Sunday, September 15, 2013

Calvinism and the first sin

Check this new article out by James Anderson here.

Things to think about when you read Anderson's article.

“…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.

God is the author of the author of sin, He cannot be the author of sin itself, for sin is the result of a rebellion against God. 

If God is not the author of sin, at least He must be charged with being responsible for sin…A little reflection on the subject will show the contradiction involved in charging God with responsibility. Let us ask one question: Responsible to whom, or to what?...Obviously  if we are talking about the Almighty, He already is the highest power there is. Therefore, when God decreed this type of universe where Christ was to die for the sins of all who believe, God was responsible to none but Himself.” 

Edward John Carnell. An Introduction to Christian Apologetics. Grand Rapids, Eerdmans, 1981. pp.302-303.

“God is neither responsible nor sinful, even though He is the only ultimate cause of everything. He is not sinful because in the first place whatever God does is just and right. It is just and right simply in virtue of the fact that He does it. Justice or righteousness is not a standard external to God to which God is obligated to submit. Righteousness is what God does…God’s causing a man to sin is not sin. There is no law, superior to God, which forbids Him to decree sinful acts. Sin presupposes a law, for sin is lawlessness. Sin is any want of conformity unto or transgression of the law of God. But God is “Ex-lex.”

Gordon H. Clark. Christian Philosophy, vol 4. Unicoi: Trinity Foundation, 2004. p. 269.

“(1) Necessarily, if God exist he is all-good.
(2) God exists and ordains whatsoever comes to pass.
(3) Necessarily, if A is a human action then A is causally determined.
(4) There are morally evil human actions.
(5) Either God is the morally culpable author of the morally evil actions or human beings are their sole morally culpable authors.
(6) (1) and the first disjunct of (5) are formally inconsistent.
(7)(1),(3) and the second disjunct of (5) are not formally inconsistent.
(8)Any agent who freely and knowingly sets up a deterministic process with a certain outcome must be responsible for that outcome.
(9) Whatever one person X causes another person Y to do moral evil X does moral evil.
(10) Wherever one person X upholds another person Y and knowingly that Y will do evil does not prevent Y from doing evil, X does moral evil.
…moreover, it is by no means clear that even if X does moral evil he is doing the same moral evil as Y. Moreover, whether or not X is guilty of moral evile is presumably a matter of what rule or law X has broken or whether his upholding and permitting of X to act in an evil manner is in furtherance of some greater good for which X’s evil act is a logically necessary condition. It is not obvious that either a law has been broken in such a case, or that X’s evil act in not a logically necessary condition for the achieving of certain further goods.”

Paul Helm. Eternal God: A Study of God without Time. Oxford: Oxford UP, 2010.pp.161-162.

“Since our moral duties are grounded in the divine commands, they are not independent of God nor, plausibly, is God bound by moral duties, since he does not issue commands to himself.

If God does not fulfill moral duties then what content can be given to the claim he is good? Here Kant’s distinction between following a rule and acting in accordance with a rule has proved helpful. God may act naturally in ways which for us would be rule following and so constitutive of goodness in the sense of fulfilling our moral duties, so that God can be said similarly to be good in an analogical way….God is essentially compassionate, fair, kind, impartial, and so forth, and His commandments are reflections of his own character.”

Morland, J.P. and William Lane Craig. Philosophical Foundations For A Christian Worldview. Downers Grove: Intervarsity P, 2003.pp.531-532.

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