The divinely patient and love-filled answer of God to my prayer about guidance in the selection of a career went not at all according to what I naively thought I wanted, but what God knew I actually needed if I was to be able to grow in my knowledge of Christ and to understand some of the deep issues within the cross and the resurrection.
God’s answer to my prayer asking for worldly conventional normalcy in the career portion of my life, so that I could pursue Him undistracted by the cares of this world according to the shallow thinking of a beginning novice, turned out to be the direct opposite of what I expected. Without divinely created and guided experiences, having some measure of adversity and challenge, I cannot grow into the fullness of the better person God had in mind when He created me.
If we truly seek God with all of our hearts and minds we will find Him, but not according to our initial, horizontally conventional thinking. The God of the Bible that we find through life experience is not a shallow projection of our own imagination (1 Pet. 1:3). God is expertly and amazingly way ahead of us in laying out the precise routes to discovering truth in every aspect of reality and existence. This is one of the truly fascinating features of picking up our cross and following Jesus Christ into our unique and individualized callings.
Herein is one argument against the timing of a pretribulation rapture of the Christian church, found within the modern field of information theory. If the pretribulation scenario as proposed today is correctly described in exhaustive detail upfront…like in the exciting and captivating Left Behind book series…then unpredictability, improbability, and information content potential are all reduced. The opportunity for God to creatively compose, using an information-rich end-times script, is reduced.
A God-composed journey of faith life-script is information-rich. It is not repetitive, redundant, or deterministic. The highest amount of information is conveyed within the biblical narrative stories of faith because the plotlines are novel and unique with uncertain outcomes.
Even though there is the common pattern of the cross of Christ in every journey of faith life-script, there is what is called indeterminacy. Every narrative story of faith is different. There is no repetitive redundancy. If the biblical narrative stories of faith and their resolutions were all closely similar…all narrowly predetermined…then less information would be conveyed as a whole. For example, a romance novel that only has the word “love” repeated over and over for 100 pages provides very little information content.
God’s novel strategy for Gideon to repulse the invading Midianites, the unique approach for Joshua to bring down the walls of Jericho, Joshua’s request of God to halt the skyward progress of the sun in the middle of a decisive military battle, and Jesus walking on water, are examples where we can read the outcomes in hindsight but which were all in doubt and at risk in the moment they occurred.
Because the challenges in each situation differed, the solutions are unique and unpredictable. And because there are multiple possible alternative outcomes, the narrative stories of faith in the Bible provide maximum information.
Returning to the earlier analogy of the concert grand piano…artistically created musical piano compositions are indeterminate in that there are a nearly infinite number of combinations of notes, tempos, and styles available on the piano keyboard to produce improbable outcomes. The music of Chopin is distinctly different from the music of Debussy, Rachmaninoff, or Scott Joplin.
At the level of artistic creativity, how do we identify and define great musical melodies? What is special about the simple melody of Beethoven’s opening notes to his fifth symphony? How did the Beatles or the Beach Boys come up with so many brilliantly creative melodies in their popular songs, when other musical artists can only manage single hit-songs that are referred to as “one-hit wonders?” How does John Williams create such incredibly moving musical themes for his many movie scores?
This analogy to the concert grand piano, and the brilliance of musical compositions, helps us to understand the unique and elevated nature of the complex, specified, diverse, artistically creative information that goes into a God-composed journey of faith life-script. This then helps us to understand the ingenuity of the Christian life in the danger zone, and to likewise be able to place our faith in the living God who is up to the task of writing and directing brilliantly insightful, issue illuminating scenarios in our lives no matter how darkly challenging in the present moment.
An irony therefore in the end-times prophetic debate is that one set of evidences that argues apologetically for the divine inspiration of the Bible…the presence of complex, specified, top-down information found in the ancient texts of these biblical narrative stories of faith…refutes the notion of a predetermined knowledge that the rapture of the Christian church would occur prior in time to the great tribulation.
This notion of removing the Christian body of believers off the earth pretribulation, chops out a massive portion of the potential creative imagination that God as righteous Judge and eternal Ruler of the realm could bring to bear in one last final closing chapter of human redemptive history.
The recurring pattern of the cross of Jesus Christ, skillfully placed within a variety of indeterminate plotlines having uncertain outcomes in-the-moment, in what this book calls the danger zone of faith in the competence and the good will of the living God, is a direct argument against a full pre-knowledge of the early removal of the Christian church and what amounts to a foreclosing of the opportunity to adventure through the illuminating danger zone at the end of the ages.
A perceptive reader at this point might object that the revelation of the upcoming end-times macro-script in incremental stages through actual events and circumstances as they occur in real-time in-the-moment (Mt. 24:32-51), rather than all upfront in a clear and full revelation, places God in the very role that has been criticized in this book as inadequate for the management of larger, expanding enterprises…that of appearing to be in the reactive mode.
Herein is where a biblical journey of faith in the danger zone can be taken apart and more well-defined. God has all of the answers already. Prior to the commencement of every biblical journey of faith, God has the script already pre-written. But God does not reveal all of the details upfront to each person of faith. God does not give us the entire blueprint of our journey of faith upfront for us to follow according to our own wits, personal interpretation, and take-it-or-leave-it pleasure. This is why we call these God-composed life-scripts…walks of faith, journeys of faith, and adventures of faith. The Bible says we walk by faith, not by sight (2 Cor. 5:7).
If we had all of the information upfront about our journeys of faith, we would attempt to tweak some of the circumstances to fit more closely within the comfort of worldly conventional normalcy. If Jesus the Son of God asked His Father in the Garden of Gethsemane if there was an alternate way to procure salvation for mankind, other than the events of the cross He was facing the next day, how do we suppose we will respond to the way of the cross in our own lives if we knew every challenge and difficulty we would face?
If Peter and John knew ahead of time that going to the temple in Jerusalem that fateful morning would result in the miraculous and sensational healing of the crippled man, and subsequently lead to placing the two of them standing foursquare before the intimidating Sanhedrin council demanding an explanation for this miracle, Peter and John might have decided to take a wise detour and go fishing that day instead.
God-composed journeys of faith are crafted for our benefit. A timeless God has all of the journeys of faith pre-written, including the great end-times scenario of eternally momentous events resolved through a brilliant script, surpassing the suspense of our best spy thriller or murder mystery fiction novels.
But though God is timeless, we learn through discovery. God-composed life-scripts are ingeniously crafted to unselfishly and lovingly impart some of the characteristics of God to us. Although God is never in the reactive mode, for reasons that we do not fully understand now (1 Cor. 13:12), the revelation of God to us must occur in incremental stages as our confidence grows with each tentative step in our walk of faith.
Abraham discovers through his journey of faith that God is true to His word. Joseph discovers that God knows exactly what He is doing, even when all outward appearances argue in the opposite direction.
Moses discovers the power and resolve of God to finish what He starts. David discovers that God is trustworthy as a companion and a guide even while walking together step-for-step through the valley of the shadow of death.
Peter discovers that God sees our hidden inner talents and can transform anyone, no matter how common our initial worldly status, into the “rock” He called us to be.
Through his remarkable adventure of faith, Paul amazingly discovers that God does actually know everything and can separate out and illuminate the intricate parts of any issue through the divinely sequenced occurrence of events and circumstances.