Tony Campolo and Open Theism

Just read an interesting article by Tony Campolo called Katrina: Not God’s wrath- or his will. My jaw dropped at the heresy that came from his mouth. I don’t know if he didn’t proof read it before he published it or what… Here are some quotes from the article..

“Unfortunately, there are a lot of bad answers. One such answer is that somehow all suffering is a part of God’s great plan. In the midst of agonies, someone is likely to quote from the Bible, telling us that if we would just be patient, we eventually would see “all things work together for the good, for those who love God, and are called according to His purposes.” (Romans 8:28)”

“When the floods swept into the Gulf Coast, God was the first one who wept.”

“Perhaps we would do well to listen to the likes of Rabbi Harold Kushner, who contends that God is not really as powerful as we have claimed. Nowhere in the Hebrew Scriptures does it say that God is omnipotent. Kushner points out that omnipotence is a Greek philosophical concept, but it is not in his Bible. Instead, the Hebrew Bible contends that God is mighty. That means that God is a greater force in the universe than all the other forces combined.”
“Instead of looking for God in the earthquake or the tsunami, in the roaring forest fires blazing in the western states, or in the mighty winds of Katrina, it would be best to seek out a quiet place and heed the promptings of God’s still small voice. That voice will inspire us to bring some of God’s goodness to bear in the lives of those who suffer.”

This is Open Theism at its finest and it makes my stomach sick. How much of a box can we put God in? I cannot believe he thinks that somehow this storm took God off guard. As if there is this spiritual chess game between God and Satan.
Yes the storm was bad and horrible and a lot of lives were lost, but that doesn’t mean God is any less loving or just. It was God that brought the storm so Christ could say “Peace! be still”, it was God that brought the plagues than fell on Israel and Egypt before the Exodus, and it was/is God when storms and trials come our way (not temptation…trials…big difference).

Out of the south comes the storm, and out of the north the cold. From the breath of God ice is made, and the expanse of the waters is frozen. Also with moisture He loads the thick cloud; he disperses the cloud of His lightning. It changes direction, turning around by His guidance, that it may do whatever He commands it on the face of the inhabited earth, whether for correction, or for His world, or for lovingkindness, He causes it to happen.” [Job 37:9-13]

There have been a lot of people trying to make sense out of all of this, but John Piper has really hit the nail on the head with this article. Here are some quotes from it…

“Who are you, O man, to answer back to God? Shall the pot say to the Potter, “This is an unintelligent way to show your justice and your power? Come, Maker of heaven and earth, sit at my feet—I have lived 89 years and have gotten much wisdom—and I will teach you—the eternal God—how to govern the universe”?

No. Rather let us put our hands on our mouths and weep both for the perishing and for ourselves who will soon follow. Whatever judgment has fallen, it is we who deserve it—all of us. And whatever mercy is mingled with judgment in New Orleans neither we nor they deserve.”

“Our guilt in the face of Katrina is not that we can’t see the intelligence in God’s design, but that we can’t see arrogance in our own heart. God will always be guilty of high crimes for those who think they’ve never committed any.

But God commits no crimes when he brings famine, flood, and pestilence on the earth. “Does disaster come to a city, unless the Lord has done it?” (Amos 3:6). The answer of the prophet is no. God’s own testimony is the same: “I form light and create darkness, I make well-being and create calamity, I am the Lord, who does all these things” (Isaiah 45:7). And if we ask, is there intelligent design in it all, the Bible answers: “You meant evil . . . but God meant it [designed it] for good” (Genesis 50:20).”

So did this storm take God by surprise? Of course not!
Did Satan one up God? Not in a million years!
I am sorry Mr. Campolo but you are wrong. God is omnipotent! He knows the hairs on my head, the thoughts in my mind, every breath I take, and every storm (physical and spiritual) that comes in our lives.
I really hope Mr. Campolo apologizes and recants this heretical view, and apologizes for this blatantly wrong view of scripture and God.

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