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beloved57 said:
Je says
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While one would admit that the existence of sin in the universe is under the jurisdiction of God who is infinite in His wisdom, power, holiness, and justice, this does not make God sin’s author.


Then how did it get in Gods universe if God did not create it ?

according to rev 4: 11 "You are worthy, our Lord and God,
to receive glory and honor and power,
for you created all things,
and by your will they were created
and have their being."


Augustine called it a privation of the good. As Greg Johnson states, Mani (Manichean cult) had taught that there were two eternal creator-Gods, one evil and one good—the evil God accounting for evil in the world, the good God accounting for goodness. Augustine wrote On the Nature of the Good to demonstrate that evil as a created thing does not exist. Since there is no evil thing in creation, an evil creator-God is irrational. Evil is not a thing, but a condition that good things have. God created all things good (Genesis 1), and evil is a condition they have when they have lost some of their initial goodness. Even Satan has no creative power, but is himself just a fallen creature.

Sex, for example, is a good gift of God. Adultery is the perversion of a good thing by robbing it of the good context for which it was designed. People are not evil in the sense that a human liver is a bad thing. Rather, humans are evil insofar as they have fallen from the condition in which God first designed them. Evil, then, is not a thing. Evil is a lack. Evil is a negative. Evil is a privation of the good.

This is even how human language has developed. Injustice, for example, assumes the prior existence of justice. Injustice is a lack of justice. Immorality is a privation of morality, unkindness a lack of kindness. Sin, biblically speaking, is a failure to achieve God’s standard of perfection, falling short of our design, a “missing the mark”. R.C. Sproul makes the observation well: “Our language betrays the fact that to think about and conceptualize evil, we must do it against the backdrop of the good” (Reason to Believe, 127).

Thus a philosopher like Descartes in the seventeenth century could answer the skeptics who argued that if God exists, he must be evil. Descartes agreed that there could be nothing in the effect (creation) that was not also in the cause (God), but added that evil is not a thing, but a lack. The creation’s now having less goodness does not require a reality of evil within God’s nature. It only requires that beings with free will [in the Reformed sense of the phrase] chose to seek a lesser good than the good for which they were created—a seeking of lesser goods that offends God and is therefore called evil.

Geisler states,

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The theist responds that evil is not a thing or substance. Rather it is a lack or privation of a good thing that God made. Evil is a deprivation of some particular good. The essence of this position is summarized:

1. God created every substance.
2. Evil is not a substance (but a privation in a substance).
3. Therefore, God did not create evil.

Evil is not a substance but a corruption of the good substances God made. Evil is like rust to a car or rot to a tree. It is a lack in good things, but it is not a thing in itself. Evil is like a wound in an arm or moth-holes in a garment. It exists only in another but not in itself. It is important to note that a privation is not the same as mere absence. Sight is absent in a stone as well as in a blind person. But the absence of sight in the stone is not a privation. Absence of something that ought to be there. Since the stone by nature ought not to see, it is not deprived of sight, as is the blind man.

Evil, then is a privation of some good that ought to be there. It is not a mere negation. To say that evil is not a thing, but a lack in things, is not to claim that it is not real. Evil is a real lack in good things, as the blind person knows only so well. Evil is not a real substance, but it is a real privation in good substances. It is not an actual entity but a real corruption in an actual entity. …

Classical theists described things in terms of their four causes: (1) efficient; (2) final; (3) formal, and (4) material. A human being has God as the efficient cause, God’s glory and their good as final cause, a soul as formal cause and a body as the material cause. However, since evil is not a substance, it has no formal cause, and its material cause is a good substance.

Efficient Cause- Free choice [in the Reformed sense of the phrase]
Final Cause- None. Evil is the lack of order.
Formal Cause- None. Evil is the privation of form.
Material Cause- A good substance

The efficient cause of moral evil is free choice [in the Reformed sense of the phrase], not directly but indirectly. There is no purpose (final cause) of evil. It is lack of proper order to the good end. Evil has no formal cause of its own. Rather, it is the destruction of form in another. Its material cause is a good but not its own. It exists only in a good thing as the corruption of it.


Reformed and Always Reforming,