Divine providence : God's love and human freedom
We ask God to involve himself providentially in our lives, yet we cherish our freedom to choose and act. Employing both theological reflection and philosophical analysis, the author explores how to resolve the interesting and provocative puzzles arising from these seemingly conflicting desires. He inquires what sovereignty means and how sovereigns balance their power and prerogatives with the free responses of their subjects. Since we are physically embodied in a physical world, we also need to ask how this is compatible with our being free agents. Providence raises questions about God's fundamental attributes. The author considers what it means to affirm God's goodness as logically contingent, how being almighty interfaces with God's self-limitation, and the persistent problems that arise from claiming that God foreknows the future. Discussion of these divine properties spills over into the related issues of why God allows, or even causes, pain and suffering; why, if God is all-knowing, we need to petition God repeatedly and encounter so many unanswered prayers; and how miracles, as ways God acts in the world, are possible and knowable. Throughout, the author looks at Scripture and attends to how providence deepens our understanding of God and enriches our lives.
Reichenbach, Bruce R., "Divine providence : God's love and human freedom" (2016). Faculty Bookshelf. 25.