Rebecca Stark is the author of The Good Portion: God, the second title in The Good Portion series, a series written to encourage women to immerse themselves in the depths of Christian doctrine.

The Good Portion — God explores what Scripture teaches about God in hopes that readers will see his perfection, worth, magnificence, and beauty as they study his triune nature, infinite attributes, and wondrous works. 

Rebecca also blogs at Out of the Ordinary.


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Theological Term of the Week

An aspect of God’s providence whereby he cooperates with created things in every action, directing their distinctive properties to cause them to act as they do1; God’s working in all things to accomplish his will in all events “without violating the nature of things, the ongoing causal processes, or human free agency.”2

  • From scripture:

     [A]ll the inhabitants of the earth are accounted as nothing,
     and he does according to his will among the host of heaven
    and among the inhabitants of the earth;
    and none can stay his hand
    or say to him, “What have you done?” (Daniel 4:34-35 ESV)
    Then the Lord said to him, “Who has made man’s mouth? Who makes him mute, or deaf, or seeing, or blind? Is it not I, the Lord? 12 Now therefore go, and I will be with your mouth and teach you what you shall speak.” (Exodus 4:11-12 ESV)
  • From The Westminster Confession of Faith, Chapter 5, Of Providence:

    I. God the great Creator of all things does uphold,direct, dispose, and govern all creatures, actions, and things, from the greatest even to the least, by His most wise and holy providence….

    II. Although, in relation to the foreknowledge and decree of God, the first Cause, all things come to pass immutably, and infallibly; yet, by the same providence, He orders them to fall out, according to the nature of second causes, either necessarily, freely, or contingently.

    III. God, in His ordinary providence, makes use of means….

  • From Systematic Theology by Louis Berkhof

    There is not a single moment that the creature works independently of the will and the power of God. It is in Him that we live and move and have our being, Acts 17:28. This divine activity accompanies the action of man at every point, but without robbing man in any way of his freedom. The action remains the free act of man, and act for which he is held responsible. … In a very real sense the operation is the product of both causes. Man is and remains the real subject of the action. 

Learn more:

  1. J. I. Packer: Providence
  2. James Mongomery Boice: God’s Providence
  3. Wayne Grudem:  Providence (mp3)
  4. Related terms: providence; compatibilism

1Systematic Theology by Wayne Grudem
2Concise Theology by J. I. Packer

Today’s term was suggested by a reader in an email. Do you have a a theological term you’d like to see featured here as a Theological Term of the Week? If you email it to me, I’ll seriously consider using it.

I’m also interested in any suggestions you have for tweaking my definitions or for additional (or better) articles or sermons/lectures for linking. I’ll give you credit and a link back to your blog if I use your suggestion.

Clicking on the Theological Term graphic at the top of this post will take you to a list of all the previous theological terms organized in alphabetical order or by topic.

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