Divine Providence

Does the idea of divine providence make sense?
Publication Month: 
November 2014
Author - First Name: 
John B.
Author - Last Name: 
Cobb, Jr.

From the perspective of modernity, of course, this idea makes no sense. It presupposes thinking of God as an agent in a realistic sense that is quite impossible if one has fully adopted the modern worldview. Further, the idea has been spoiled by its association with divine omnipotence. If God is the cause of everything, the specialness, suggested by “providence,” disappears. Cancer is just as providential as a remarkable healing.

2nd Sunday after Epiphany

January 20, 2008
See Also: 
Reading 1: 
Isaiah 49:1-7
Reading 2: 
Psalm 40:1-11
Reading 3: 
I Corinthians 1:1-9
Reading 4: 
John 1:29-42
By Bruce G. Epperly

The Isaiah reading integrates call and response, and providence and vocation. While the passage can be read as an example of divine election in the most absolute terms, that is, God has a clear plan for everyone established before her or his birth, it can also point to God’s careful, gentle, and contextual providence that guides and inspires us in partnership with our own personal decisions and plans for the future. No doubt, the authors of Isaiah had a strong sense of God’s presence in their lives and in the unfolding of history.

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