Open Access Open Access  Restricted Access Subscription or Fee Access

Does God Intend that Sin Occur? We Affirm

Matthew J. Hart, Daniel J. Hill

Abstract

In this paper we discuss the question whether God intends that sin occur. We clarify the question, consider some of the answers given in the Christian tradition, and give a careful commentary on a few especially telling passages from the Christian Scriptures. We consider two philosophically informed interpretative strategies, one derived from the work of Frances Kamm, the other from Reformed scholasticism, against our interpretation of these passages. While we concede that in other passages such interpretations may allow a way of escaping our argument, we conclude that in the case of the telling passages we have selected there is simply no comparably plausible alternative interpretation.

Keywords

God; predestination; Kamm; actus reus; intention; evil; sin; Calvinism; Arminianism; free will; freedom; double effect; determinism

Full Text:

PDF

References

Aquinas, Thomas. 1856. Scriptum Super Sententiis. Edited by Roberto Busa. Parma.

———. 1920. Summa Theologiae. Translated by The English Dominican Province Fathers. 2nd ed. http://www.newadvent.org/summa/.

———. 2001. The De Malo of Thomas Aquinas: With Facing-Page Translation by Richard Regan. Edited by Brian Davies. Translated by Richard J. Regan. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Arminius, Jacobus. 2017. A Friendly Discussion: The Works of Jacobus Arminius Volume 3. Translated by Anthony Uyl. Woodstock, Ontario: Devoted Publishing.

Augustine, Aurelius. 1887. “Enchiridion”. In St Augustin: On the Holy Trinity, Doctrinal Treatises, Moral Treatises, edited by Philip Schaff, translated by J. F. Shaw, 237–76. Buffalo, NY: Christian Literature Company. https://oll.libertyfund.org/titles/augustine-a-select-library-of-the-nicene-and-post-nicene-fathers-of-the-christian-church-vol-3.

———. 1887. “Reply to Faustus the Manichaean”. In St. Augustin: The Writings Against the Manichaeans, and Against the Donatists, edited by Philip Schaff, translated by Richard Stothert, 155–345. Buffalo, NY: Christian Literature Company. https://oll.libertyfund.org/titles/schaff-a-select-library-of-the-nicene-and-post-nicene-fathers-of-the-christian-church-vol-4.

Baxter, Richard. 1675. Catholick Theologie. 3 vols. London: Nevill Simmons.

Block, Daniel I. 1997. The Book of Ezekiel, Chapters 1–24. Revised edition. Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans.

Calvin, John. 1989. The Institutes of the Christian Religion. Translated by Henry Beveridge. Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans.

Cavanaugh, T. A. 2006. Double-Effect Reasoning: Doing Good and Avoiding Evil. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Charnock, Samuel. 1853. Discourses upon the Existence and Attributes of God. 2 vols. New York, NY: Robert Carter.

Edwards, Jonathan. 1957. Freedom of the Will. Edited by Paul Ramsey. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press. https://yalebooks.co.uk/display.asp?K=9780300008487.

Goudriaan, Aza. 2006. Reformed Orthodoxy and Philosophy, 1625–1750: Gisbertus Voetius, Petrus van Mastricht, and Anthonius Driessen. Boston, Mass: Brill.

Hahn, S. W., and J. S. Bergsma. 2004. “What Laws Were ‘Not Good’? A Canonical Approach to the Theological Problem of Ezekiel 20:25–26”. Journal of Biblical Literature 123, no. 2: 201–18. https://doi.org/10.2307/3267942.

Heppe, Heinrich. 2008. Reformed Dogmatics. Revised edition. Eugene, OR: Wipf and Stock.

Kamm, F. M. 2007. Intricate Ethics: Rights, Responsibilities, and Permissible Harm. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Kretzmann, Norman. 1988. “Warring against the Law of My Mind: Aquinas on Romans 7”. In Philosophy and the Christian Faith, 172–95. South Bend, IN: University of Notre Dame Press.

Leibniz, Gottfried Wilhelm. 1951. Theodicy. Translated by E. M. Huggard. London: Routledge & Kegan Paul. https://www.gutenberg.org/files/17147/17147-h/17147-h.htm.

———. 2007. “The Philosopher’s Confession”. Translated by Lloyd Strickland. LeibnizTranslations.Com. Last modified 2007. http://www.leibniz-translations.com/confession.htm.

Muller, Richard A. 1985. Dictionary of Latin and Greek Theological Terms. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Academic.

Perkins, William. 1606. A C[Hristian] and [Plain]e Treatise of the Manner and Order of Predestination and of the Largenes of Gods Grace. London: Weley and Clarke.

Piper, John. 1993. The Justification of God: An Exegetical and Theological Study of Romans 9:1-23. 2nd edition. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Academic.

Plantinga, Alvin. 1985. “Self-Profile”. In Alvin Plantinga, by Peter van Inwagen and James E. Tomberlin, 3–97. Dordrecht, the Netherlands: D Reidel.

Stein, Walter. 1961. Nuclear Weapons: A Catholic Response. London: Sheed & Ward.

Turretin, Francis. 1992. Institutes of Elenctic Theology (Institutio Theologiae Elencticae). Translated by George Musgrave Giger. 3 vols. Phillipsburg, NJ: Presbyterian and Reformed.

Welty, Greg. 2018. Why Is There Evil in the World (and So Much of It)? Tairn: Christian Focus Publications. https://www.christianfocus.com/products/2741/why-is-there-evil-in.

Zanchius, Jerome. 2001. Absolute Predestination. Translated by Jay Patrick Green. Sovereign Grace Publishers Inc.

Article Metrics

Metrics Loading ...

Metrics powered by PLOS ALM

Refbacks

  • There are currently no refbacks.