Tuesday, January 16, 2007

R.C. Sproul and the Author of Sin

In his book, Chosen By God, R.C. Sproul delves into the Westminster Confession of Faith to explore whether it teaches that God is made the "author of sin." Sproul vehemately denies this charge, but does he do so, rationally or irrationally?

R.C. Sproul explains: “If is true that in some sense God foreordains everything that comes to pass, then it follows with no doubt that God must have foreordained the entrance of sin into the world. That is not to say that God forced it to happen or that he imposed evil upon his creation. All that means is that God must have decided to allow it to happen.” (Chosen By God, p.31, emphasis mine)

R.C. Sproul explains: “In spite of this excruciating problem we still must affirm that God is not the author of sin.” (Chosen By God, p.31, emphasis mine)

Why? Why must you fight this argument to your last breath, as if it was the Boogeyman of Calvinism? Suppose that God was, in fact, the author of sin? Why would you need to fight it? If God was not concerned about it, then why should you be? Really, in the end, the only thing that matters is what the Bible says. So for Calvinists to belligerently draw their lines in the sand, concerning the “author of sin” charge, only sets themselves up to be considered, irrational. It seems that you could say almost the same exact thing, but with different wording, and that would pacify the Calvinists, and indeed, that’s exactly what Sproul has done when he claims that God foreordained the "entrance" of sin, but did not "author" sin. I’d like to know where the difference lies. In other words, God is the entrance of sin into the world, but by no means whatsoever, by any stretch of the imagination, is He the author of sin into the world. That, we just can’t have, says the Calvinist, end of discussion. Since Calvinists have tinkered with the definition of "ordain," why don’t they simply tinker with the definition of "author"? In other words, God may have authored the Script of Life which contains sin, but He, by no means, endorses their behavior, no more than J.R.R Tolkien endorses the behavior of Sauron. However, real life is not like a book, in which there is a Script of Life by which men play parts in a Divine play at the direction of God. That is more philosophy than theology. This is not to say that God does not have books, plans and decrees. Of course He does, but do not forget that real foreknowledge is the basis for God’s decrees. (Acts 2:23)

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