CHAPTER 1 – GOD’S SECRET PLAN
A plan which the apostle Paul alludes to but few have comprehended; the fact that salvation as we understand it was not originally intended for the Gentile nations in the current epoch but resulted from the failure of the Jews (cf. Rom11:11-15), the providential implications of which have been quite eluded. The chapter examines the extraordinary influence of Augustine of Hippo (AD354-430) on the development of Western theology. It shows how his innovative interpretation of the Pauline epistles shaped by over-reactions to the Pelagian and Manichean heresies resulted in doctrines that deformed both divine and human nature.
These infected the Catholic Church of his day whilst the Protestant Reformers built upon and reinforced them a thousand years later. I outline how the latter’s doctrinal position in particular contrasts with that of the 2nd and 3rd century Church. As a result, the Ancient Church’s perspectives on grace, free will and natural law are much closer to my own. Although disruptive and disturbing for many, such a deconstruction is necessary if the munificent providence being outlined in this document is to be affirmed. I have no choice in the matter, for as I explain in the book it is what I believe the Holy Spirit has shown me and it cannot be for my benefit alone.
CHAPTER 2 – THE LOST COVENANT
Most will be familiar with the theological significance of Adam and Eve, less will be so with Cain and Abel. Yet Cain was the firstborn human and “type” of the reprobate. That is why as the first humans to be born of woman Cain and Abel were players within an inclusive Universal Covenant (cf. Gen4:7KJV). Again, that appears to have eluded virtually everyone . Also adduced in this chapter – the fact that the contagion of sin resulting from the Fall pertains to the procreated intellectual vessel (Paul’s “body of this death”), not the God-given soul as a whole – another longstanding misconception with radical and wondrous providential implications.
CHAPTER 3 – FAITH AND JUSTIFICATION
What the Bible means by “faith” and “justification”. What will be a new interpretation to many resolves numerous biblical and doctrinal tensions. That is by showing that the blessings of the Atonement apply at two levels: forensic and participatory. The chapter also outlines how such a bi-fold economy of grace and faith was testified to by the earliest (pre-Augustinian) Church fathers. Far from diminishing God’s grace these particular aspects of natural law have a direct link with Christ’s Passion. Consequently they benefit the many, not just the proportional few destined to be the bride of Christ. This therefore forms a central tenet of The Little Book of Providence.
CHAPTER 4 – THE UNIVERSAL RESTORATION
A short chapter examining what little the Bible tells us about the Parousia. At which point Christ “shall be glorified in His saints and admired by those that believe on that day”. I affirm with Paul that Christian salvation’s apotheosis is not the repose of the soul in heaven but the redemption of the body within a restored universe (Rom8:19-23).
CHAPTER 5 – PROGRESSIVE REVELATION
God’s chosen method of enlightenment for the Church and world. In terms of the Church, the chapter considers how the gospel was disseminated by the apostles and their immediate successors, observing with second century Irenaeus that the churches at that time were remarkably united in their interpretation of the gospel – an interpretation that many Christians today would scarcely recognize.
CHAPTER 6 – CHILDREN OF THE DEVIL
The mystery of evil and the role and ignominious destiny of human defaulters from the eluded Universal Covenant. These are individuals that Jesus, Paul and John refer to as “children of the devil”. They may be defined as those devoid of love, truth or conscience.
CHAPTER 7 – THE THEODICY
Why a God Scripture defines as Love personified permits the continuance of evil and the suffering that results from it; a key to the solution being Christ’s earthly experience (Heb2:10). It was a prelude to His glorious inheritance – and that of His faithful followers.