Tuesday, December 27, 2016

God's Will, Man's Will by Dr. Arnold Fruchtenbaum

I "finally" finished the book God's Will, Man's Will by Dr. Arnold Fruchtenbaum. (Someone pronounce that last name for me please.) It was a bit of a slow read. It's a hard subject.

Not much is known about Dr. Arnold Fruchtenbaum. Until this book I hadn't heard of him. In the arena of scholarship, he doesn’t seem to be known in an academic sense. According to the book, his family is from Russia, passing through to Germany and finally to America. This also includes living for a time in Israel. Raised as an ultra orthodox Jew, he separated from his family due to an interest in Christianity. Yes, a Christian Jew if I'm allowed to use that terminology together. He is apparently the founder of a missionary organization called Ariel Ministries. Really, that’s a fascinating background.

To the primary points. I’ve always had an interest with the spiritual and philosophical perspectives of how much is God in charge versus how much is mankind. Do things come about by God’s will? Or Man’s will? Or nobody’s? Or something else? The book God's Will, Man's Will was advertised as offering “a balanced and biblical plea in this engaging study that examines the issues of God's sovereignty in relation to human responsibility.” In this book he passes through most popular critical questions.

Some parts of the Biblical text are not that clear. They really aren’t and that's acknowledge in this book. This is not meant as a +1 for Calvinism, but I do find the concept of a freewill, odd. When you have a Bible that describes sinners in bondage to sin, and followers of Jesus as slaves to Christ, I don’t know how you have freewill.

At the end of the book, he does conclude that a moderate Calvinistic view is compatible with the Bible. His real conclusion is one of an antinomy. An apparent contradiction between two perspectives, both can be obtained by balanced reasoning and not going to the extreme of either side.

If you are just climbing on board with this subject matter, this is not a bad book as a one stop that incorporates a lot of the views and critical thought. But be warned it's very involved and may not be the best for someone new to this. And don't jump to conclusions about what he's saying until you finish the book. If an interesting topic came along again, I would read another book from Dr. Arnold Fruchtenbaum.