The Dogmatician: The Mystery of Evil

The fallen world in which we live rests on the foundations of a creation that was very good inasmuch as it came forth from the hands of God. But that world did not long continue to exist in its original goodness. It had scarcely been created before sin crept into it. The mystery of existence is made even more incomprehensible by the mystery of evil. Almost at the same moment creatures came, pure and splendid, from the hand of their Maker, they were deprived of all their luster, and stood, corrupted and impure, before his holy face. Sin ruined the entire creation, converting its righteousness into guilt, its holiness into impurity, its glory into shame, its blessedness into misery, its harmony into disorder, and its light into darkness. But where does that evil come from? What is the origin of sin? Scripture vindicates God and presents a continuous theodicy when it proclaims and maintains that God is in no way the cause of sin. He, Scripture says, is righteous, holy, far from wickedness (Deut. 32:4; Job 34:10; Ps. 92:15; Isa. 6:3; Hab. 1:13), a light in whom there is no darkness (1 John 1:5); he tempts no one ( James 1:13), is an overflowing fountain of all that is good, immaculate, and pure (Ps. 36:9; James 1:17). He prohibits sin in his law (Exod. 20) and in the conscience of every human (Rom. 2:14-15), does not delight in wickedness (Ps. 5:4), but hates it and demonstrates his wrath against it (Ps. 45:7; Rom. 1:18). He judges it and atones for it in Christ (Rom. 3:24-26), cleanses his people from it by forgiveness and sanctification (1 Cor. 1:30) and, in the event of continued disobedience, wills to punish it with both temporal and eternal penalties (Rom. 1:18; 2:8).  —Herman Bavinck, Reformed Dogmatics

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