Yesterday I began discussing an Adult Sunday School lesson that our teacher (Dr. DeRouchie) presented to show that while God wills, or ordains, that sin happens, he is not the positive or active agent when sin happens. He showed that God is holy and quoted Jonathan Edwards.


<And here let me reiterate that the point that I am bringing out is perhaps the only one that I disagree with either our teacher or Pastor Edwards>


Dr. DeRouchie continued:


Two wills in God? God at times wills that which he hates (e.g., sin) in view of the ultimate universal consequences.


And again he wisely goes for evidence from the bible and he provided an excellant list of bible passages that show that God ordains Sin. I have added the Verb phrase from the key verses:


Biblical Support:

God opposes hatred toward His people, yet ordained that His people be hated in Egypt (Gen 12:3 with Ps 105:25 – “He turned their hearts to hate his people”).


God hardens Pharaoh’s heart but commands him to let his people go (Exod 4:21 with 5:1; 7:3–5 with 7:13, 22; 8:15, 19; 9:12, 16, 35; 10:20, 27; 11:9, 10; 14:4, 8, 17–18).


God makes plain that it is sin for David to take a military census of His people, but He ordains that he do it (2 Sam 24:1 with 10; cf. 1 Chr 21:1).




God views false teaching as evil and will destroy it, but he ordains it to test his people (Rom 16:17–20 & Gal 1:6:6–9 with Deut 13:1–5).


Deut 13:1 “If a prophet or a dreamer of dreams arises among you and gives you a sign or a wonder, 2 and the sign or wonder that he tells you comes to pass, and if he says, ‘Let us go after other gods,’ which you have not known, ‘and let us serve them,’ 3 you shall not listen to the words of that prophet or that dreamer of dreams. For the Lord your God is testing you, to know whether you love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul.



God opposes adultery but ordains that Absalom should lie with his father’s wives (Exod 20:14 with 2 Sam 12:11).


Thus says the Lord, ‘Behold, I will raise up evil against you out of your own house. And I will take your wives before your eyes and give them to your neighbor, and he shall lie with your wives in the sight of this sun. For you did it secretly, but I will do this thing before all Israel and before the sun.’”


2 Sam 12:11

Thus says the Lord, ‘Behold, I will raise up evil against you out of your own house. And I will take your wives before your eyes and give them to your neighbor, and he shall lie with your wives in the sight of this sun.



God forbids rebellion and insubordination against the king, but He ordains that Jeroboam and the ten tribes rebel against Rehoboam (Rom 13:1 with 1 Sam 15:23 & 1 Kgs 12:15–16).


1 Kgs 12:15–16

So the king did not listen to the people, for it was a turn of affairs brought about by the Lord that he might fulfill his word, which the Lord spoke by Ahijah the Shilonite to Jeroboam the son of Nebat.


God opposes unjust killing but ordains the unjustified killing of His Son (Exod 20:13 with Acts 4:28)


27 for truly in this city there were gathered together against your holy servant Jesus, whom you anointed, both Herod and Pontius Pilate, along with the Gentiles and the peoples of Israel, 28 to do whatever your hand and your plan had predestined to take place. 29 


“TO DO whatever your hand . . . Predestined”


Reminder: “Sin is not the fruit of any positive agency or influence of the most High, but on the contrary, arises from the withholding of his action and energy, and under certain circumstances, necessarily follows on the want of his influence.” (Edwards, Freedom of the Will, 404)

Conclusion: God wills that sin be, but not in the same way that he wills us not to sin. The biblical wording demands we understand God’s will in two senses, which Edwards terms “will of decree” (i.e., foreordination) and “will of command.”

. ..


Hmmm. Turned, Hardened, Incited, Tested, Doing, Brought About – these all seem quite Active, or like significant positive agency.


So why do they say there is none?


Can someone help me get comfortable with the ‘no positive agency’ concept? Is it supported biblically? Is it just there to make us feel comfortable with God ordaining sin?


I am Hyper-Compatibleist. See me point out problems with both sides.