Saturday, May 7, 2011

Ring Them Bells

Here is a song where Bob Dylan clearly expresses his Calvinistic understanding of the Scriptures and demonstrates a sophistcated understanding of "the choosen few, who will judge the many, when the game is through."

"Or do you not know that the saints will judge the world?" I Cor. 6:2

"But we are bound to give thanks always to God for you, brethren beloved of the Lord, because God hath from the beginning chosen you to salvation through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth"
2 Thessalonians 2:13

"There are several things here which deserve special attention. First, the fact that we are expressly told that God's elect are "chosen to salvation": Language could not be more explicit. How summarily do these words dispose of the sophistries and equivocations of all who would make election refer to nothing but external privileges or rank in service! It is to "salvation" itself that God has chosen us. ...Instead of shrinking back in horror from the doctrine of predestination, the believer, when he sees this blessed truth as it is unfolded in the Word, discovers a ground for gratitude and thanksgiving such as nothing else affords, save the unspeakable gift of the Redeemer Himself."

We have further confirmation that Dylan has personally embraced this Biblical view of God's Sovereignty in the great Bob Dylan Song "Every Grain of Sand" from 1981. In this autobiographical song we hear

“Onward in my journey I come to understand
That every hair is numbered like every grain of sand.”

So this is something that he came to understand, only “onward in his journey.” And what a journey it has been! The song talks about

“I can see the Master’s hand
In every leaf that trembles, in every grain of sand”

In other words, down to the minutest detail of our lives and in all creation, there is not the slightest thing that is not in the hand -- or under the ultimate control -- of the Master. Another way to say this is with the concluding verse:

“I am hanging in the balance of the reality of man
Like every sparrow falling, like every grain of sand”


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  2. Here is another way of describing the view of God's Sovereignty that Dylan is embracing in these lyrics: "Christianity is not a religion of dualism by which God and Satan are equal and opposite opposing forces....God is sovereign over His entire creation, including the subordinate domain of Satan. God is Lord of death as well as life. He rules over pain and disease as sovereignly as He rules over prosperity. If God had nothing to do with sickness or death, Christians of all people would be the most to be pitied. It would mean living in a universe ruled by chaos where our Father's hand was tied by fate and bound by the fickleness of chance. His arm would not be mighty to save; it would be impotent." RC Sproul, "The Invisible Hand" 1996 p.9.