Here is the short video,
THREE OPTIONS TO THE BELIEF IN THE GOD OF THE BIBLE AND THE EXISTENCE OF EVIL
- Calvinism | God created it, willed it, and gets glory out of it. Even going so far as to say, “God is the ‘author of sin.”
- Open Theism’s Response to Evil | God simply created humans, then removed His power and influence from the world and everything that has happened has been both a surprise to God as it is to man. Meaning, God is not in control of either good or bad- man is.
- The Bible’s Response As Presented By Alvin and the Church Fathers for the first 300+ Years of Christianity | God created free creatures who make bad decisions, but through His Holy Spirit He works in creation to hold back evil and regenerate the desires (wills) of mankind.
CALVINISM AND OPEN THEISM BOTH FAIL IN REGARDS TO GOD’S REVEALED CHARACTER IN THE BIBLE
Therefore, both Calvinism and Open Theism’s biggest issues are not “free will,” sovereignty,” or “predestination,” but rather the very character of our God.
Calvinism makes God out to be the cruelest of all monsters- who creates men only perish in hell without any hope- for He only loves the elect.
And Open Theism removes the holiness and righteousness of God from His character, who does nothing to prevent or disuade evil- He is simply a bystander refusing to help the good prevail.
Jonathon Edwards in view of God and Him being the author of sin, speaking as a true Calvinist, said the following:
“If by “author of sin,” is meant the permitter, or not hinderer of sin; and at the same time, a disposer of the state of Events, in such a manner, for wise, holy and most excellent ends and purposes, that sin, if it be permitted or not hindered, will most certainly and infallibly follow: I say, if this be all that is meant, by being the author of sin, I don’t deny that God is the author of sin.”
ARMINIANISM IS THE BEST SOLUTION AND BRINGS THE MOST GLORY TO GOD’S CHARACTER
I believe this quote from Dr. Olson, states the rebuttal and the Biblical solution best in the following section from his book, “Against Calvinism.”
“The high Calvinist doctrine of God’s sovereignty including evil as part of God’s plan, purpose, and determining power blatantly contradicts Scripture passages that reveal “God is love” (1 John 4:8), takes no pleasure in the death of the wicked (ezek. 18: 32), wants everyone to be saved (Ezek. 18: 32; 1 Tim. 2: 4; 2 Peter 3: 9), and never tempts anyone (James 1: 13).
To be sure, Calvinists have clever but unconvincing explanations of these and numerous other passages of Scripture. For example, John Piper argues that God has “complex feelings and motives,” such that he genuinely regrets that sin and evil have to be part of his world, genuinely wishes that all people could be saved, and is grieved when those he predestined to die and even suffer in hell for eternity for his glory experience that fate.
But these are not convincing explanations of these important passages that reveal the heart of God. They make God double-minded. So how might one deal with the reality of sin and evil in God’s world without placing undue limits on God’s power and sovereignty? The only way is to posit what Scripture everywhere assumes— a divine self-limitation in relation to the world of moral freedom, including especially libertarian freedom. That freedom is a wonderful and terrible gift of God to human persons created in his image and likeness. In other words, God allows his perfect will to be thwarted by his human creatures whom he loves and respects enough not to control them.”
Olson, Roger E. (2011-10-25). Against Calvinism: Rescuing God’s Reputation from Radical Reformed Theology (pp. 99-100). Zondervan. Kindle Edition.
A SUNDAY SERMON, “THE GOD OF THE GOSPEL”
1. Series of debates on Calvinism and Armianism, click here.
3. Great debate with Dr. Michael Brown and Dr. Bart Ehrman on the problem of evil, click here.