Is God a Good Planner?

by André Piet
October 2nd 2012

The above question may seem like forcing an open door. For if God is GOD, He must be a good planner. Yet, the standard Christian answer implies the opposite. I will explain.

This morning I had an captivating conversation with someone at the football field, while the lack-luster game did not captivate us. My conversation partner, a Evangelical Christian, brought Adam’s fall and its consequences into the discussion. I asked him: do you think that God, in advance, knew all that would happen?

I saw him thinking. He could not say ‘no’, because that would mean that God does not know everything. But to say ‘yes’ was clearly too much for him. He tried to avoid the question by starting to say something about “man’s free will”, but I kept to my question: did God know everything in advance or not? Then he said: yes, God knew it, but He had not planned it. With that answer I have become familiar, because I hear it consistently, in all kinds of variants, within the Christian world. This response is intended to purify God of the blame that He had evil intentions. A sympathetic motive perhaps, but a whopper of a misrepresentation. For if God knew everything in advance, but did not have everything planned, then it means that He is a extremely poor planner. After all, what is a plan to measure up to, if it deserves to be called a good plan? Should not all what one knows in advance (or is deemed to know), be taken into account? If I know beforehand of a risk and I do not take that into consideration in my plan, then I stand accused of blameworthy, poor planning. Also in the law of Moses was this made clear:

When you build a new house, then you must make a parapet for your housetop so that you do not bring blood-guilt on your house in case someone falling from it might fall to death.

Whoever claims that God knew in advance that Adam would eat of the forbidden fruit (with all its consequences), but that He had not planned it (i.e. had not given it a place in His plan), makes God to be a lousy planner. However, the GOD Whom we know from Scripture is not only all-knowing but also “the only all-wise GOD“. He knows what workmanship we are and is therefore, by definition, not subject to surprises. He foresaw, from the beginning already, the outcome (Isa.46:10). He knew what would happen and has calculated the costs, in advance (cp Luke 14:28). He knew, namely, the return that would result and why the world is as it is. God’s work is (by far) not yet finished, but He is perfectly on schedule. In God’s “plan of the eons” (Eph.3:11) nothing happens for nothing. Only this knowledge gives confidence and guarantees an ultimate, succesful outcome!

seeing that OUT OF Him, THROUGH Him and FOR Him is all: to Him be the glory for the eons! Amen!


Translation: Peter Feddema

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