But I'm wondering how he retains such respect, while making statements like this about God:
"The counterfactuals of creaturely freedom which confront Him are outside His control. He has to play with the hand He has been dealt."Um...
I have preached, and preached very insistently, that "God" is not just some person's name, and it isn't just some category, like: apple, fish, bicycle, God, turnip...
I have preached that "God" is, by definition, the ultimate. "God" is where the buck must inevitably stop. This is the only way to make sense of Paul equating covetousness with idolatry (Col. 3:5). It isn't that Paul is saying that covetous people associate the omni-'s with money or stuff. It's that they live for it, it is ultimate to them, it trumps other considerations.
From this, I have also preached that, if you have something that can trump God, then that — and not God — is really God.
So you can call God "God," but if you think "free will," or chance, or contingency, or the stars, or anything else trumps God, then that is really God, and that is what we should worship.
Now, Scripture insists that GOD is God. I know, breaking news. He created everything just the way He wanted it, just by wanting to and saying so (Gen. 1:1). It's all as it is as an expression of His will (Ps. 33:6, 9). He does what He wants, everywhere and at all times (Psa. 115:3). I go into this at some length in TWTG, and even give a little chart showing the coterminous nature of God's will and God's accomplishments.
And then there's God as WLC depicts Him, a God who is confronted by realities beyond His control, and who is forced to play the hand He is dealt. (By whom? one wonders.)
To me, this is a classic illustration how unwillingness to deal with a God as massive as Scripture depicts Him will invariably lead to absurdity. There comes a point where a man, a woman, is forced to say "Boy, if I stay on this road, I'm going to have to say some pretty bizarre things." And then he stays on that road and says those bizarre things... or he bails on the bad road and bows the knee to the big God of Scripture, who Himself is the dealer.