Donations for the month of August


We have received a total of "$0" in donations towards our goal of $175.


Don't want to use PayPal? Go HERE


Forum Search
Member Spotlight
Meta4
Meta4
Canada
Posts: 98
Joined: May 2016
Forum Statistics
Forums30
Topics7,558
Posts54,075
Members972
Most Online523
Jan 14th, 2020
Top Posters
Pilgrim 14,245
Tom 4,250
chestnutmare 3,223
J_Edwards 2,615
Wes 1,856
John_C 1,841
RJ_ 1,583
MarieP 1,579
gotribe 1,060
Top Posters(30 Days)
Tom 21
Pilgrim 18
jta 8
Meta4 2
John_C 1
Recent Posts
Armstrong First to step on the Moon
by Tom - Sun Aug 07, 2022 7:48 PM
Christian Nationalism
by Anthony C. - Sun Aug 07, 2022 1:59 PM
Musings
by Anthony C. - Fri Aug 05, 2022 9:06 PM
Thoughts on Backsliding ~ J.C. Ryle
by Rick Bates - Fri Aug 05, 2022 8:23 PM
Assurance of Justification
by NetChaplain - Fri Aug 05, 2022 10:59 AM
Suffering’s Solace
by NetChaplain - Wed Aug 03, 2022 9:52 AM
Previous Thread
Next Thread
Print Thread
Rate Thread
Hop To
Page 1 of 2 1 2
#26864 Sat Jul 23, 2005 8:00 AM
Joined: Dec 2001
Posts: 2,615
Needs to get a Life
OP Offline
Needs to get a Life
Joined: Dec 2001
Posts: 2,615
Speratus, once said, "God does not command evil." How true is this? How does this need to be understood? First, we need to distinguish what is meant by the term "command." Does command here mean "control," "order," etc.? However, WHO ultimately "controls" and "orders" ALL? Second, another question that needs to be answered is "What is evil?" In Scripture, there seems to be a lot that "many" would call "evil" that is "commanded" by God (Deut 2:34; 3:6; 20:16-18;1 Sam 15:2-3, etc.). God orders the destruction of children, infants! Is this "evil"?

In dealing with these questions you may enjoy reading some of these articles.


Reformed and Always Reforming,
J_Edwards #26865 Sat Jul 23, 2005 12:49 PM
Joined: Jul 2005
Posts: 3
Plebeian
Offline
Plebeian
Joined: Jul 2005
Posts: 3
Okay, I will jump in on this one and say "yes" God commands evil in that we know He controls it and ultimately it is part of His decreed will - Ephesians 1:11; Proverbs 16:33.

Yet, while God controls and even ordains evil events, it is clear in Scripture that He is not the only One involved in bringing those events about. Job chapters 1 and 2 show us Satan as an initiator of evil, though under God's limits. In this we see two causes of evil. One "evil" cause of evil in the person of Satan and God whose "evil" actually works (Romans 8:28) for Job's good, to the point Job himself says 'when he has tested me I shall come forth as gold.'

We see the same thing in the Book of Acts chapters 2 & 4 where Luke attributes the nailing of Christ to the cross, a wonderfully "good / evil" event - both to God and to Herod, Pilot, and the wicked Jews. Surely in the cross of Christ we see that God is praiseworthy even in seemingly evil events while man and Satan are to blame.

J_Edwards #26866 Sun Jul 24, 2005 12:54 AM
Anonymous
Unregistered
Anonymous
Unregistered
Quote
J_Edwards said:
Speratus, once said, "God does not command evil." How true is this? How does this need to be understood? First, we need to distinguish what is meant by the term "command." Does command here mean "control," "order," etc.? However, WHO ultimately "controls" and "orders" ALL? Second, another question that needs to be answered is "What is evil?" In Scripture, there seems to be a lot that "many" would call "evil" that is "commanded" by God (Deut 2:34; 3:6; 20:16-18;1 Sam 15:2-3, etc.). God orders the destruction of children, infants! Is this "evil"? <img src="/forum/images/graemlins/chatter.gif" alt="" />

In dealing with these questions you may enjoy reading some of these articles.

By "God does not command evil", I was referring to God ordering a person to perform an evil act. Since all children and infants are under a death sentence from conception (Romans 5), it can not be an evil command for God to order their destruction.

You may be defining "command evil" in a more general sense. Do you have other examples from scripture where God (to many) is the author of evil?

#26867 Sun Jul 24, 2005 7:01 AM
Joined: Dec 2001
Posts: 2,615
Needs to get a Life
OP Offline
Needs to get a Life
Joined: Dec 2001
Posts: 2,615
Quote
Do you have other examples from scripture where God (to many) is the author of evil?
Lam 3:38, Jer 18:11, Is 45:7, Amos 3:6, Ezek 20:25. Please provide exegesis of the texts.

Quote
Since all children and infants are under a death sentence from conception (Romans 5), it can not be an evil command for God to order their destruction.
I'll just leave this "argument" alone for the moment <img src="/forum/images/graemlins/bash.gif" alt="" />


Reformed and Always Reforming,
abrev #26868 Sun Jul 24, 2005 7:06 AM
Joined: Dec 2001
Posts: 2,615
Needs to get a Life
OP Offline
Needs to get a Life
Joined: Dec 2001
Posts: 2,615
Quote
Yet, while God controls and even ordains evil events, it is clear in Scripture that He is not the only One involved in bringing those events about.
Yes man and God are in "some way" involved in evil. However, ultimately is God the cause of all things? Did God create the "the possibility of," "the reality of," or .... of evil? We know "man" is involved with evil, however how does God relate to this issue?

I am thinking of issues of sovereignty, God's justice, wrath, power, and holiness being more fully displayed and experienced, etc. <img src="/forum/images/graemlins/bravo.gif" alt="" />


Reformed and Always Reforming,
Joined: Sep 2003
Posts: 2,040
Persnickety Presbyterian
Offline
Persnickety Presbyterian
Joined: Sep 2003
Posts: 2,040
Hey Joe,

I read one of those articles linked form the Monergism site and I think it sheds some light on this issue. Here's a quote:

Quote
To recapitulate: God has ordained evil in order to display to all creation, and in particular to humanity, His glory in a way otherwise impossible. Namely, He has ordained man's fall and the resulting evils to demonstrate His righteousness, justice, grace, and mercy as fully as possible.

The article is "A New Perspective on the Problem of Evil," by Doug Erlandson. (I actually know his nephew from another online forum.)


Kyle

I tell you, this man went down to his house justified.
Joined: Dec 2001
Posts: 2,615
Needs to get a Life
OP Offline
Needs to get a Life
Joined: Dec 2001
Posts: 2,615
That is a GREAT answer and indeed part of the answer (the whole of the answer I do not think we can know as finite creatures). <img src="/forum/images/graemlins/cheers2.gif" alt="" />


Reformed and Always Reforming,
Joined: Aug 2001
Posts: 1,856
Wes Offline
Needs to get a Life
Offline
Needs to get a Life
Joined: Aug 2001
Posts: 1,856
JE,

The question is a profound one and I appreciated reading the links you've provided. In John Piper's article "Is God Less Glorious Because He Caused Evil To Be?" he quoted Jonathan Edwards. Edwards wrote: "God decrees all things, even all sins." Or, as Paul says in Ephesians 1:11, "He works all things after the counsel of His will."

Quote
"God "wills that evil come to pass . . . that good may come of it." What good? And how does the existence of evil serve this good end?

Here is Edwards' stunning answer:

  • It is a proper and excellent thing for infinite glory to shine forth; and for the same reason, it is proper that the shining forth of God's glory should be complete; that is, that all parts of his glory should shine forth, that every beauty should be proportionably effulgent, that the beholder may have a proper notion of God. It is not proper that one glory should be exceedingly manifested, and another not at all. . . .

    Thus it is necessary, that God's awful majesty, his authority and dreadful greatness, justice, and holiness, should be manifested. But this could not be, unless sin and punishment had been decreed; so that the shining forth of God's glory would be very imperfect, both because these parts of divine glory would not shine forth as the others do, and also the glory of his goodness, love, and holiness would be faint without them; nay, they could scarcely shine forth at all.

    If it were not right that God should decree and permit and punish sin, there could be no manifestation of God's holiness in hatred of sin, or in showing any preference, in his providence, of godliness before it. There would be no manifestation of God's grace or true goodness, if there was no sin to be pardoned, no misery to be saved from. How much happiness soever he bestowed, his goodness would not be so much prized and admired. . . .

    So evil is necessary, in order to the highest happiness of the creature, and the completeness of that communication of God, for which he made the world; because the creature's happiness consists in the knowledge of God, and the sense of his love. And if the knowledge of him be imperfect, the happiness of the creature must be proportionably imperfect.


So the answer to the question in the title of this message, "Is God less glorious because he ordained that evil be?" is no, just the opposite. God is more glorious for having conceived and created and governed a world like this with all its evil. The effort to absolve him by denying his foreknowledge of sin or by denying his control of sin is fatal, and a great dishonor to his word and his wisdom. Evangelicals who are seeking the glory of God, look well to the teaching of your churches and your schools. But most of all, look well to your souls.

If you would see God's glory and savor his glory and magnify his glory in this world, do not remain wavering before the sovereignty of God in the face of great evil. Take his book in your hand, plead for his Spirit of illumination and humility and trust, and settle this matter, that you might be unshakable in the day of your own calamity".

In Greg Koukl's article A Good Reason for Evil he also helped me see what evil is and the purpose it performs in God's world.

Quote
What is evil? Could it have a purpose? Here is a view of evil from an adult rather than a childish perspecitve.

The first step in answering the problem of evil is this: We've got to get clear on what this thing "evil" actually is. It does seem to follow that if God created all things, and evil is a thing, then God created evil. This is a valid syllogism. If the premises are true, then the conclusion would be true as well.

The problem with that line of reasoning is that the second premise is not true. Evil is not a thing. The person who probably explained it best was St. Augustine, and then Thomas Aquinas picked up on his solution. Others since them have argued that evil has no ontological status in itself.

The word ontology deals with the nature of existence. When I say that evil has no ontological status, I mean that evil, as a thing in itself, does not exist.

Let me give you an illustration to make this more clear. We talk about things being cold or warm. But coldness is not a thing that exists in itself; it has no ontological status. Coldness is the absence of heat. When we remove heat energy from a system, we say it gets colder.

"Cold" isn't a thing. It's a way of describing the reduction of molecular activity resulting in the sensation of heat. So the more heat we pull out of a system, the colder it gets. Cold itself isn't being "created." Cold is a description of a circumstance in which heat is missing. Heat is energy which can be measured. When you remove heat, the temperature goes down. We call that condition "cold," but there is no cold "stuff" that causes that condition.

Here's another way of looking at it. Did you ever eat a donut hole? I don't mean those little round sugar-coated lumps you buy at the donut shop. I mean the hole itself. Donut holes are actually what's left when the middle is cut out of a donut. There's a space called a hole, a "nothing," the condition that exists when something is taken away. Same thing with a shadow. Shadows don't exist as things in themselves; they're just the absence of light.

Evil is like that. Evil isn't like some black, gooey stuff floating around the universe that gloms onto people and causes them to do awful things. Evil is the absence of good, a privation of good, not a thing in itself.

When God created the universe, he created everything good. He made a universe that was perfectly good. Everything was as it should be. After God was completely done with creating everything, something happened that reduced the good in the world. That loss of good is called evil.

That's why in Genesis 1 we read "it was good" many times. From the record we know that God didn't create evil. But something did happen in which evil-the loss of good-took place, and as a result a lot of other grotesque things came about.

So donut holes don't exist; they're just the absence of donut. Shadows don't exist; they're just the absence of light. And evil doesn't exist; it's just the absence of good.


We all know it when we see it. We even call Satan the evil one because he personifies evil. However, only as much the Creator decrees and permits for the greater good.

Wes


When I survey the wondrous cross on which the Prince of Glory died, my richest gain I count but loss and pour contempt on all my pride. - Isaac Watts
Anonymous
Unregistered
Anonymous
Unregistered
Quote
J_Edwards said:
Quote
Do you have other examples from scripture where God (to many) is the author of evil?
Lam 3:38, Jer 18:11, Is 45:7, Amos 3:6, Ezek 20:25. Please provide exegesis of the texts.

In context, v. 39, Lam. 3:38 teaches that God brings evil upon men as punishment for their sins.

In context, v. 8, Jer. 18:11 teaches that God brings evil upon men to lead them to repentance.

In context, v. 26, Ezek. 20:25 teaches that God brings evil upon men to the end that they might know, "I am the Lord."

In context, v. 2, Amos. 3:6 teaches that God brings evil upon men as punishment for their sins.

In context, v. 6, Is. 45:7 teaches that God brings evil upon men, "that they may know from the rising of the sun, and from the west, that there is none beside me. I am the Lord, and there is none else."

God is not commanding evil (the author of evil) in these verses but is commanding good according to His nature and purposes.

Wes #26873 Mon Jul 25, 2005 8:30 AM
Joined: Dec 2001
Posts: 2,615
Needs to get a Life
OP Offline
Needs to get a Life
Joined: Dec 2001
Posts: 2,615
I appreciated what Piper said. Of course, Koukl’s article is under debate by some. When Koukl states, “Evil is the absence of good, a privation of good, not a thing in itself,” some begin to shrink back. Koukl—Augustine is equating being with goodness and non-being with evil. Evil is not a thing at all, and complete evil is simply non-existence. However, others claim evil can be known and thus it exists (Gen 3:5, 22). Man was judged for being evil (Gen 6:5) and not just for being neutral in that good was absent in them. They claim, evil really exists. 9-11 was not an illusion and from several perspectives it was an evil set of events. Evil exists! Koukl further looks at, evil as being a privation of good which would mean there would be no such thing as something that is totally evil. If it were totally evil (deprived of all good), it could be nothing, for its existence depends on the very existence of good (the donut hole (—evil) cannot exist without the donut (—good). However, in Koulk’s defense we can say yes, GOOD is here for ever—since God is sovereign, and thus there will never be an ultimate evil, for there is already the ultimate GOOD, which cannot be replaced.

I hope this was clear as mud. <img src="/forum/images/graemlins/laugh.gif" alt="" />


Reformed and Always Reforming,
#26874 Mon Jul 25, 2005 8:32 AM
Joined: Dec 2001
Posts: 2,615
Needs to get a Life
OP Offline
Needs to get a Life
Joined: Dec 2001
Posts: 2,615
Quote
God is not commanding evil (the author of evil) in these verses but is commanding good according to His nature and purposes.
Is God the first or primary cause of ALL things?


Reformed and Always Reforming,
Joined: Aug 2001
Posts: 1,856
Wes Offline
Needs to get a Life
Offline
Needs to get a Life
Joined: Aug 2001
Posts: 1,856
JE,

I felt a little uncomfortable with Koukl's definition too but even when I look at verses like I Samuel 16:14 where we read "an evil spirit from the Lord troubled him" (referring to King Saul) his view still provides a persepective which supports the idea that in the abscence of good evil exists. When the Spirit of the Lord departs from an individual all good goes.

Quote
Jamieson, Fausset, and Brown write:

I Samuel 16:14 The Spirit of the Lord departed from Saul, and an evil spirit from the Lord troubled him--His own gloomy reflections, the consciousness that he had not acted up to the character of an Israelitish king, the loss of his throne, and the extinction of his royal house, made him jealous, irritable, vindictive, and subject to fits of morbid melancholy.

Quote
Mattthew Henry writes:

Here is Saul made a terror to himself (v. 14): The Spirit of the Lord departed from him. He having forsaken God and his duty, God, in a way of righteous judgment, withdrew from him those assistances of the good Spirit with which he was directed, animated, and encouraged in his government and wars. He lost all his good qualities. This was the effect of his rejecting God, and an evidence of his being rejected by him. Now God took his mercy from Saul (as it is expressed, 2 Sa. 7:15); for, when the Spirit of the Lord departs from us, all good goes. When men grieve and quench the Spirit, by wilful sin, he departs, and will not always strive. The consequence of this was that an evil spirit from God troubled him. Those that drive the good Spirit away from them do of course become prey to the evil spirit. If God and his grace do not rule us, sin and Satan will have possession of us. The devil, by the divine permission, troubled and terrified Saul, by means of the corrupt humours of his body and passions of his mind. He grew fretful, and peevish, and discontented, timorous and suspicious, ever and anon starting and trembling; he was sometimes, says Josephus, as if he had been choked or strangled, and a perfect demoniac by fits. This made him unfit for business, precipitate in his counsels, the contempt of his enemies, and a burden to all about him.

Interestingly Henry's comments puts the emphasis on man's responsibility and the consequences of rejecting God.


Wes


When I survey the wondrous cross on which the Prince of Glory died, my richest gain I count but loss and pour contempt on all my pride. - Isaac Watts
J_Edwards #26876 Mon Jul 25, 2005 10:28 AM
Anonymous
Unregistered
Anonymous
Unregistered
Quote
J_Edwards said:
Quote
God is not commanding evil (the author of evil) in these verses but is commanding good according to His nature and purposes.
Is God the first or primary cause of ALL things?

Yes, I think that can be inferred from the fact that He created all things. John 1:3; Col. 1:16. How does that relate to the topic, "God does not command evil?" Are you saying that creation was an evil command and not a good command?

#26877 Mon Jul 25, 2005 1:01 PM
Joined: Apr 2001
Posts: 14,246
Likes: 45
Head Honcho
Offline
Head Honcho
Joined: Apr 2001
Posts: 14,246
Likes: 45
Quote
speratus said:
Yes, I think that can be inferred from the fact that He created all things. John 1:3; Col. 1:16. How does that relate to the topic, "God does not command evil?" Are you saying that creation was an evil command and not a good command?
Let's get one thing absolutely clear.... God is not the Author of evil! okay?

Having established that fact we can then move on to the subject at hand by asking a few salient questions:

1) Did God ordain the fall of Satan and those angels who joined with him in rebellion against Him?

2) Did God ordain the Fall of Adam and consequently all of mankind?

3) Did God ordain the crucifixion of Christ, including the acts of the actual men who physically nailed Him to the cross?

4) Does God ordain such things as rape, murder, child molestation, in fact all the wicked acts of men which happen to both believers and unbelievers?

Quote
Isaiah 45:7 (KJV) "I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the LORD do all these [things]."

In His Grace,


[Linked Image]

simul iustus et peccator

[Linked Image]
Pilgrim #26878 Tue Jul 26, 2005 5:53 AM
Anonymous
Unregistered
Anonymous
Unregistered
Quote
Pilgrim said:
Quote
speratus said:
Yes, I think that can be inferred from the fact that He created all things. John 1:3; Col. 1:16. How does that relate to the topic, "God does not command evil?" Are you saying that creation was an evil command and not a good command?
Let's get one thing absolutely clear.... God is not the Author of evil! okay? <img src="/forum/images/graemlins/grin.gif" alt="" />

Having established that fact we can then move on to the subject at hand by asking a few salient questions:

How do you define "ordain"? To order by virtue of superior authority; decree or enact? To prearrange unalterably; predestine?

Quote
1) Did God ordain the fall of Satan and those angels who joined with him in rebellion against Him?

Were Satan and the devils made in the image of God? Did they have free will? If so, how could God predestine them to fall whereas the good angels to be confirmed in their bliss when He created them?

Quote
2) Did God ordain the Fall of Adam and consequently all of mankind?

Was Adam made in the image of God? Did he have free will? If so, how could God predestine him to fall when He created him?

Quote
3) Did God ordain the crucifixion of Christ, including the acts of the actual men who physically nailed Him to the cross?

Were the men who nailed Christ to the cross acting as free agents? If not, were they acting under God's command, Satan's command, or both?

Quote
4) Does God ordain such things as rape, murder, child molestation, in fact all the wicked acts of men which happen to both believers and unbelievers?

Are the men who commit wicked acts acting as free agents? If not, do they act under God's command, Satan's command, or both?

Page 1 of 2 1 2

Link Copied to Clipboard
Who's Online Now
1 members (Tom), 59 guests, and 13 robots.
Key: Admin, Global Mod, Mod
Newest Members
TheSojourner, Larry, Nana Dadzie Jr., Cliniql, John E
972 Registered Users
ShoutChat
Comment Guidelines: Do post respectful and insightful comments. Don't flame, hate, spam.
August
S M T W T F S
1 2 3 4 5 6
7 8 9 10 11 12 13
14 15 16 17 18 19 20
21 22 23 24 25 26 27
28 29 30 31
Today's Birthdays
There are no members with birthdays on this day.
Popular Topics(Views)
1,359,163 Gospel truth