This is a response to this post from Marcus.
I think Swan's argument was that the Arminian position does not really answer why God is not responsible for evil.
Marcus, if you read the quote I cited from Mr. Swan you'll see that He says God simply by knowing beforehand and having the power to stop it means God "shares the responsibility" for that sin. I assert that that would not make God responsible for that specific sin, but at most would be a different sin if it were a sin at all. Clearly as I point out, however, God has morally sufficient reasons to allow sin.
Decreeing events and decreeing sins are no the same thing.
If God decrees an event that happens to be a sin, how could it not be the same thing? If God determines all events and we cannot do otherwise that what God decrees, how are the sins our own?
We see that God can and has stopped people from sinning. This means that he could stop all people from sinning. Why doesn't he?
God warned Abimelech not to sin. He didn't infallibly cause him not to sin. Abimelech still could have sinned if he had chosen to disobey God and face death. If God's purpose is to allow people to have volitional wills, then if He were to stop all sin, He would be working against His purpose. Given free will, God has to also accept the possibility of rebellion. On the other hand, if the determinist is correct and there is no free will, then God could have determined that there would be no sin at all.
God tells Abimelech that he did not touch Sarah not because he didn't want to but God stopped him from doing it.
God stopped Him not by irresistibly causing Him to stop, but by appearing to Abimelech and telling Him if he didn't stop he would be killed, implying that Abimelech could have still gone on with it. This makes much more sense on the LFW view because God intervenes and speaks with Abimeleh to get him to stop. Otherwise, why not just determine the events that would take place and cause Abimelech to not bed with Sarah?
It's like if I said I caused you to reply to my last post. I didn't determine that you do that, but my actions prompted your volitional will to respond, though you could have chosen not to.
I distinctly said that God did not force His brothers to do evil.
Well I don't want to get hung up on the nuances of the word "force" but I didn't say that either. Determinism holds that God has necessitated all events that happen. That means events aren't contingent, they are necessary. God has made it so they can't not happen. If you think the brothers could have acted otherwise, then you're not a determinist, at least not a consistent one.
How do you reconcile that God could have stopped Joseph's brothers from selling Joseph into slavery
I did that in my post. God knew by allowing this sin there would be a far greater good that would occur. That is why God allows any sins.
What God did was use them to save the whole world from famine - the greater good.
Marcus, this was my exact argument that you took issue with. I essentially used the greater good argument, but you said, "This is the argument that I keep hearing from JP Moreland and William Lane Craig. The problem is that it does not answer the issues raised in Scripture that we see that God does not just ordain events but also decrees them."
God could have done all of this a different way, but He did it this way. Why? I don't know.
I think that should tell you something. It's a big gratuitous puppet show, in my opinion, for God to be determining all things and appearing to His creatures and seemingly giving them choices, but not really. Plus, as JC said, it impacts the character of God. Is God good if He acts in this way?
Brennon, is that really what the passage say?
It doesn't say it explicitly but we can surely deduce it from how we know God works in other places. God can use sinful nations as His tools. He certainly doesn't cause them to be a sinful nation, does He? No, in knowing that God allows freedom (as seen in passages like 2 Samuel 24:11-13, Jonah, Ezek. 24:13, anywhere a choice is involved) we can determine that God uses for His purposes whatever He chooses to use to accomplish His ends. God foreknew that the Assyrians would sin in this manner, and He also purposed to judge other nations by using the sin of the Assyrians, then He judged them for their sins.
If God had not put Pilate and the Jewish leaders in those situation, could they have chosen to crucify Jesus? No. Sounds like God was in control.
Marcus, when have I ever argued that God isn't in control? He's in so much control that His purposes are accomplished in spite of our sinful free choices. That doesn't diminish God, it exalts Him!
If we can't initiate it, why should we think we can reject it? Apostasy is explained in 1st John 2:19
Well apostasy wasn't at issue here, but I'll address it anyway. The case in 1 John 2 is a specific case and I see no reason to universalize it. Jesus, in the parable of the sower, says that apostasy is possible.
11"This is the meaning of the parable: The seed is the word of God. 12Those along the path are the ones who hear, and then the devil comes and takes away the word from their hearts, so that they may not believe and be saved ((!!!notice that the result of belief is salvation!!!)). 13Those on the rock are the ones who receive the word with joy when they hear it, but they have no root. They believe for a while, but in the time of testing they fall away"
Notice that belief means you are saved. There are some who believe for a while and then fall away.
Then there's also the Romans 11 passage and the numerous Hebrews warnings.
Anyway, free will is definitely assumed by Jesus here.
I'm sorry I don't understand. Can you recognize that God can choose who to have a relationship with and who not to have a relationship with and then argue that God must extend at least enough grace to everyone to give them the option to chose to come to Him or reject Him at the same time?
You need to read everything I am writing, Marcus. I never said God must do anything. I said that God has the right to choose whoever He wants to extend His grace to. I think He purposed to show it to ALL PEOPLE. If that is His purpose then it is an eternal purpose, and God doesn't break His promises.
Let me give an example. I agree that everything God does is good, but it depends on your point of view about what is good.
If this is true, Marcus, and God does everything, in that He makes everything happen that happens, then you'd have to conclude that everything is actually good. There is no real bad, because since God does everything then everything is good. That is not a Biblical teaching.
I am saying that we have no other choice but to sin unless God chooses to save us
While I disagree based on Matthew 7:11, that really isn't at issue here.
but I don't think we are qualified to define what irrational or illogical really is because until God reveal his will and the plan to us we have no idea - our view point is tainted alway
There have to be some things that we are qualified to figure out. If you are going to rely on this excuse to get out of the logical inconsistencies your view creates, then you could explain away anything. Just because sin does cloud our thinking in spiritual matters (and others) doesn't mean that the human intellect is so totally destroyed by it that we can't reason logically. If that were the case then we couldn't function because we wouldn't be able to distinguish truth from fiction! God hasn't left us in such a sorry state. We still retain the vestiges of the imago dei in our humanity and still have the God given ability to reason. If we don't then we are no different from animals.
Marcus, I suspect your commitment to Calvinistic theology is keeping you from acknowledging these problems with your theology. It's easy to pass it off as mystery or antinomy, but I don't think we should appeal to antinomy unless we have no other recourse. The Christian religion is 100% rationally unobjectionable, and that is one reason I reject Calvinistic determinism.
Why would God doing whatever He wants, whenever He wants, however He wants invalidate God's goodness?
If God causes people to sin, that goes against His own Law; His on standard of goodness. God will not hold others responsible for what He Himself won't do.