Randomness and Assurance: Does Everything Happen for a Reason?

In light of remembering 9/11, perhaps this article by Greg Boyd may provide some perspective. I know many won’t agree with it. But when I see the suffering in the world, it is evident that God has given humans plenty of freedom.

By Greg Boyd

The Blueprint Worldview

On August 1, 2007, a highway bridge several miles from my house collapsed during rush hour, killing 13 people and wounding 144 others. That night, a well-known local pastor blogged about a discussion he had with his eleven-year-old daughter as he put her to bed. He asked her what purpose God might have had for not “holding up that bridge,” even though he could have done so with “his pinky.” He affirmed her when she responded that God “wanted all the people of Minneapolis to fear him.”[1]

The assumption behind this young lady’s answer is that everything happens for a reason—it’s all part of a grand divine plan. This assumption has dominated Christian theology since Augustine in the fifth century, and I have elsewhere labeled it the “blueprint worldview” because it holds that every detail in history happens in strict accordance with an eternal blueprint that resides in the mind of God.[2] The blueprint worldview is expressed in some of the most famous hymns of the church, such as William Cowper’s famous eighteenth-century piece, “God Moves in a Mysterious Way.” This hymn encourages believers to “judge not the Lord by feeble sense, / but trust Him for His grace,” for “behind a frowning providence, / He hides a smiling face.” Whatever the nightmare that you or a loved one may be going through, we are encouraged to accept that God ordained it for a good reason, which, presumably, is why he is “smiling” as it unfolds.[3]

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