The doctrine called providence pervades the Scriptures of both Testaments. It is not incidental or accidental, but it is rationally integral to the scriptural system of truth and joyfully integral to its way of life. The term comes from the Latin pro and videre, meaning to look ahead, to foresee, and thus to plan in advance. But as here used, it also means to carry out the plan. And, since the agent of providence is the all-knowing, all-powerful God, literally everything is included. Although for purposes of analysis (following the order of the historical unfolding of God’s purpose) we properly distinguish between creation, providence, redemption, and fulfillment, they all are simply stages in one eternal and unchanging purpose, the several historical stages of which are completely harmonious with, and fully support, each other. In a brief article such as this, such a claim obviously cannot be fully documented. However, anyone who may doubt it should read the Scriptures with this claim in mind and allow them to make their own impression on his mind. He will find that certain passages, as Psalm 139, express this doctrine sharply and powerfully, but the calm assurance with which the Scriptures as a whole either refer to it or simply assume it should perhaps have an even more convincing effect. A briefer way of achieving the same result might be to read Dr. G. C. Berkouwer’s delightful treatise on The Providence of God. It is open to anyone to doubt the truth of the doctrine if the intellectual difficulties which it undoubtedly entails seem overwhelming; but it is not open to any candid mind to doubt that the Scriptures uniformly teach it and take it for granted, or that millions of intelligent believers live joyfully and triumphantly ...1
Already a CT subscriber? Log in for full digital access.
Have something to add about this? See something we missed? Share your feedback here.
Subscribe to Christianity Today and get access to this article plus 65+ years of archives.
- Home delivery of CT magazine
- Complete access to articles on ChristianityToday.com
- Over 120 years of magazine archives plus full access to all of CT’s online archives
- Learn more