Compiling Some Quotes on God’s Sovereignty

Here are some excellent quotes on the doctrine of God’s sovereignty, with occasional application to salvation or suffering:

  • John Piper: “We must simply listen to God when it comes to the sovereignty of God. We must have God tell us what it means for him to be sovereign, lest we import limitations or possibilities into God that he doesn’t find in himself.”
  • Jonathan Edwards: “Absolute sovereign is what I love to ascribe to God. But my first conviction was not so.”
  • Kevin DeYoung: “For many Christians, coming to grips with God’s all-encompassing providence requires a massive shift in how they look at the world.”
  • Loraine Boettner: “Amid all the apparent defeats and inconsistencies of life God actually moves on in undisturbed majesty.”
  • Eugene Merrill: “Any view of God that assigns him any role other than that of sovereign over all creation results either in an ontological dualism in which he is coequal with the material and/or spiritual universe or at least renders him limited in some aspects of his nature and work.”
  • Bruce Ware: “The sole criterion for understanding the nature of divine sovereignty is simply this: whatever God tells us in Scripture about his lordship and sovereign rulership over the universe is what we should believe, because this alone can be the infallible truth about his sovereignty.”
  • D. A. Carson: “To put it bluntly, God stands behind evil in such a way that not even evil takes place outside the bounds of his sovereignty, yet evil is not morally chargeable to him: it is always chargeable to secondary agents, to secondary causes.”
  • Mark Talbot: “How the Creator’s agency relates to his creatures’ agency is to be categorized quite differently from how any creature’s agency relates to any other creature’s agency.”
  • Wayne Grudem: “In every case where we do evil, we know that we willingly choose to do it, and we realize that we are rightly to be blamed for it.”
  • Mark Talbot: “Scripture reveals that both human agency and divine agency are to be fully affirmed without attempting to tell us how this can be, because we have no way to understand it, no matter what Scripture would say.”
  • Christopher Wright: “God acts through human actions–without turning people into puppets.”
  • John Calvin: “Are you prepared to believe that nothing is lawful for God that you do not fully understand?”
  • James Spiegel: “…if we were blind to the higher (and now obvious) good that Christ’s tortures served, then how much more might we be blind to the higher good served by the sundry other moral evils that vex us?”
  • John Piper: “There could be no greater display of the glory of the grace of God than what happened at Calvary.  Everything leading to it and everything flowing from it is explained by it, including all the suffering in the world.”
  • John Stott: “The doctrine of election is the product of divine revelation, not of human speculation.  It was not invented by Calvin of Geneva or Augustine of Hippo.  It is above all else a biblical doctrine and no biblical Christian can ignore it.”
  • R. C. Sproul: “Among the mass of fallen humanity, all guilty of sin before God and exposed to his justice, no one has any claim or entitlement to God’s mercy.”
  • D. A. Carson: “The problem, again, is that biblical truths are not being permitted to function in biblical ways.  Inferences are being drawn from things truly taught in the Bible that are being used to disallow what the Bible clearly says elsewhere.”
  • John Piper: “The teaching of Scripture on election has been controversial.  But I believe with all my heart that it is precious beyond words and a great nourishment for the Christlikeness of faith.”
  • Charles Spurgeon: “Cheer up, Christian!  Things are not left to chance: no blind fate rules the world.  God hath purposes, and those purposes are fulfilled.  God hath plans, and those plans are wise, and never can be dislocated.”

 

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