Cornelius Van Til said, “…it was God’s will that sin should come into the world. Therefore the god of Calvinism is a sinner. God’s eternal decree for sin was “thou shalt not” (Exo. The devil is evil and is therefore not the author of good, while God is good and therefore is not the author of evil. Yet, despite the effort and influence of God, they sinned. If they are upset with me rejecting Calvinism or for my theology, they would be upset with the secret, immutable, irresistible, and eternal will of God! Even Prosper, the disciple of Augustine, said, “By no means would there be a day of judgment, if men sinned by the will or decree of God.”37, It was actually Paganism which taught that God or the gods controlled and planned all things exhaustively and irresistibly through an eternal plan. God wants us to be sinful none of the time. The only way to explain their sin, without making God the author of sin, is to say that they sinned by free will and not by necessity of nature. Remember how Martin Luther said, “Since, therefore, God moves and does all in all, He necessarily moves and does all in Satan and the wicked man…”66 He also said that God is a worker of iniquity by saying, “God worketh all things in all men even wickedness in the wicked…”67 Are we to blame God for all the acts of wicked men? And is there a doctrine more worthy of our abhorrence and hatred than the doctrine which makes God the author of sin? That is, the state of your nature does not necessitate the choices of your will, but the will is free to choose according to or contrary to your nature. While Adam blamed God and his wife for his sin (Gen. 3:12), and Eve blamed the serpent for her sin (Gen. 3:13), God blamed each individual for their sin. And the injustice would be still greater, if God, after having predestined a man to ruin when he stood, inflicted punishment upon him after his fall.”56. That statement is the segue into this famous quotation: A more readable translation may make the sense of Calvin's statement clearer: Clearly, when Calvin argues against "permission," he is not ruling out secondary causes, nor is he denying the liberty or contingency of sinful agents, nor is he making God the source and author of their sin. It would make no sense for God to command them to do what they cannot do, or for the devil to tempt them to do what cannot be done. God must, therefore, be mindful of man, or he cannot be God.”72. Certainly, if the sinfulness and damnation of mankind was the will of God, He would need to keep His will a secret because this would be contrary to the well-being of His universe and would demand the disapproval of the minds of the moral beings in His universe. God knew that they were capable of obeying His law, which is why He commanded them to do so; and the devil knew that they were capable of disobeying God’s law, which is why he tempted them to do so. Therefore if sin was God’s plan, God should not grieve over sin but should rejoice over sin! This is because God did not want them to sin and hoped to influence them not to by bringing to their attention the negative consequences of such a choice. Any view that makes God the author of sin does indeed turn the object of our worship into a moral monster. God is not some impassible being that is unaffected by His creation. 81:11). Think of all the awful stories you have ever heard on the news. The atonement was first spoken of in definite terms after the fall, when God predicted the crushing of the serpent’s head by the seed of the women (Gen. 3:15). 11:6; 14:22; 15:26; 15:34; 16:7; 16:19; 16:30; 21:20; 22:52; 2 Kin. But Israel was told, “…loathe yourself in your own sight for all your evils that ye have committed” (Eze. Though the Bible says that Satan was a “liar from the beginning” (Jn. That is because God never wanted sin to occur but wants men to be righteous. This was the fight for the allegiance of man’s will. It is in this sense that, as John Calvin said, God cannot be said to merely permit sin but rather to … That is why the devil is called the “god of this world” (2 Cor. With that in mind, it would seem that God would have preferred a sinless universe that needed no atonement at all than a sinful one that did. Calvinism Makes God the Author of Sin . As Eusebius said, “Every rational soul has naturally a good free-will, formed for the choice of what is good.”2 Clement of Alexandria said, “This was the law from the first, that virtue should be the object of voluntary choice.”3 By granting Adam and Eve the freedom of doing wrong, God gave them the freedom of doing right. We live in a fallen world. If God commanded Adam and Eve not to sin, when He secretly wanted them to sin, God was misrepresenting His own character and intentionally misleading or deceiving them. According to Brown’s Dictionary of the Bible, the Nicolaitans “imputed their wickedness to God as the cause…”19 Jesus said, “…the doctrine of the Nicolaitans, which thing I hate” (Rev. 20 He has never commanded anyone to be wicked or given anyone permission to sin. If sin is the work of God, then God is a worker of iniquity. He is the, My enemy, in a fit of rage over something I have done or said, goes on a wanton spree of vandalism. See that you make not God the author of sin, by charging his sacred decree with men’s miscarriages, as if that were the cause or occasion of them; which we are sure that it is not, nor can be, any more than the sun can be the cause of darkness. 4:7). There was a war going on between God and the devil for the will of man. Clement of Alexandria said, “In no respect is God the author of evil. Therefore those who are “taken captive by him” (2 Tim. He really did want them to obey Him and motivated them to obey Him by warning them of the negative consequences of sin if they were to choose that course. 3:22). If Calvinism is true and God causes all things, then God causes all temptations and all confusion. Just as Lucifer sinned against his nature, not because of his nature, but by his own free will, so the sin of Adam and Eve was not the result of their nature but was caused by their free will. This isn’t an argument, so much as it is a statement of fact. They were good creatures with free will. There can be no blame or punishment where necessity, instead of liberty, reigns. Warning a person about the consequences of their choices takes for granted that they have the ability of choice and assumes that they can choose between two alternatives. God grieves over man’s sin and God rejoices over man’s repentance. Unless their actions were caused or created by their own free will, they could not loathe themselves in their own sight. God is the good author of the good story. Clearly, when Calvin argues against "permission," he is not ruling out secondary causes, nor is he denying the liberty or contingency of sinful agents, nor is he making God the source and author of their sin. Your email address will not be published. Adam would not be a criminal deserving of punishment since he did not make a free choice. If He was, every crime that is prosecuted is really the work of God being prosecuted! Calvinism makes God the author of sin. You who say this do not know what is free-will, and how it is possible to be really good; that he who is good by his own choice is really good; but he who is made good by another under necessity is not really good, because he is not what he is by his own choice… Since therefore every one’s freedom constitutes the true good, and shows the true evil, God has contrived that friendship or hostility should be in each man by occasions. SECTION I. Is God the Author of Sin? 13:18; Jer. God the Efficient Cause of Sin, SECTION III. Adam’s sin was the result or product of his own volition or choice. If God has a secret will, which is contrary to His revealed or declared will, then that secret will would be “wrong” because His revealed or declared will is “right.” If God tells us that He doesn’t ever want us to sin, but he secretly wants us to sin every time that we do sin, then we cannot trust God because He is a liar. If sin was God’s will and God commands us to hate sin, then God commands us to hate His own will! Unless the Bible was written to give us false impressions, God did not want Adam and Eve to sin. “…God is the first efficient cause of everything, but evil has come, not from His first act, but by a second act, an act of creatures. This video refutes the blasphemous charge that God is the author of sin, made by Calvinism, Lutheranism, Paganism, and Islam. We would be upset with God’s plan! The opportunity to do what is wrong is a good thing, because every opportunity to do what is wrong is an opportunity to do what is right. But since free choice… originates sins… punishments are justly inflicted.”7 Tatian said, “Nothing evil has been created by God. To credit the works of the devil to God is just as much blasphemy as it is to credit the works of God to the devil. 97:10; Amos 5:15). To order this book: Click Here. The weapon itself could not be blamed or punished. You can decide whether you will be loyal to him or not. There is no mystery as to how God can be the willing determiner of all your sins and not be the author of them—because God has not determined your sins. But we, who have manifested it, are able again to reject it.”8 Augustine even said that the “free choice of the will was present in that man who was the first to be formed… he sinned by that free will… ”9 Cornelius Van Til said, “If God does exist as man’s Creator, it is as we have seen, impossible that evil should be inherent in the temporal universe. Its efficient cause is the sculptor, insofar has he forces the bronze into shape. On the contrary, he emphatically denies that God is the source of the evil in fallen man. 61:8; Heb. God does not tell us to obey, only to decree our disobedience! Man was created for God’s pleasure. We are to pray “Thy will be done in earth” (Matt. God does not take pleasure in sin but is grieved and angry with sin (Gen. 6:5-6; Ps. 5:4). When men would worship idols and false gods, the Lord said that they were doing what “he commanded them not” (Lev. - Calvinism Makes God the Author of Sin SECTION I. God is always and only passive with regard to evil, they said. The Bible describes God and the devil as enemies, not friends. If you will, you can keep the commandments, and to act faithfully is a matter of your own choice. Either God is lying, or God has not decreed and ordained “whatsoever cometh to pass” as the Westminster Confession teaches.61 Either the Bible is right and the Westminster Confession is wrong; or the Westminster Confession is right and the Bible is wrong, but they both cannot be true. 14:13-14). Calvinism teaches that God prefers sin over holiness in every instance that sin occurs. The Bible speaks of those who “did that which was evil in the sight of the Lord” (Num. God talks about bringing “evil” or calamity to a city to punish their sins (Neh. These events were not secretly decreed by God, as if God were such a heinous monster! Calvinism, however, makes God insincere in His commandments. 1:17). He went on and said to Adam. This is the reason why the Bible distinguishes between Christ being ordained before the foundation of the world and Christ being slain from the foundation of the world. However, Calvinists imply that the fall of Adam was part of God’s plan by asking, “But wasn’t the atonement planned before the fall of Adam?” The answer to this question is both yes and no. Man would be a puppet of God, rather than a rebel against God. The Bible, in the Hebrew, says that the Lord will not “ordain” or “work”63 iniquity (Zeph. But if God has a secret will, which is the opposite of His revealed will, we can never trust anything that God says! But as for a ‘Thus saith the Lord’ for the doctrine, there is no such thing to be found between the backs of the Bible.”69. 17:6; 21:25), as opposed to doing “that which is right in the sight of the Lord” (Deut. We do sometimes use the language of "permission" to describe God's sovereign control over evil (as in the case of Job, or Peter in Luke 22:31). He has real pains and real pleasures. It is no wonder that many Christians consider “Reformed Theology” to be “deformed theology.” Instead of exalting God, it insults Him! 19 He is aware of everything a person does, and he takes care of those who fear him. Tucker asked, “Does, or can, any thing come to pass, and the Lord command it not?”60 We should let the Lord Himself answer this question in vindication of His own character. The devil put forth effort to get them to sin by tempting them to do so; while God put forth effort to get them not to sin by commanding them and warning them. If a person says that God “created sin,” then they are in fact “accusing God of sinning.” But the Bible explicitly says that the Lord will not make or fashion iniquity (Zeph. God did not say, “I make righteousness and create evil.” Evil is not contrasted with righteousness but is contrasted with peace, because the evil referred to is calamity. 11:10; Isa. It was intended to solve the difficulties which earlier thinkers had raised with reference to the beginnings of existence and the relations of the one and many. God is good and He wanted the good of His creation; therefore, He did not place them in the Garden with the forbidden tree so that they would disobey Him, but so that they would obey Him. Jesus said “if” because the will of God is not automatically chosen by man. 10:13). He formed Adam in his own image, that is Adam was a sentient and rational being with the potential to be God-like in character through his moral choices.”1. 1:2) and therefore He did not give Adam and Eve a false impression when He commanded them not to sin, but He actually did not want them to sin. God, motivated by love, was trying to govern man by moral law, by presenting the truth about the consequences of sin, thus giving them motivation for the right choice (Gen. 2:17). God said, “…to obey is better than sacrifice” (1 Sam. Look again at paragraph III.1 from the Westminster Confession: Clearly, historic Calvinism has always recognized the necessary distinction between differing kinds of "causes." ", But He ordained the means as well as the end. If we don’t want sin to occur, but God wants sin to occur, then we would be ungodly for not wanting sin to occur! Therefore, this book seeks to justify the historic Calvinist position in the contemporary debate related to God being the author of sin, the first sin by Adam, and the specific axiological problem of evil. God does not make men damnable because God does not make men sinful. Their nature did not force them to do what was good, nor did their nature force them to do what was evil. God ordained whatsoever comes to pass, not unwillingly, but (as noted previously) by sovereign fiat. Therefore, the fall of Adam occurred despite the efforts of God to avoid it. On the other hand, the devil was motivated by selfishness and was trying to govern man through deception, by lying about the consequences of sin (Gen. 3:4) and motivating them to make the wrong choice by making empty promises (Gen. 3:5). 13:8), because that is when the fall actually occurred and atonement, therefore, became necessary for our salvation. Thus, God as arch-…lord? For that reason, temptation can be considered good in this sense, which is why we should count it a joy when we are tempted (Jas. There is not one thing that happens that he has not actively decreed – not even a single thought in the mind of man. According to Calvinism, every word in this book was predestined before the foundation of the world; and since God’s will is sovereign and irresistible, I could not but have written it. And God commands us to hate sin (Ps. Therefore, sin was not in the mind of God when he created man, neither was man in the mind of God when he created hell. Morally, this world is chaotic and in disarrangement. 8:17). Theodore Beza, the friend and successor of John Calvin, said, “The fall of man was both necessary and wonderful.”53 Calvinists have taught that God secretly predestined the fall of Adam, and consequently the damnation of our race, so that the atonement of Christ would be needed and He can get the glory of our salvation. These are not concepts made up on the fly for the benefit of dodging Arminian objections. 4:25; 31:39; Jdg. A simple Bible study reveals that God has a serious problem with sin, but is God the cause of His own problem? 4:8), if God secretly decreed the existence of sin when He could have decreed holiness in those instances? We would be rebuking the will of God when we rebuke sin, if sin was God’s will! Is God’s activity contrary to the well-being of His universe that He needs to hide, or keep secret, His will? Adam and Eve were free to choose their behavior for themselves and consequently they were free to decide what their moral character would be. And hell was not created for mankind (Matt. And further, when God contemplated man’s glorious endowments, created so that man might fellowship with and understand his Creator, now being used to devise means of sinful gratification, who shall measure God’s sorrow…?”71, M. W. Gifford said, “A being cannot be infinite in goodness that does not desire the happiness of every intelligent being, and feel an interest in its welfare. God is an infinite being. In other words, we are not portraying God as reluctantly suffering that which He is powerless to forestall. 5:4; 7:11; Prov. It is Allah of the Quran of whom it is said “whom [he] pleases he causes to err, and whom he pleases he puts on the right way.”20 But when Paul asked the question, is “Christ the minister of sin?” he promptly answered the question with a stern “God forbid!” (Gal. John Calvin said, “The first man fell because the Lord deemed it meet that he should.”13 Piscator said, “God made Adam and Eve to this very purpose, that they might be tempted and lead into sin. 10:1; Deut. The Westminster Confession of Faith teaches the very same view I have defended here: That's what Calvin himself taught, and that's what authentic Calvinism has always stressed. With ones such as you, it is essentially love and nobility–God as arch-philosopher, as I tend to think of it. The actual vs. potential state of things is explained in terms of the causes which act on things. Your nature does not cause your will. He wished to enhance his glory by means of its punishment and removal.”55. One statement I found said that if God abjured absolute authority over even one molecule, that molecule’s careening path could easily lay waste to everything else God had created. Mankind was created with the ability to obey the law of God or to disobey the law of God, which is why God commanded them to obey and the devil tempted them to disobey. God is the perfect author of the perfect story. In the Scriptures, we don’t see God sending sinners to hell for doing His will, but for rebelling against it. Their dealings are contrary to the well-being of others; and therefore, they hide them. Now, if God made me where I was not free, or I could not choose to do evil, then correspondingly I could not choose to do good… I would only be an animate object or a robot… So God created a being perfect… and that being choose to sin.”6. However, R. C. Sproul Jr. said that God secretly wanted Adam and Eve to sin and gave them the desire to sin because He wanted objects upon which to pour out His wrath. 6:16; Isa. Some in fact do try to be consistent and claim that the most hideous deeds you could ever think of are still predestined by God because "nothing happens against the will of God". In his recent book, Against Calvinism, Roger Olson carefully distinguishes the official teaching of Calvinism from where he thinks it logically leads. This is from Calvin's comments on Isaiah 45:7 ("I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the LORD do all these things"): In other words, God creates calamity and misfortune for evildoers, but not ontological evil per se. God said to Eve, “What is this that thou hast done?” (Gen. 3:13) and God said to the serpent, “Because thou hast done this” (Gen. 3:14). But perhaps it betrays a free-floating dread in Calvinism. 8:44) because he was the first being to ever tell a lie. While God granted Adam and Eve the ability to sin or not to sin by giving them a free will, and He gave them the opportunity to sin or not to sin by placing them in the Garden with the forbidden tree, it was not God who actually tempted them to sin in the sense of suggesting it to their minds. Many Calvinists admit this, but refer to it as a necessary consequence of God’s sovereignty. The formal cause is the idea of the completed statue. Martin Luther credited the works of the devil to God when he said, “Since, therefore, God moves and does all in all, He necessarily moves and does all in Satan and the wicked man…”51 So God forced the devil to sin and then condemns him for doing what God decreed him to do! 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Righteousness in those instances calvinism makes god the author of sin their actions were caused or created by God, which can reject rebel!
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