How do you respond to Acts 4:27–28?

The Christians in Jerusalem proclaim to the Lord, “…both Herod and Pontius Pilate, with the Gentiles and the peoples of Israel, gathered together against our holy servant Jesus… to do whatever your hand and your plan had predestined to take place.”

This passage tells us that Herod, Pilate, the Gentiles and the peoples of Israel carried out God’s predestined plan, not that they were individually predestined to carry out God’s plan. That Jesus was going to be killed was settled ahead of time. Who would kill him was not.

Related Reading

Revelation 17:8 refers to people whose names haven’t been written in “the book of life from the creation of the world.” Doesn’t this conflict with open theism?

As in Revelation 13:8, the clause “from the foundation” (apo kataboleis) need not mean “from before the foundation” but simply “from the foundation” (= since the foundation). It’s not that names either were or were not written in the “book of life” before they were ever born. Rather, throughout history, in response to the choices…

How do you respond to Ruth 1:13?

Because her husband and two sons had died, Naomi says to her two daughter-in-laws (Ruth and Orpah), “[I]t has been far more bitter for me than for you, because the hand of the Lord has turned against me” (1:13, cf. vs. 20). Some compatibilists cite this passage to support the conclusion that all misfortune is…

What is the significance of Acts 15:7?

At the Jerusalem council, “Peter stood up and said to them, ‘My brothers, you know that in the early days God made a choice among you, that I should be the one through whom the Gentiles should hear the message of the good news…’” The tense of the verb that locates God’s “choice” in “the…

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How do you respond to Numbers 23:19?

The Lord tells Balak through Balaam “God is not a human being, that he should lie, or a mortal, that he should change his mind.” This verse (as well as 1 Sam. 15:29, which quotes it) is often cited in refutation of the claim that God genuinely changes his mind. However, since Scripture explicitly states…

Non-Violence and Police Protection

 Scott Davidson via Compfight Question:  I am a President of a State University. As a frequent podcaster of your sermons and reader of your books, I’m seeking your advice on a matter. Because our campus is some distance from the police headquarters in our city, many within the State University are arguing that we should…

Tragedy Strikes and Coherence Goes Out the Window

I encourage you to read Aurora shooting inspires various perspectives on God and belief, written by Electa Draper and published on the front page of the Denver Post Monday. The article shows how differently believers process tragedies, and illustrates the centrally important role one’s picture of God plays in these responses. For today, I’d like…