How would one define ordain, decree, or author?

Discussion in 'Calvinism & The Doctrines of Grace' started by pbc561, Jun 16, 2011.

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  1. pbc561

    pbc561 Puritan Board Freshman

    How would one define the biblical concept of God ordaining or decreeing something such as the fall, and how would someone define the concept of "authoring" something to come to pass and it's differences?
     
  2. rbcbob

    rbcbob Puritan Board Graduate

    These words can all indicate causation-


    Author
    1 a : one that originates or creates : source <software authors> <film authors> <the author of this crime>
    b capitalized : god 1

    2 : the writer of a literary work (as a book)


    Ordain
    1 : to invest officially (as by the laying on of hands) with ministerial or priestly authority
    2 a : to establish or order by appointment, decree, or law : enact <we the people…do ordain and establish this Constitution — United States Constitution>
    b : destine, foreordain

    Context will decide.
     
  3. pbc561

    pbc561 Puritan Board Freshman

    What's the context for WCF ch. 3 point 1 for the word "author"?
     
    Last edited: Jun 16, 2011
  4. rbcbob

    rbcbob Puritan Board Graduate

    The context is:

    which accounts for absolutely all things which ever come to pass in time by noting that these very things were ordained (2:1 and/or 2:2) before time. As one theologian points out, God is not the author (1:a) of sin; God has foreordained that it occur but in such a way that He is not accountable for it - there is none to whom He gives accounting of His decree.
     
  5. pbc561

    pbc561 Puritan Board Freshman

    So if God were the author of sin, how would it look like in contrast to what we get in the Scriptures about his sovereignty and ordaining everything? And what is the way he foreordains everything "in such a way that He is not accountable for it"? Lastly, does God desire to show his wrath more than He hates sin?
     
  6. rbcbob

    rbcbob Puritan Board Graduate

    "So if God were the author of sin, how would it look like in contrast to what we get in the Scriptures about his sovereignty and ordaining everything? "

    It is quite literally inconceivable that God be the author of sin. *"You are of purer eyes than to behold evil, *And cannot look on wickedness."Hab. 1:13

    "And what is the way he foreordains everything "in such a way that He is not accountable for it"? "

    That this is so is certain. How it is so is probably beyond our ability to grasp. Jonathan Edwards attempts to wade thorough these deep waters speaking of God's withdrawal being a negative force wherein evil comes to be. But this is all very speculative.*
     
  7. MW

    MW Puritan Board Doctor

    Sin is a relation to the law of God and requires a sinful agent to perform it. God is not under the law but is the Lawgiver. He ordains actions as actions, not as sins. It is the sinful agent which makes actions sinful.
     
  8. pbc561

    pbc561 Puritan Board Freshman

    Can a non-sinful agent perform it, such as a pre-fall Adam? And would decreeing a soldier to murder an enemy be a good analogy as to how ordaining a sinful action is not in itself sin?
     
  9. MW

    MW Puritan Board Doctor

    On the first question, Adam was mutable with the ability to be corrupted. At the point his will was corrupted he was a sinful agent capable of sinning.

    On the second question, "murder" is probably not the best choice of words and the illustration is not that helpful because the decree in this instance is a command. While God has decreed sinful actions He does not command them. Also, a commanding officer ordering a soldier to kill the enemy would be conceived as a good action in the case of just war.

    A better example might be provided by the biblical illustrations of Joseph being sold into slavery or the Jews calling for the crucifixion of Jesus. In both cases the actions are judged as sinful and ordained by God. In both cases the sinfulness of the action is directly attributable to the sinful men who committed them while the action itself is regarded as the result of God's good providence.
     
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