The Sovereignty of God [A.W. Pink]

September 22, 2008

I am currently reading a book by A.W. Pink called “The Sovereignty of God.” Until now, I have not written a blog post regarding a particular book.

I enjoy books that display sound doctrine in the sense that The Sovereignty of God is about a scriptural attribute of Him. He is not discussing things that may or may not be true about God [like the case is with many books], but of His very nature. Pink does an extraordinary job of not only expositing particular verses, but exemplifying God’s Sovereignty in each of them. So far, this book is a great deal of encouragement as it provides a biblical defense for what is so little preached in today’s society.

Most Christians, even among the reformed spectrum, do not attribute all things to the Sovereignty of God. Some verbally attribute that ‘God was Sovereign’ over certain situations, but not every situation. For example, some may attempt to say that God is Sovereign over ‘good’ things but not the ‘bad’ or ‘evil’ things. This book doesn’t necessarily have to prove that God is Sovereign, but simply enlightens the topic to show that God is Sovereign in every way over all things [created and eternally universal]. His decrees are infinitely beyond the scrutiny and compartmentalization of fallen sinners. Consider the following paragraph by A.W. Pink:

“Let us pursue a similar course of reasoning in connection with the human race. Is God governing this world of ours? Is He shaping the destinies of nations, controlling the course of empires, determining the limits of dynasties? Has He prescribed the limits of evil-doers, saying, Thus far shalt thou go and no further? Let us suppose the opposite for a moment. Let us assume that God has delivered over the helm into the hand of His creatures, and see where such a supposition leads us. For the sake of argument we will say that every man enters this world endowed with a will that is absolutely free, and that it is impossible to compel or even coerce him without destroying his freedom. Let us say that every man possesses a knowledge of right and wrong, that he has the power to choose between them, and that he is left entirely free to make his own choice and go his own way. Then what? Then it follows that man is sovereign, for he does as he pleases and is the architect of his own fortune. But in such a case we can have no assurance that ere every man will reject the good and choose the evil. In such a case we have no guaranty against the entire human race committing moral suicide. Let all Divine restraints be removed and man be left absolutely free, and all ethical distinctions would immediately disappear, the spirit of barbarism would prevail universally, and pandemonium would reign supreme. Why not? If one nation deposes its rulers and repudiates its constitution, what is there to prevent all nations from doing the same? If little more than a century ago the streets of Paris ran with the blood of rioters, what assurance have we that before the present century closes every city throughout the world will not witness a similar sight? What is there to hinder earthwide lawlessness and universal anarchy? Thus we have sought to show the need, the imperative need, for God to occupy the Throne, take the government upon His shoulder, and control the activities and destinies of His creatures (Pink, The Sovereignty of God, p.34-35) .”

Some may scrutinize Pink and many biblical teachers by writing a book on the Doctrine of the Sovereignty of God. Many consider it a difficult doctrine as it strips the thought of free-will that most men have. However, the purpose of the book is not to take away all power and free will of man [although it does]. It is not to demonstrate a comparison between man and God. Neither is the purpose to see just how many things God is Sovereign over or even how depraved man is [although it does this as well]. No. The purpose of this book for believers is to cause us to throw ourselves upon Mercy of God in utter dependence of His Sovereignty; which means that He is good. If God is good, then he will not be anything other than good. On the other hand, If God is Sovereign, then he will not be anything other than Sovereign. He is not in control sometimes and other times not. He is not Sovereign over most things but not some things. Otherwise, He would not be Sovereign. To be Sovereign is to rule and reign with absolute dominion. Resting in the Sovereignty of God causes complete humility in the hearts and minds of believers; thus it causes complete dependence upon Him and gives Him Glory. It reminds us that we have nothing in our hands to give to God but to trust Him for everything [I mean everything].
“For of Him and through Him and to Him are all things, to whom be glory forever.” Romans 11:36
It is only when we realize that of [from] Him and through Him and to Him are all things that we see and understand God’s Sovereignty. How can the One from whom everything came to be, not maintain and sustain absolute control over everything He has made?

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2 Responses to “The Sovereignty of God [A.W. Pink]”

  1. Flying Says:

    Yeah, thanks mate. It is truly a good book and much needed today. Just a reminder, read the Baker version and not the Banner of Truth one. The latter has taken almost half the content out. OK, maybe just less than half.Keep well.

  2. Jim G. Says:

    I don't think that either logic or Scripture require us to reject the free will of man if we first accept the sovereignty of God.

    I believe that Scripture teaches us that God's sovereignty means he has authority and power over everything. For example, God has both the authority and power to take my next breath away. That is within His sovereign authority.

    But, He having total sovereignty does not mean that he won't give us freedom. In fact, granting man a free will to either accept or reject Him is within His sovereign power.

    Similarly, I may have the power and authority to control where and when my son goes. Yet, I may choose to allow him to exercise his free will within certain bounds. If I do let him exercise his free will, that does not mean I have relinquished my power and authority.

    I'd like to recommend an excellent book I once read that addresses and important doctrine related to this subject. It is called Life in the Son by Robert Shank. It was first published back in 1960 I believe but it is still being published today I believe. The intro was written by William Adams who was a Professor of New Testament Interpretation at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, KY.

    Phillipians 4:8


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