Calvinists... do you have a problem with the concept that God is the ultimate...

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by Greektim, Sep 24, 2012.

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  1. Greektim

    Greektim
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    cause of sin???

    In dealing with the problem of evil, I've heard it argued from the Calvinist point of view that God's design of a world of sin and in need of redemption is the way he can demonstrate his own righteousness, love, and wrath; without the presence of sin this would be impossible to understand and appreciate. (cf. Rom. 3:5; 5:8; and 9:22)

    2 passages stuck out in my mind in my recent Bible reading:

    • Prov. 16:4 – The LORD has made everything for its purpose, even the wicked for the day of trouble.

    • Isa. 45:7 – I form light and create darkness, I make peace and create evil, I am the LORD, who does all these things.

    Obviously, like all texts, there are multiple ways to translate these phrases that get around what many would call a reprehensible idea. But kept in its most simplest terms, it seems to say that God ordained this world just as it is. He is the ultimate cause of everything including evil.

    Here is a video of J. MacArthur making this argument. http://www.ligonier.org/learn/confe...erence/the-problem-of-evil-3948/?format=video

    Any other Calvies comfortable with this idea that God is the ultimate cause of everything including evil (may be a more nuanced and correct way to say that)???????
     
  2. MorseOp

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    The 1689 Second London Baptist Confession of Faith states:

    James 1:13 Let no one say when he is tempted, “I am being tempted [a]by God”; for God cannot be tempted by evil, and He Himself does not tempt anyone.

    1 John 1:5 This is the message we have heard from Him and announce to you, that God is Light, and in Him there is no darkness at all.

    I think the framers of the confession got this right. God is not the cause of evil because there is no evil within Him. God is light (1 JN 1:5). God allowed evil to take place, but He did not cause it.
     
  3. Iconoclast

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    If anything existed outside of God's control......He would not be God.Any who try and ascribe sin to God do not know Him.
     
  4. quantumfaith

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    Icon, what you state "outside of God's control" and the OP, seem to be making two different points. Is that correct? Do I read you incorrectly?
     
  5. convicted1

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    Here's a question that I don't think any of us has the ability to answer. If God wasn't desirious of things coming to pass the way He wanted them to, then why did He place the tree of knowledge of good and evil in the Garden?


    I have heard, and read, that He did this so that they would have a choice to love Him, or not. But, I don't think the bible implicitly states this(I could be wrong here). If God didn't want this to happen, why did He place it there? Why not just have the Tree of Life, and not both tress there?

    Okay, that's more than ONE question. Sue me!! :laugh:
     
  6. OldRegular

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    I agree. To make God the author of sin is to deny the holiness, the righteousness of God.
     
  7. Greektim

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    I'm not sure if that is correct or not. I simply don't know. I'm pondering this for myself.

    However, the only logical conclusion for Calvinists who promote the full sovereignty of God is that God not only ordained sin but in some way or shape is the ultimate cause for it (directly or indirectly; which is what the 2nd London Bapt confession and Westminster confession were driving at in the further statement of 3.1, "nor yet is the liberty or contingency of second causes taken away, but rather established"). I don't see how these realities can be escaped philosophically or theologically. And I provided Scripture which seems to point in that direction as well.

    And btw... I would argue that this is not an issue of God tempting/enticing someone to sin. But rather this is God creating a world in which the only outcome was going to be the presence of sin w/ God's wrath and the redemptive love of God on display.
     
    #7 Greektim, Sep 24, 2012
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  8. Iconoclast

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    I do not agree or like the wording of the OP.I am addressing this portion:
    that speaks of the POE.We must start with what we know clearly about God.

    The idea that God who creates all things ....somehow cannot be in absolute control off all things at all times is not to be entertained or suggested.

    We have to work hard to understand what God has revealed for us....without trying to speak of God as anything less.

    God has an exact ,perfect and Holy plan. He has not overlooked any aspect of this life....including the place evil would have.
     
  9. Greektim

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    I'll admit, I'm not a fan of my own wording and probably could have nuanced things better. But the essential idea is there I think.

    And the concept that God creates all things... must it not also include things good and bad? If we want to ascribe to God ultimate source for everything, and say that evil is indirectly created by God; is that even legitimate enough? Is our view of God too small that we cannot say that while he is completely and utterly holy, he can create and determine a world that is going to have sin in it therefore he is the primary causer of it (via indirect or secondary causation if that helps you sleep better)?

    I'm just thinking out loud here.
     
  10. Aaron

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    Problem with it? No. Can I wrap my mind around it? No. It just is. God is not the author of sin, yet He willed that man would fall. There is no other conclusion afforded by the Scriptures.
     
  11. Greektim

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    I have a similar answer, although I'd ask for clarification whether there is really much difference in saying that he is the ultimate cause of sin and he is the author of sin??? And how is he not the author of sin if he pre-ordained it (scripted it out; i.e. wrote it or authored it)??? I feel the tension here w/ God's holiness. But I can't escape the result. Either.

    The other options btw are no good either.

    The non calvie view is that God created a world w/ sin as an option. But God would know full well the outcome since his knowledge is perfect and he cannot be wrong. Therefore sin was determined in this system too. Thus arminians are moving toward open theism and saying that God created a world w/ sin as an option and God's knowledge is open.

    As J.Mac argued in the video that I posted that we may not need to get God off the hook here and simply reckon these truths w/ Scripture. He offers 3 places in Romans where sin serves a divine purpose in revealing something about God. So sin can be created in some sense so long as it serves a divine purpose.
     
  12. Winman

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    I can't speak for others, but this is not my view. Jesus said sin was necessary.

    Mat 18:7 Woe unto the world because of offences! for it must needs be that offences come; but woe to that man by whom the offence cometh!

    Jesus said "for it must needs be that offences come". Sin cannot be avoided, even by God. Why? Because God is good, he must create us with free will, and free will makes it necessary that sin be possible. Without free will and choice, there can be no such thing as love, but choice by necessity includes the possibility of sin, it cannot be avoided.

    I believe those that say God could have created us so that we cannot sin are in error. God is moral, he does not make us slaves. When the scriptures say we are servants to God (or Satan), it is to be understood that we do this willingly.

    Rom 6:16 Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness?

    We do not sin because we are slaves to sin as many falsely teach, we become slaves to sin when we sin. No one is born with a cigarette or a bottle of whiskey in their hand, but once a person freely chooses to smoke or drink they become addicted and a slave. Those who teach we sin because we are slaves to sin teach the exact opposite of what scripture truly says.

    God did not tempt Adam and Eve to sin, he sternly warned them that they would die in the day they ate the forbidden fruit. However, God cannot make us slaves, he had to offer Adam and Eve the chance to obey or disobey of their own free will. There must be option and choice for love to exist, and God is love, he cannot make us slaves.

    And because God foreknew Adam and Eve would surely sin does not mean he determined they would sin, they sinned of their own free will.
     
  13. Earth Wind and Fire

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    Good answer
     
  14. Greektim

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    I don't see how this is different from what I put. Certainly more drawn out, but it still says the same thing. I said, "The non calvie view is that God created a world w/ sin as an option." You similarly said, "Because God is good, he must create us with free will, and free will makes it necessary that sin be possible." No big difference. I understand your argument completely having argued for it myself (and I have Geisler's handbook on apologetics which says the same). I just condensed to save time and space.

    As far as MorseOP goes, here is my response.

    I've already mentioned that even the 2nd London confession as well as the Westminster confession in the same place added in the phrase that allowed for secondary causation. I think that is more of a copout. But they at least acknowledge that God may not be the direct cause, he is nevertheless THE cause (albeit through indirect and secondary causation).

    Jms 1:13 isn't really important b/c I'm not arguing that God is enticing and tempting people to sin. And I'm certainly not denying 1 Jn 1:5 (a fav verse btw). But if God's design of this world included having a purpose for sin (namely to demonstrate his righteousness Rom. 3:5, his love Rom 5:8, and his wrath Rom 9:22) then perhaps it is within a perfectly holy God to create such a place w/ sin as part of its design.
     
  15. kyredneck

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    11 But put forth thy hand now, and touch all that he hath, and he will renounce thee to thy face.
    12 And Jehovah said unto Satan, Behold, all that he hath is in thy power; only upon himself put not forth thy hand. So Satan went forth from the presence of Jehovah. Job 1

    5 But put forth thy hand now, and touch his bone and his flesh, and he will renounce thee to thy face.
    6 And Jehovah said unto Satan, Behold, he is in thy hand; only spare his life. Job 2

    Simon, Simon, behold, Satan asked to have you, that he might sift you as wheat: Lu 22:31

    Anyone ever wonder if there was a dialog such as these prior to the fall concerning Adam and Eve? I believe there was.
     
  16. Earth Wind and Fire

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    :laugh: COP OUT! Really ..... now your overreaching! :smilewinkgrin:
     
  17. Greektim

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    No... I don't think so. It is a way to "get God off the hook" and trying to nuance an understanding that makes it ok for God to be the ultimate source of sin without admitting as much. I would rather people simply state what their beliefs in God logically take them to. In this case, God's sovereignty and preordination seems to point to one logical conclusion... it all comes from him and was designed by him to fulfill his purpose.
     
  18. Earth Wind and Fire

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    Interesting concept but then why is it not documented in scriptures?
     
  19. kyredneck

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    Why were we given those brief glimpses 'behind the scenes' would be my question.
     
  20. webdog

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    You wouldn't believe how close you are to joining the ranks of us who left this doctrine :)

    its refreshing to see you think this through, both the implications and problems with determinism. On this very thread you see both...yes, God is the author of sin, and those that say God does determine everything... but not sin, which is intellectually dishonest. You are a stone throw away from realizing the "u" , "i" and "l" as defined by calvinism are false, and the house of cards collapses on itself.
     
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