Movements 4 and 5 left me feeling both sick and outraged. Did Rob say some good things? Absolutely. However, amidst some good thoughts, Rob mixes in some more man-centered refuse — yet again, he describes a god who has faith in mankind (to see my previous discussions on this issue, click here).
Rob writes (page 134),
God has incredibly high view of people. God believes that people are capable of amazing things.
I have been told that I need to believe in Jesus. Which is a good thing. But what I am learning is that Jesus believes in me.
I have been told that I need to have faith in God. Which is a good thing. But what I am learning is that God has faith in me.
Do we read the same Bible? All throughout the Scripture, a dominant theme is that we must believe in God — in his existence, in the fact that He rewards those who diligently seek him (Hebrews 11:6). Never once is the clear teaching of the Bible that God has faith in us. Furthermore, if faith is defined as some sort of confidence in the unknown or unsure, then Rob has inadvertently created a god which cannot know all things.
The issue of imperatives and commands:
If God doesn’t have faith in us, then how do we explain the fact that the Scripture is full of imperatives and commands — including the Great Commission, the calls for holiness, the command to love our neighbors, etc?
It’s simple. God is working in us.
Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, so now, not only as in my presence but much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure.
Behind every imperative is the truth that God is working in us to accomplish his will. For instance, it is his will that we become like Jesus Christ (Romans 8:29) — therefore he empowers us for it. It is his will that “not any should perish” and therefore he draws all men unto himself and empowers us by the Spirit when we proclaim the glad tidings of forgiveness of sins and eternal life. But in no way do commands and imperatives indicate that God has faith in mankind.
In actuality, God has perfect knowledge of mankind’s wickedness and depravity. He inspired the following words from the prophet Jeremiah (17:9):
The heart is deceitful above all things , and desperately wicked: who can know it?
Any good things that we do are a direct result of God’s grace at work in our lives — not because I am inherently capable of good actions. I stand with Paul; in my flesh dwells no good thing. My natural tendencies are toward unrighteousness and lawlessness, not “amazing things.”
Rob has distorted God into an image of his own creation. This book continues to subtly infuse the church with a toxic venom that cannot be healed apart from a working of God’s Spirit through the teaching of sound doctrine.