How should we define the supernatural?

Or God let him ‘be taken out’.

The sequence of events that Steve Saint relates, maybe in his book, Walking His Trail (subtitled Signs of God Along the Way), or maybe when I heard him in person, led him to conclude that “God killed my father.”

His father was killed along with Jim Elliot by an Amazon tribe in the 1950’s.

“He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose.” Jim Elliot

It is not inconsistent with the book of Job.

A movie, and not a dull one, was made of the story:

(Also a book: End of the Spear (book) - Wikipedia)

So he was just unlucky, and God did nothing to change his luck?

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You are using terms that are foreign to my worldview. :slightly_smiling_face: When I die, it will not be because I am unlucky.

From an mail to Matt, my pastor, 7/15/17 (Saturday):


Just news, not good or bad particularly, but I am going to lose a kidney. My urologist called me after 5 yesterday and said that I had a mass on my right kidney.

I had blood late [Saturday night] last week, and, in God’s providence, when I called Monday a.m., the doctor had had an appointment cancelation for that afternoon. My Co-instants Log entry:

7/10/27 [Monday] Having developed a significant bleed, I had just tried to call the urology clinic. The line was busy [What?! No voice and answering system menu?!] so I picked up the nearby Joy & Strength* for today and read, "MOST GLADLY, THEREFORE, WILL I RATHER GLORY [BOAST! :slightly_smiling_face:] IN MY INFIRMITIES, THAT THE POWER OF CHRIST MAY REST UPON ME. 2 Corinthians xii.9 Wow. [The words jumped off the pages at me. “LORD, I HAVE AN INFIRMITY!!”, I immediately said.]

Then I called back and… the doctor had had an appointment cancellation this afternoon at 3:15. [Talk about co-instants! Otherwise it would have been three weeks or more!] My reply when she told me: “Perfect.”

So he scoped me Monday in the office and didn’t find the source of the bleed, and I had a CT on Tuesday. The former didn’t reveal anything about kidneys, but the latter is pretty definitive for kidney cancer. That is something particular to this affliction – a biopsy is not really needed, I guess. I don’t know anything about size/stage or grade yet, but I expect to be asking next week.

The very first thing I read [after clicking on the first online search result] when looking for info online was, “Your doctor has just told you that you have kidney cancer. Your mind whirls with emotion. Your spouse begins to cry.” Jeanne and I have both failed. :slightly_smiling_face: [My mind wasn’t whirling with emotion and Jeanne did not begin to cry. We trust our Father. What he does is good – good for me, even if it is hard, and good for his name and honor, which is my desire more than my comfort.]

Our times are in his hands [Psalm 31:15], and that’s a good thing.

Bro’ Dale.//

*Joy & Strength is a classic daily devotional that my mom, my sister and I used to read regularly. I don’t read it regularly so much any more, but it was within arm’s reach after the busy signal on the phone.

8/1/17. Right radical nephrectomy – only 22 days from phone call to surgery, sooner than I otherwise might have been able to get even a first appointment!

Of course, I have reflected on that verse and its meaning, “‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me.”

One of the things that power means is the ability not to be afraid. Ever. In ALL circumstances, including sickness and death. “You can’t kill a Christian, all that you can do is change his address.” :slightly_smiling_face: The most frequent mandate in the Bible is “Don’t be afraid” or one of its several variations – “Be anxious for nothing”, “Fret not”, and others. So it is the power to obey that mandate, and the power to obey it gladly. It means to be glad and cheerful no matter what the circumstances, even cancer. Father is in control and whatever he does is good for both of us. The doctor and his office and nursing staff and the hospital have never had a more cheerful nephrectomy patient. :slightly_smiling_face:

Studying a little further, I discovered that the “rest” is to rest as in a dwelling. So that means that the power is the strength of God over me as a strong shelter.

As I quipped on Facebook, “My only complaint about my recent surgery to remove a kidney was that, while he was in there moving furniture around to gain access, he failed to leave me with six-pack abs. THAT was a total failure! :slightly_smiling_face:

A kind of funny and a co-instance footnote to the kidney account, showing that I was being taken care of in another way, too:

My recovery at home was so free of pain that I did not take ANY of the prescribed analgesic, Norco 10mg, an opioid. I was distinctly uncomfortable more than once, but never in severe pain at all, so that extra-strength Tylenol was all that I ever took. (I did look up the street value of the Norco, though, both here and in Omaha. :grin:)

But three months later, the week of Thanksgiving, I caught a relatively bad cold. I have had worse coughs, in that they were deeper and harder coughs, but I had never before had a cough like the one with this cold – I just could not stop coughing. I was coughing continuously and cough drops were not helping at all. I knew I needed a heavy duty cough suppressant if I going to get any sleep, and we did not have any codeine cough syrup. It was Wednesday night before Thanksgiving about 10:30, and there would have been easy way to get any.

I knew I had the Norco, so I looked on online for what the codeine content of a prescription cough syrup was, and it was exactly the same as the Norco, 10mg! So I was able to sleep, and was thankful!

You are just avoiding the question.

You are just not understanding the answer. I have already given it above.

I understand that it is an answer meant to avoid the question. You pick one word out of a sentence, say you don’t believe in that word, and the refuse to answer the question.

You are not understanding that God is sovereign over our days and number of days.

So God plans out these extremely coincidental occurrences in order to kill people?

‘Plans’ is a time word, and God is outside of time, atemporal or omnitemporal. But yes, using it in the present tense is appropriate.

You are overlooking something, however, and that is that this life is temporary for all of us.

“He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose.” Jim Elliot

There are those word games again. Argue over definitions so you don’t have to address the meat of the conversation.

Either there is a plan or there isn’t. Either God changes his mind about that plan and saves someone, or he doesn’t. You need to explain what is going on here. How is it that people can be killed by these extremely coincidental occurrences?

Is this an excuse for God killing people? If a defense attorney said that his client should be set free because life is just temporary, would that fly?

You are making it sound like this life is the most valuable thing there is. It’s not.

God is his own defense attorney, but C.S. Lewis makes a good second, to use British parlance:

So you are justifying God killing people through extremely coincidental occurrences?

Okay, have it your way. God kills us all.

That’s your way, not mine.

It seems you are the one obsessing about God killing people and demanding justification.

I will take that as a tacit agreement.

Whatever. :slightly_smiling_face: We all die, whomever is at fault or to blame.