DrWhofan1:23567 wrote:Do think that is one of the hardest things to het a hold on concerning this discussion, that the decrees of God were/are all eternal, and not done in a strict linear time fashion as we tend to have to see them as being done in!
The discussion is not 'a time order' but a 'logical order'
I have no problem with either viewpoint, just as long as one does not venture into the idea that God determined and directly caused satan and adam to sin and Fall, as they both did their wicked deeds in "free will" ...
However both views directly assert that God is the first cause of everything that happens
(and that includes every sin committed), and both views also emphasis the 'liberty/ contingency of secondary causes', for example the Westminster confession states:
3.1. God from all eternity did by the most wise and holy counsel of his own will, freely and unchangeably ordain whatsoever comes to pass; yet so as thereby neither is God the author of sin; nor is violence offered to the will of the creatures, nor is the liberty or contingency of second causes taken away, but rather established.
Similar the Baptist confession asserts:
3.1 God hath decreed in himself, from all eternity, by the most wise and holy counsel of his own will, freely and unchangeably, all things, whatsoever comes to pass; yet so as thereby is God neither the author of sin nor hath fellowship with any therein; nor is violence offered to the will of the creature, nor yet is the liberty or contingency of second causes taken away, but rather established; in which appears his wisdom in disposing all things, and power and faithfulness in accomplishing his decree.
Of course we see this truth played out in Scripture, and even explicitly detailed in Scripture, consider the death of the Lord Jesus Christ - the greatest sin of mankind in our whole histroy - and what do we read of it?
Acts 2:23 "Him, being delivered by the determined purpose and foreknowledge of God, you have taken1 by lawless hands, have crucified, and put to death;
We read that it happened according the determined purpose of God - ie God decreed it, but at the same time the guilt of that sin is laid at the door of the men who performed it.
What you have presented in a false dichotomy that actually does nothing to address the issue you feel needs to be addressed which is God's relationship to evil. Unless you are an open theist all you actually do is push the cause back in your thinking, because God still caused the fall and every sin commited by his act of creation (if nothing else). It is actually far more preferable to allow the bible to answer the question, God is sovereign over sin, but we commit the sin!
"George Whitefield said, "We are all born Arminians." It is grace that turns us into Calvinists." Spurgeon