Its been a while since our last post. So, lets recap. Weve been considering the problem of evil as part of a broader discussion of divine providence, and weve noted whether were Arminian, Calvinist or Open Theist we all end up explaining the existence of evil by pointing to some greater good we believe God will bring out of it. Most of us are painfully aware of how much crime,
the trouble is its difficult to determine the good God intends bring out of any particular evil. Because events are interconnected, the good God intends to accomplish through any given event may not be realized until much later. But, that doesnt mean God has left us completely in the dark. As well see, hes given us a picture of the good he intends to bring out of evil in general, and that gives us a basis for trusting he is working each specific instance of evil for good as well.
From a Christian perspective, evil entered the world when Adam and Eve first sinned. From that moment on, though, because their sin infected and corrupted each one of us, weve all had a hand in perpetuating evils existence and the suffering that goes along with it. Thats an interesting problem for Calvinists. As weve noted a number of times throughout this series, from a Calvinist perspective our choices are never random. In any given set of circumstances, we choose what we want most at the time. If thats true, God could have prevented Adam and Eves sin by arranging events in such a way that they were able to avoid any circumstance that would have made them want to sin. Or he could have simply created them with sinless natures to begin with so they never would have wanted to sin under any circumstances.
That raises a question: if he could have prevented it, why did God allow Adam and Eve to sin? Wouldnt it have been better to have nipped it in the bud at the start so evil never would have had a chance to cause so much pain? Although God could have done that, its important to understand our relationship with him would have been substantially different because we wouldnt have seen his goodness as clearly.