The Sufficiency of Common Sense and Wisdom?

After reading my thoughts from a while ago on "Where the Bible speaks, we speak. Where the Bible is silent, we let the Spirit lead" I was given a book, Garry Frienen's Decision Making and the Will of God, to read concering the way God works in today.

I am one-hundred pages in, and I have to say that I don't buy his arguments yet. The premise of the book appears to be that the Bible is all-sufficient for guiding us in every decision we can possibly face today. If I am trying to decide whether to plant a church, using wisdom I have garnered from the Bible is sufficient for making that decision. The Holy Spirit plays no role in guiding us. We must use wisdom and common sense. I'm not against wisdom and common sense, but it does appear that God does unlikely things an awful lot in order to produce extraordinary results.

He chose fishermen to head up the church. My common sense and wisdom would've told me otherwise.

He chose a murderer of Christians to become the evangelist to the Gentiles. My common sense and wisdom would've told me otherwise.

He established his kingdom and saved the world by dying upon a cross. My common sense and wisdom would've told me otherwise.

The Bible is full of stories where God uses unlikely people and unlikely events to bring about his will. Those are not things that common sense and wisdom would have brought about.

In my own life, great things have happened as a result of God's leading and avoiding common sense and wisdom. When Lindsay was pregnant for Isaac, we packed our bags and moved to Lansing to plant a church without a job, support, or any idea on how we would receive an income. Through the blessings of God and some hardship, it worked. God provided, and a couple of new churches are now there as a result of it. Common sense and wisdom would've told us to stay in Ft. Wayne, keep our jobs, and finish out our degree to become an high school English teacher. God had plans that went beyond wisdom and common sense.

I believe that up until leading otherwise, we must depend upon wisdom and common sense. However, it appears that God has moments where he is going to call us to do things which at that moment are not very sensical and are appear to be very unwise. Common sense and wisdom are not adequate to fully bring about God's great plans for his people.

Mr. Friesnen builds up the "traditional" view in a story in the first few chapters. The "traditional" view states that God has a perfect will for our lives, and we can miss it. The "traditional" view is nothing like my view, but we will get to that another day. But his arguments are against something that I don't even believe in. He does a good job burning up the straw man.

Arguments against the traditional view:

1. Direct, supernatural guidance for specific decisions was the exception to the rule.

2. Direct guidance was given to people who played a strategic role in the drama of world evangelization.

3. Direct guidance was provided only at critical points during formative years of the church.

4. Direct guidance was always communicated by means of supernatural revelation.

Here are my thoughts about the arguments against.

1. That is what is recorded. But all of the stories in the Bible are usually the exceptions and extraordinary. They wouldn't be in the Bible if they weren't extraordinary.

2. This is the one that I think is the most faulty and frustrates me the most. I have heard it throughout the years as the reason the gifts of the Spirit are no longer among us. The time of the early apostles was a special time in which the gifts were needed to evangelize the world and establish the church. That special time has now passed. I would buy that argument if 90% of the world was in the kingdom of God, but I see in a town like Antwerp only 30% are. God still needs to do amazing things, especially in a world that needs something to verify the truth of God's word. So many varying truths are out there. What is there to validate Christianity as the truth?

3. Again, that is what is recorded. The Bible only tells us about the critical periods. I would argue that we are always in a critical period. God is just waiting for the faithful to step up and do what needs to be done. Until that happens, he will be patient.

4. Again, I don't know if I agree.

(Acts 16:5-10 NASB) "So the churches were being strengthened in the faith, and were increasing in number daily. {6} And they passed through the Phrygian and Galatian region, having been forbidden by the Holy Spirit to speak the word in Asia; {7} and when they had come to Mysia, they were trying to go into Bithynia, and the Spirit of Jesus did not permit them; {8} and passing by Mysia, they came down to Troas. {9} And a vision appeared to Paul in the night: a certain man of Macedonia was standing and appealing to him, and saying, "Come over to Macedonia and help us." {10} And when he had seen the vision, immediately we sought to go into Macedonia, concluding that God had called us to preach the gospel to them."

Here we have Paul being refused by the Spirit to go to Asia and to Bithynia. We have no idea how this happened. We have no idea what the vision looked like.

I am not convinced that God doesn't guide us in our decisions. I believe God knows whether I should plant a church in Defiance, and I'm sure he knows when. This book proposes that he just isn't going to tell me. I can't buy that.

Still confused about what to do.

Watch out for the potholes.