Friday, September 02, 2005

Just Luck or the Lord's Will?

Robert Steinback of The Miami Herald wrote in his column yesterday: . . .

Why did Hurricane Katrina miss my mother's house?

Embedded in this question are two distinct inquiries: What are the meteorological conditions that steered the worst of this storm just east of my mother's home near Baton Rouge? And, Why did those poor souls farther down the Delta and east along the Gulf Coast take such a hit, but not she?

If it's possible to will a hurricane to turn by staring for hours at satellite image loops on a computer screen, then I, in Miami, helped protect her. But I know the real reason she and her home were spared: Luck. Chance. Happenstance. That storm didn't care where it was going. And no intelligent pilot decided that somebody in Biloxi needed to die, or some family in New Orleans needed their home flooded to the rafters, and my mother didn't.

As a Christian, how would you respond to him?

Hat tip to Marvin Olasky at World Magazine Blog.


At Friday, September 02, 2005 3:54:00 PM, Anonymous Alexander Samuels said...

As Christians, we respond by thanking God for those who were spared, grieving for those who were lost, and praying for those who are injured or have suffered loss. As Christians, we also seek for a way to help the suffering.

Also, please see my article on Trust – Wednesday, August 31st.

In Reformed Christian theology, there is no such thing as chance or luck. Chance and luck do not exist. They are words we use to describe mathematical possibilities. These words have no power because they have no being. They are not entities that can influence reality.

Reformed Christians look to the doctrine of providence to help us understand events that we see as good or bad in our lives. R.C. Sproul explains it in this manner, “The central point of the doctrine of providence is the stress on God’s government of the universe. He rules His creation with absolute sovereignty and authority. He governs everything that comes to pass, from the greatest to the least. Nothing ever happens beyond the scope of His sovereign providential government. He makes the rain to fall and the sun to shine. He raises up kingdoms and brings them down. He numbers the hairs on our head and the days of our life.

There is a crucial difference between the providence of God and fortune, fate, or luck. The key to this difference is found in the personal character of God. Fortune is blind while God is all-seeing. Fate is impersonal while God is a Father. Luck is dumb while God can speak. There are no blind, impersonal forces at work in human history. All is brought to pass by the invisible hand of providence (Essential Truths of the Christian Faith, p. 62).”


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