, sin is a lack of conformity to the standard God establishes for righteousness. He proceeds to address the ordination of evil. [God] ordained that His creatures should have the capacity for evil. He did not force them to exercise that capacity, but he knew that they would exercise it.
In relation to the issue of evil, Sproul expounds on the difficult debate of free will and Gods sovereignty. Although he utilizes many references to support his argument that our freedom can never limit Gods sovereignty, I believe our finite minds will never fully grasp many of the concepts surrounding His sovereign providence as He is eternal, infinite, and boundless.
***Disclosure of material connection: I received this book free from the publisher as part of their review program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commissions 16 CFR, Part 255: Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.