Dedicated to the devotional, exegetical and philosophical study of theological paradox in Conservative, Thoroughly Biblical, Historically Orthodox, Essentially Reformed theology . . . to the glory of God alone!

Wednesday, February 09, 2011

A Song Calvinists and Arminians Can Sing Together

This song was written by Samuel Rodigast in 1675, and is often sung at my church. The song has obvious Calvinistic overtones, and is also very encouraging as an example of surrendering to the sovereign will of God. After a careful reading I think even my Arminian friends should be able to heartily agree with every line and phrase of this song. Do you think so?

Here are the lyrics:

Whate'er My God Ordains Is Right

Whate’er my God ordains is right, Holy His will abideth.
I will be still whate’er He does, And follow where He guideth.
He is my God, Though dark my road.
He holds me that I shall not fall Wherefore to Him I leave it all

Whate’er my God ordains is right, He never will deceive me
He leads me by the proper path, I know He will not leave me
I take, content, What He hath sent
His hand can turn my griefs away And patiently I wait His day

Whate’er my God ordains is right, Though now this cup in drinking
May bitter seem to my faint heart, I take it all unshrinking
My God is true, Each morn anew
Sweet comfort yet shall fill my heart And pain and sorrow shall depart

Whate’er my God ordains is right, Here shall my stand be taken
Though sorrow, need, or death be mine, Yet I am not forsaken
My Father’s care Is round me there
He holds me that I shall not fall And so to Him I leave it all
©1998 David Braud Music.


See Indelible Grace Music for more great old hymns with updated tunes.


  1. Very nice! My hubby also plays guitar, I wish he'd record some up. He has a mean Psalm 83 (seriously, it's really cool) he's put to music.

  2. Nice, Derek. I like a lot of the Indelible Grace music, but I haven't heard all of it. This was one I'd never heard.

    I wonder if a true Arminian would in fact agree with it entirely, though. Some might take exception to "He holds me that I shall not fall" since they believe that a Christian can fall away and lose his salvation.

  3. Barry,

    I think an Arminian might take that line as stating God's action and intention to keep us, but not as a guarantee of the effect. In other words, He holds us with the intention that we shall not fall, but we can still squirm out of His hand.

    I have heard a leading Arminian describe his view of perseverance this way: "Holding, I am held." My view: "Held and kept, I keep holding."


  4. Ma, I would like to hear his music. There's nothing better than a Psalm set to guitar music. After all, that's how David play them.

    The speaker at our recent church retreat remarked that David's "harp" was probably more like a guitar.

  5. That David played the guitar, I can totally see.

    I wish my hubby would record some, he had plans to, but they fell by the way-side. The Psalm 83 one is my favorite, he's also done Psalm 23 and put some of Romans 3 to music.

  6. Romans 3 on guitar sounds like the best of all possible worlds!

  7. Greetings Derek! This is not relevant one bit to this discussion, but I can't see any other way of writing to you except by barging in somewhere.
    I just made the welcome discovery that you recently left a comment on my blog and I want to thank you for your very kind words.
    It feels strange to be writing to Derek Ashton and sending my very best wishes to him, but it's a good sort of strange in this case.
    Hooray! Derek Ashtons of the World, Unite!! With Best Wishes!
    Derek Ashton (an alternative version).

  8. Dear Derek Ashton (the alternate version - or perhaps you are the original?),

    Thank you for your comment. Yes, feel free to barge in anywhere, since as you noted I do try to keep my private email address a secret.

    I was delighted to find your site. Your artwork is amazing. My kids (ages 6 and 9) think it's totally great that there is an alternate version of me out there painting insightful portraits on stones, among other things. They appreciate the Ogre, especially! Also, A.J. was a big hit with them.

    I posted a link to your site in the sidebar of my site. It says: The OTHER Derek Ashton. I hope THEOparadox is a blessing to you, just as your works of art have brought joy and provoked thought every time I have viewed them.

    Grace & peace,
    Derek Ashton (the other one)

  9. Interested readers, here is the address for (the other) Derek Ashton's art blog:

    Great art!

  10. Dear Derek,
    Thank you for all the kind things you've said. I'm particularly delighted that your children have enjoyed anything they've seen on my blog.
    Your own blog is stimulating and highly active. Religion has always fascinated me although I haven't found it possible to wholeheartedly subscribe to any particular branch of the Christian faith. Meister Eckhart's sermons inspire me, which is remarkable seeing as they are so many long ages old.
    It's nice to be wished grace and peace at the end of an email, and I wish you sincerely the same, adding joy as well.
    Derek Ashton (the other one).

  11. Derek,

    A few years ago I was drawn to the old Neo-Platonists and mystics, such as Eckhart and some of the people he influenced (all of them being under the shadow of Pseudo-Dionysius). I even read through "The Cloud of Unknowing," which was an interesting and strange book.

    Nowadays, I've moved to a more Augustinian and Calvinistic viewpoint. Some theologians I respect are highly critical of the mystics, but I find that they weren't all bad. They seemed to have a great understanding of what it means to let go of this world in order to pursue Christ. One must of course read with discernment.

    For me, Scripture is the absolute authority, so where they got it right with Scripture they got it right.

    I think the old writings are often better. As some of the Reformers were fond of saying, "Ad Fontus!" which means "Back to the source."

    If you want to, you can email me directly via: [the name of this blog - starts with a T and ends with an X] at g mail dot com.

    Blessings (and joy),


Feel free to respond to anything written in the posts, or to the comments left by others. All comments are reviewed before they are published.

Please be charitable. If you disagree, do so with grace. Keep your words positive, focused, and on-topic. We don't expect everyone to agree, but we do expect everyone to treat everyone else with respect and grace, speaking the truth in love.