A book was circulated in London arguing that God is the Author even of Sin, this being purportedly for the benefit of saints taking comfort in this in their trials. The Westminster Confession. . But as we saw [in chapter 8] libertarian freedom is incoherent and unbiblical. Chapter III. Westminster Confession of Faith. Nevertheless, we are told that God is not the author of those actions. Then, with another breath, they say that God is holy, righteous, and is not responsible for sin. Somehow, we must confess both that God has a role in bringing evil about, and that in doing so he is holy and blameless. In a situation like this, none of the possibilities is fully adequate. Chapter III of the Westminster Confession. Copyright © 2011 by Timothy Zebell. We are told that everything that happens—good or bad—is part of God’s will. The headings are added; the paragraphs are Dr. Frame’s. According to this confession, God “binds” and “orders” in His “governing” of all things including “the first fall” and “all other sins of angels and men,” but is not the “author or approver of sin” because God is “holy and righteous.” God is said here not to merely grant His creation permission to sin, but that God binds them to sin. 1. The second way we might overturn the Westminster statement, is addressing the Greek word they are renderin in the Westminster Confession as “Heaven.” While it may not preclude the understanding of Westminster, Jesus actual statement is that the thief will be with him in Paradise. Words are the theologian’s tools. The term authors is almost universally condemned in the theological literature. God does bring sins about, but always for his own good purposes. 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. A Biblical Look at the Argument of Second Causes. Dr. Frame and P&R Publishing have graciously given us permission to quote his Doctrine of God at length. [3] This makes us by nature children of wrath. Despite this denial in a major Reformed confession, Arminians regularly charge that Reformed theology makes God the author of sin. God does harden hearts, and through his prophets he predicts sinful human actions long in advance, indicating that he is in control of human free decisions. God cannot be the author of sin because he is entirely holy and righteous. If you get some help here, we’d highly recommend purchasing The Doctrine of God. Of Free Will. Yet he does so in such a way that he is neither the author of sin nor does he obliterate the reality of secondary causes (WCF 3.1). decree with respect to everlasting state of men and angels ... God is not the author of sin nor does He offer violence to the will of His creatures. Most people in the world have no experience of lasting joy in their lives. They state that because the sinful act was not actually performed by God Himself, but only by the creature, God is not responsible for the sin. ↩, David Mathis is executive editor for desiringGod.org and pastor at. Learn vocabulary, terms, and more with flashcards, games, and other study tools. Sin is transgression and lack of conformity to God’s law (WCF 6.6, WLC 24, WSC 14). We’re on a mission to change that. That man is responsible for his wicked actions is made so plain from the beginning of the Bible to the end that it is quite useless to cite individual proof texts. The twin truths that God decrees sin but is not the author of sin must be held together in tension. A third question which comes to mind is, “If God’s creatures act in a way which is obedient to God’s predestination, wisdom, binding, ordering, and governing, then how can God not approve of those actions? However, we are also told that God is not the author or approver of sin. Westminster Confession (A.D. 1647) by Matt Slick | Nov 25, 2008 ... 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. God, as the primary and efficient cause of all things, is not only the Author of those actions done by His elect as actions, but also as they are good actions, whereas, on the other hand, though He may be said to be the Author of all the actions done by the wicked, yet He is not the Author of them in a moral and compound sense as they are sinful; but physically, simply and sensu diviso [1] as … This confession of faith clearly states that the fall of mankind, the rebellion of Lucifer and his followers, and every sin of man occurs because of God’s almighty power, wisdom, and goodness. Consequently, John Calvin concludes that if God wills and desires a sinful action, He must have a good and holy intention for it. So in bringing sin to pass he does not himself commit sin. because it illustrates how God can decree all things, yet be free of sin Himself 6. First, they insisted that God is holy and righteous while decreeing sin. Of Free Will God hath endued the will of man with that natural liberty, that it is neither forced, nor, by … The excerpts below (and in the next 3 parts of this series) are not available elsewhere on the web. It then directly contradicts these claims by stating that God neither authors those actions, nor approves of them. "Of God's Eternal Decree". I. Many of these are extra-scriptural terms; none of them are perfectly easy to define in this context. The Westminster Confession of Faith appears to explicitly state that God is the author of sin. If that argument is sound, then a Reformed doctrine of the sovereignty of God does not imply that God is the author of sin. [I]t seems that if God causes sin and evil, he must be to blame for it. Lest there be confusion over language: the “author/story” model of God’s relation to creatures, which I [will advocate later], does not make God the “author of sin” in this sense. . The We stminster Confession of Faith Chapter I Of the Holy Scripture I. Required fields are marked *. To deny this, or to charge God with wickedness on account of it, is not open to a Bible-believing Christian. The confession affirms both because the Bible teaches both, but it does not attempt to reconcile them completely, only to declare what the Bible declares without diminishing one truth in favor of another. Now theologians have found it difficult to formulate in general terms how God acts to bring about those sinful actions. The Westminster Confession of Faith is still used as an expression of sound biblical doctrine. For further clarification of this issue, let us examine another portion of The Westminster Confession of Faith, “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.”[2]. God is holy, so God cannot be responsible for creating and causing sin. God foreknows and foreordains everything, including evil; nevertheless, he is not the author of sin. Chapter III "Of God's Eternal Decree" God from all eternity, did, by the most wise and holy counsel of … But I am not conflating the two (nor does the Westminster Confession of Faith). Instead, they repeatedly contradict themselves. Nothing about that model implies that God commits or approves of sin. 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