I have mentioned the idea of the Two Wills of God and my thought is that there are some (Armenians, Free Willies) who scoff at the notion.
Here is a quick summary:
The Perfect Will of God – What God would want to happen if there was no sin in the world or if the earth wasn’t fallen. What God wants people to do.
The Permissive Will of God – what God ordains (causes) to happen, even though it is evil.
It is with the Permissive Will (or my definition of it) that I think an Armenian would have problems. They would say – Don’t say he causes the bad stuff – say instead that he allows it.
So. . . how about a proof text for my definition of these two wills?
“For He (the LORD) does not willingly afflict or grieve the children of men.” Lamentations 3:32 I would read this to mean – It is not God’s will that humans are grieved or afflicted. So far so good.
So given this verse, here goes the argument:
Arminian: See now, here’s proof of what I’m saying. You Calvinists say that God causes bad things to happen. But look at that verse. If God doesn’t will it, then he won’t cause it to happen. If it happens that a person is grieved, don’t blame it on God, because it says right here that it isn’t his will.
Jamsco: No, the will spoken of here is God’s Perfect Will. He (with his Permissive will) may ordain, or cause people to be grieved even though it is against his Perfect will.
Armenian: You are only saying that because you need to as a Calvinist. If you say that God doesn’t actually cause bad things to happen then all of your Sovereignty talk falls apart.
Jamsco: You are correct, it would. But this isn’t why I say it. I say it because it’s biblical. The bible clearly states that God causes grief, even though.
Armenian: You might find a verse that you can twist around to sound like it says something like that, but not clearly stated.
Jamsco: Well, what about “Although He (God) causes grief, he will have compassion”
Armenian: Did you add that emphasis?
Jamsco: I did.
Armenian: Ha! I thought so, because I was pretty sure there’s no bolding in the original Greek or Hebrew. In any case, you must be getting that verse from some completely different context.
Jamsco: Not so. Do you want to know where I got that verse?
Armenian: Yes . . . Uh-oh, Why are you grinning so smugly like that, you weasel?
Jamsco: Because that verse is Lamentations 3:31 – the verse directly before the first one. So it is clear that while it is not God’s will that Grief should happen, he still causes it to happen. So there must be two kinds of will. Q.E.D.
Armenian: <Here the transcription ends because, honestly, Jamsco doesn’t know what the Armenian would say next. But he would love to hear from any arguer, Armenian or otherwise, with what they would say.>