A recent article I came across was entitled, The Beginning of Sin. The link has been posted below for convenience and reference. It begins, “In order to understand how sinful we are, we have to understand the beginning of sin.”
The author concludes by stating, “This, of course, did not catch God by surprise. He “knew” that Adam was going to sin; and in fact, He foreordained it without being the Author of Adam’s sin, so that it was “according to the eternal purpose which He purposed in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Ephesians 3:11).”
For my clarification, I re-wrote the above sentence wherein:
– [God] knew that Adam was going to sin.
– [God] foreordained [Adam’s sin] without being the author of Adam’s sin.
– [Adam’s sin] was according to the eternal purpose which [God] purposed in Christ Jesus our Lord.
The author’s belief is that God fully intended and indeed implemented a way for man to sin (i.e. Eve being tempted by the serpent). I suppose this makes sense to a Calvinist. Maybe I can’t see the underlying principles here. Maybe I’m missing something. However, when I read Eph 3:11 in context, it’s clearly apparent that Paul is speaking to Gentiles and is explaining, that per God’s eternal purpose, the OT law is ‘kaput’ and now both Jew and Gentile alike can have salvation through faith in Christ. I see nothing, at least within this passage, as to the intentional initiation of sin into the world by God for the express purpose of setting up, as it were, man’s moral failure. But man did sin. And, rather quickly, too! But because of God’s desire for a continued relationship with his creation, God put into place a methodology for allowing man’s sin to be dealt with.
There’s no disagreement as to the sin nature that all of mankind has. I agree with the author, as was stated in the article, that Adam and Eve had free will. Therefore, it only seems reasonable that because of the free will ability which man has always had to turn away from God, it didn’t take long for sin came into the world. Consequently, I disagree with the author’s conclusion that the beginning of sin was because of God’s doing. Sin came about because of the free will that God gave man. Man is able to choose. And man chooses sin. In his grace and mercy, God still wanted a relationship with his creation and thereby worked out a way for man to be redeemed – through the law in the OT and by faith in Christ in the NT.
In conclusion, the author believes it is God who caused man to sin. And yet, in some way that is not clear to me, God is not therefore responsible for man’s sin. This is illogical. God did not create a robot. He created a free will creature who brought forth a lot of trouble and hassle. Further, the author’s argument is premised on an inaccurate reading and interpretation of scripture. Sadly, this is, to me, further evidence of the fallacy of Calvinistic beliefs and doctrines. With a bit of frustration, given the number of smart and gracious people that I personally know who adamantly espouse Reformed doctrines, I often wonder just what it is that I’m missing? However, when an argument is made regarding some aspect of TULIP and a simple reading of scripture coupled with a wee bit of logic explodes that argument, I’m left wondering – just what it is that compels Calvinists to hang onto their doctrines?
2 thoughts on “The Beginning of Sin”
Perhaps I can help with what you deem may be “missing.” There is no doubt God is responsible for… everything. Here’s why. Nothing happens that God can’t stop. If He allows it to happen, then ultimately “the buck stops with” God. But here’s why it is not sin for God to do this (set up Adam for a fall). In Joseph’s story, Joseph correctly sums up what happened to his brothers: You meant it for evil, but God meant it for good. There is only one “it” here – the act of selling Joseph into slavery. The act itself is neither good nor evil. What matters is the intention of the heart. Since God is the Lawgiver, He is beholden to none. That is, there is no law above God that tells God He must do anything. There was no law telling God He couldn’t set up Adam for a fall. In fact, it was the complete opposite: God was righteous in what He did in Eden because His intention was to bring salvation through it. Thus, God can be both responsible, but not the so-called “author” of sin. No evil thought or intention came from God, nor must He Himself obey any Law.
Your comment makes me think you believe God to, in essence, be a barbarian in exercising his omnipotence. Club the girl over the head. Drag her back to the cave. Rape her. If, as you say, the buck FOR EVERYTHING stops with God, then is this not a valid perspective of how you view God? I’m not sure how to better say it other than I believe God continues to exercise his agape love in an attempt to win over. I’m not able to accept that God intentionally brings about cancer in a young child, alcohol/drug dependencies, car accidents, national & political instabilities. Frankly, I don’t think God cares whether one votes “R” or “D”. And I don’t think he enabled Trump to win the presidency. We live in a fallen world. Stuff happens. Randomly, I would submit. I don’t doubt that all things work together for good. But Rom 8:28 doesn’t imply that God brought about the crap that we all deal with everyday.