Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Whenever He decides to hold it

From All The Pretty Horses by Cormac McCarthy:

You think there’ll be a day when the sun wont rise?

Yeah, said John Grady. Judgment day.

When you think that’ll be?

Whenever He decides to hold it.

Cormac McCarthy, author of The Road, Blood Meridian and No Country For Old Men, is a writer that I enjoy to read. His style is interesting; minimal punctuation coupled with brilliant vivid description and poignant dialogue. He has written 10 novels which have variously several awards and prizes.

Of his ten novels, I have read five: The Road, Blood Meridian, All The Pretty Horses, The Crossing, and Cities of the Plain. Throughout these novels, as in the quote above, McCarthy uses various characters to suggest that behind all the events of history, often chaotic and full of despair in his novels, there stands a sovereign God. I have no reason to believe that McCarthy us a Christian, but this theme of a sovereign God is one of the unifying threads of the books of his that I have consumed.

In the quote above, the protagonist John Grady Cole recognizes two aspects of God's sovereignty. First, he hints at a sovereign God by suggesting there will be a judgment. There will be a reckoning. And who else could call all people to account except One who is sovereign over all people and all things. Second, the character emphasizes this point by indicating the Judgment Day will occur when God decides it will occur. God is sovereign over time, present, future, and history.

In the novels of McCarthy that I have read, the author promotes through his characters some type of meticulous, divine sovereignty that also entails humans with free will who are held responsible for their choices. This, in my opinion, is closer to the truth than views espoused by many Christians.

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