Problem of Evil (Sproul's version)

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by skypair, May 6, 2007.

  1. skypair

    skypair
    Expand Collapse
    Banned

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2006
    Messages:
    4,657
    Likes Received:
    0
    See, this almost seems heretical.

    "Frequently I hear Christians give an easy answer to the problem of evil; they declasr facilely that evil originates in man's free will. I call this facile because it fails to get at the root of the problem..."

    He then give us the passage Gen 3:1-7.

    "The question is, Why did they do it? And how did they fo it?" His alternatives ~

    1) "Satan coerced them" -- "but there is no coercion seen" and the "guilt would be Satan's and not theirs." (Hmm. Makes one wonder who is "guilty" of being saved if one is "drawn" "irresistibly" to "grace.")

    2) "they were deceived by Satan" -- "The problem with this explanation, however, is with assigning guilt to innocent victims of decption. If Adam and Eve were totally deceived they would have sinned in ignorance." (NOTE: Adam was NOT deceived.)

    3) "So the question comes back to free will." "they sinned because they wanted to sin ... desire to sin is already sin -- without desire they could not sin -- If they acted against their desire then they would be acting against their own will, and choice would not have been free -- If the act was truly free... they must have had a evil desire to begin with -- from whence did it come?" That is, will wasn't free.

    Now the usual Calvinist copout (I don't know and neither does anyone who says they do know.) -- "I do not know the solution to the problem of evil. Nor do I know anyone who does."

    "This does not mean I have not reached my own conclusions on the matter. ... Most importantly perhaps is the conclusion that ultimately it must be good that there is evil or evil would not exist. ... not the same thing as saying that evil is good." :BangHead: "However to say that it is good that there is evil is simply to declare that God is good and that His providence extends to all things, including evil."


    In essence, God created evil desire in Adam and Eve and "it was good."

    WHY is this not a formulation that good is evil and evil good ("blasphemy of the Holy Spirit")??

    WHY isn't the explanation of free will (2 or 3 above) the truth (were you convinced by his logic?)?? Isn't there the possiblity that their wills were NOT inherently evil? That Eve WAS deceived and still guilty (or Adam, at least, was not deceived and guilty? --- Sproul muddles the story so much it is no wonder he came to his conclusion).

    Is this man the mouthpiece for Cavlinism that I think he is? IOW, is this Calvinism's conclusion regarding the problem of sin?? I am at my wit's end not to call Sproul's formulation "heretical."

    skypair
     
    #1 skypair, May 6, 2007
    Last edited by a moderator: May 6, 2007
  2. skypair

    skypair
    Expand Collapse
    Banned

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2006
    Messages:
    4,657
    Likes Received:
    0
    Is this post...

    too long? Incomprehensaible?

    Please, help me with this. How is Sproul not saying that evil is good? Is this orthodox Calvinism?

    skypair
     
  3. Pastor Larry

    Pastor Larry
    Expand Collapse
    <b>Moderator</b>
    Moderator

    Joined:
    May 4, 2001
    Messages:
    21,763
    Likes Received:
    0
    It sounds to me like he answers your question in the part you quote: Most importantly perhaps is the conclusion that ultimately it must be good that there is evil or evil would not exist. ... not the same thing as saying that evil is good.

    Not having the full context and not knowing how you edited this, it is hard to see exactly what he is saying.

    However, evil is a part of God's plan and it is under his control. It has a purpose in the world, perhaps to show forth the righteousness of God.
     
  4. skypair

    skypair
    Expand Collapse
    Banned

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2006
    Messages:
    4,657
    Likes Received:
    0
    Sorry, I should have cited the source -- The Invisble Hand Chapter on "Providence and the Problem of Evil."

    And he anwered it to HIS satisfaction but saying that evil is "God's will" is heretical, IMO.

    He goes on (next chapter) to saying that good and evil can be "proximate" and "ultimate." This seems to be an effort to deflect criticsim -- there is "good-good, good-evil, evil-good, and evil-evil" so he says ("proximate-ultimate" pattern). Still, if there is evil-evil (such as lost and ultimately damned), we're still talking about God creating evil for evil's sake!

    Here's my explanation to J.D. on another thread: Because God did NOT create evil, it has been demonstrated in nature that we and Satan have sovereignty in some areas that, while they go against God's will, do NOT change God's ability to bring all His purposes to His ends.

    Like Sproul tries to explain regarding good and evil -- there is "proximate" and "ultimate" good and evil. This may be true but it doesn't get Sproul "off the hook" for his claim that God created evil. I believe Sproul (and you) has that argument confused with the sovereignty argument -- that there is "proximate" and "ultimate" sovereignty and God is ALWAYS ULTIMATELY sovereign!

    Proximate sovereignty is given to man whereby Adam could sovereigntly choose to disobey AND INTRODUCE EVIL INTO GOD'S CREATION!! Ultimate sovereignty tells us that Adam isn't going to get away with it! :laugh: And God's ultimate purposes and will are served despite evil and despite His not having total sovereignty.

    skypair
     
    #4 skypair, May 8, 2007
    Last edited by a moderator: May 8, 2007
  5. russell55

    russell55
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2002
    Messages:
    2,424
    Likes Received:
    0
    Could you please quote the place where Sproul says that God creates evil? Maybe I'm blind, but I don't see that statement in the quotes you've given.
     
  6. Humblesmith

    Humblesmith
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2005
    Messages:
    698
    Likes Received:
    0
    I guess agree with point one........and your observation is appropriate. They seem to have a bit of a double standard here.

    But I guess I disagree with the other two points. At first glance, anyway. A deceived person is still sinning. And to the point on desire, we are told that Jesus was tempted, yet did not sin. And it seems to me that we act against our desires all the time. Even Jesus said "not my will, but thine." Sure you could say that there are some desires that overpower others, and we may always pick the most powerful, I suppose. But the logic in number 3 seems strained, and most likely an unfounded leap.

    I think it's Sproul's roundabout attempt to avoid the obvious, that they were created innocent and morally upright, and they self-determined to disobey, and the origin of sin was their own selves.
     
    #6 Humblesmith, May 8, 2007
    Last edited by a moderator: May 8, 2007
  7. skypair

    skypair
    Expand Collapse
    Banned

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2006
    Messages:
    4,657
    Likes Received:
    0
    I agree. Thinking about it last night, it occurred to me that his explanations in 2 and 3 were "protective" of the conclusion Sproul didn't want to come to -- that God is NOT completely sovereign.

    In 2, we know from Paul that Adam was not deceived. In 3, he says "they must have had an evil desire to begin with." Yes! It was NOT of God! That is prcisely why God did not create evil.

    One step further, if I'm allowed --- anytime that "self" as a separate identity from God is involved (ex. Lucifer), there is ALWAYS a desire toward self. If self knew all that God knows, self wouldn't desire what God has not given.

    Saved, we now acknowledge this and there will be no temptation of self in eternity. But these created beings did not have the mind of God/Christ AND Satan and self in a cursed earth are still players.

    Do we agree then that God has given men and angels "self" sovereignty? That it was the "God completely sovereign" belief that led Sproul to say "I don't know the answer and neither does anybody I know know it." (Which presumes that complete sovereignty is true and, barring that explanation, there is no explanation)?

    Russ -- "...must be good that evil exists or there wouldn't be evil." This is part of the sentence where Sproul said that "God must have willed evil..." Basically, it follows the thought that all that God wills will be done.

    skypair
     
  8. Rippon

    Rippon
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2005
    Messages:
    17,410
    Likes Received:
    328
    HS : Sproul and all other Calvinists believe that before the Fall Adam and Eve had free will .

    SP : If you think that God is not completely Sovereign -- then you have stepped into heterodoxy . The Bible is against you all the way .
     
  9. skypair

    skypair
    Expand Collapse
    Banned

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2006
    Messages:
    4,657
    Likes Received:
    0
    I don't and you are right! And how can you be a Calvinist and believe that He is NOT totally, completely sovereign??

    skypair
     
  10. russell55

    russell55
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2002
    Messages:
    2,424
    Likes Received:
    0
    But that is not the same thing as saying that God created evil. Does Sproul ever actually say that God created evil?

    Here's a questions for you: Did God choose to allow evil?
     
  11. skypair

    skypair
    Expand Collapse
    Banned

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2006
    Messages:
    4,657
    Likes Received:
    0
    First question: "Create?" My position is that it is not within Him at all. If He "wills" it, does that not make Him responsible for it? Let's go back to that issue. Sproul says 1) he doesn't know and 2) it MUST be in God's will or it wouldn't exist. Does that mean "create" to you? Does that mean God is responsible for sin to you? The point is, what is the option to sovereignty, right?

    Second question: If God CHOOSES to allow evil, couldn't He also CHOOSE to let mankind be sovereign over his/her personal life? "Allow" is relinquishing of sovereiengty, is it not?

    To me, Sproul had the answer all along -- evil came by Adam's free will which God allowed! But since Sproul is unwilling to consider free will, he 1) doesn't know the answer and 2) drives his own theological paradign to the WRONG answer!

    skypair
     
  12. russell55

    russell55
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2002
    Messages:
    2,424
    Likes Received:
    0
    And I'd be willing to bet that Sproul's position is that evil is not within God at all.

    Well, if he wills it for an ultimately good purpose, then he is certainly responsible for the ultimate good result that comes from it. But for each individual evil act, the doer of the act is the one responsible for it.

    He doesn't know what?

    Yes, of course, and it really can't be any other way, as long as God is a God who sees the future and is all-powerful. If God foresaw before he created that sin would exist, and he had the ability to prevent it, but chose not to prevent it, then he has decided that it will exist, and in that sense he has willed it.

    Nope.

    Nope. It means he decided to allow it.

    I don't understand the question.

    How would God insure that things would work out according to his plan if he allowed each person to be sovereign over their own personal life? What if no one had decided to crucify Christ because all the players were sovereign over their own personal lives? What if Christ's crucifixion by certain people wasn't in God's predetermined plan? That's a world I don't want to live in.

    No, not if allowing something ensures that the thing will take place.

    Could you please put the whole context of the quote where Sproul says that Adam doesn't have free will. As it is, I don't know enough about what he's saying to respond to it.
     
  13. johnp.

    johnp.
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2004
    Messages:
    3,231
    Likes Received:
    0
    Where's the problem, God says He creates evil? :)


    Is 45:7 I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the LORD do all these things.

    john.
     
  14. skypair

    skypair
    Expand Collapse
    Banned

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2006
    Messages:
    4,657
    Likes Received:
    0
    You're "waffling," russ. Does the ends justify the means EVER??

    He doesn't know how evil entered the world. He gives his best "guestimate" which gets him into trouble, perhaps even with Calvinism (which is what I am trying to find out).

    Ah, now you show the same fault as all Calvinists -- that God couldn't "foreknow" (simply foresee it) evil so He must have "created"/predestined/ordained it. The problem is, that gives Him responsibility for evil rather than merely foreknowing and planning "around" it.

    That God "allows" an option outside His will, He actually let's someone else have sovereignty over that option.

    Simple, by controlling the outcomes. Your problem is in your explanation of "permissive will." If God permits something that He hasn't made the decision about, then it is patently obvious that He has released His sovereignty regarding that decision to someone else.

    Can't -- it's back at the library.


    skypair
     
  15. psalms109:31

    psalms109:31
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2006
    Messages:
    3,600
    Likes Received:
    0
    Scripture

    Of coarse God created the one who was evil, how it came about is not how some claim. The disaster is to draw us to God not away from Him.
     
  16. johnp.

    johnp.
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2004
    Messages:
    3,231
    Likes Received:
    0
    skypair.

    If He allows within His will He has done the same thing.
    You cannot control the outcome without controlling the things that lead up to it. Your statement is nonsense. Cause and effect is God's invention.

    My, I think you got it. :) God determines all things that comes to pass, all decisions are His alone. God is Sovereign.

    john.
     
  17. Rippon

    Rippon
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2005
    Messages:
    17,410
    Likes Received:
    328
    According to your post #14 SP , your god merely foreknows and plans around evil . That's a rather inept god -- not the LORD of the BIBLE .
     
  18. Rippon

    Rippon
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2005
    Messages:
    17,410
    Likes Received:
    328
    I had devoted another thread in the past to passages that many Christians would rather not have in the Bible . These sections of Holy Writ are too uncomfortable for them -- they are upsetting their version of who God is .

    In Isaiah 13 the Lord used the Medes to do His special work . He raised them up , ordained them to do His bidding . In verse 3 it says ( in the NLTse ) : I, the Lord , have dedicated these soldiers for this task .

    He consecrated them for His purposes -- they were used as His instruments of wrath . They were set apart . He stirred them up . He directed them to do His will . Verse 5 says that : They are the Lord's weapons to carry out his anger .

    Following are verses 15 to 18 .

    Anyone who is captured will be cut down -- run through with a sword . Their children wil be dashed to death before their eyes . Their homes will be sacked , and their wives will be raped . " Look , I will stir up the Medes against Babylon . They cannot be tempted by silver or bribed with gold . The attacking armies will shoot down the young men with arrows . They will have no mercy on helpless babies and will show no compassion for children . "
     
  19. psalms109:31

    psalms109:31
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2006
    Messages:
    3,600
    Likes Received:
    0
    I agree with the scripture

    I agree with those scripture.

    Before the cross, the way for the world was not opened, everything happened to bring Jesus to the world, the salvation for all men, and whosoever believes in Him shall be saved.

    God is in control and now through Jesus God wants all men to be saved and come to the knowledge of the truth and we are the messenger of it.
     
  20. skypair

    skypair
    Expand Collapse
    Banned

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2006
    Messages:
    4,657
    Likes Received:
    0
    Given sovereignty to us? So it's NOT complete and total sovereignty that God has?

     

Share This Page

Loading...