God’s Sovereignty
and the Fall of Man

“God’s Sovereignty and the Fall of Man”

The question was posed, whether God had a role in causing the Fall of man, insomuch that God permitted it to happen, when He could have otherwise stopped the whole thing from happening.

Norman Geisler states: “...God made the fact of freedom; we are responsible for the acts of freedom.”  (Chosen But Free, p.23, emphasis mine)

However, John Calvin seemed conflicted on this point:

John Calvin states: “They deny that it is ever said in distinct terms, God decreed that Adam should perish by his revolt. As if the same God, who is declared in Scripture to do whatsoever he pleases, could have made the noblest of his creatures without any special purpose. They say that, in accordance with free-will, he was to be the architect of his own fortune, that God had decreed nothing but to treat him according to his desert. If this frigid fiction is received, where will be the omnipotence of God, by which, according to his secret counsel on which every thing depends, he rules over all? But whether they will allow it or not, predestination is manifest in Adam’s posterity. It was not owing to nature that they all lost salvation by the fault of one parent. Why should they refuse to admit with regard to one man that which against their will they admit with regard to the whole human race? Why should they in caviling lose their labour? Scripture proclaims that all were, in the person of one, made liable to eternal death. As this cannot be ascribed to nature, it is plain that it is owing to the wonderful counsel of God. It is very absurd in these worthy defenders of the justice of God to strain at a gnat and swallow a camel. I again ask how it is that the fall of Adam involves so many nations with their infant children in eternal death without remedy unless that it so seemed meet to God? Here the most loquacious tongues must be dumb. The decree, I admit, is, dreadful; and yet it is impossible to deny that God foreknew what the end of man was to be before he made him, and foreknew, because he had so ordained by his decree.” (Institutes of Christian Religion, Book 3, Chapter 23, Section 7, emphasis mine)

John Calvin writes: “But now, removing from God all proximate causation of the act, I at the same time remove from Him all guilt and leave man alone liable. It is therefore wicked and calumnious to say that I make the fall of man one of the works of God. But how it was ordained by the foreknowledge and decree of God what mans future was without God being implicated as associate in the fault as the author or approver of transgression, is clearly a secret so much excelling the insight of the human mind, that I am not ashamed to confess ignorance.” (Concerning the Eternal Predestination of God, pp.123-124, emphasis mine)

Calvinist. R.C. Sproul, states: “But Adam and Eve were not created fallen. They had no sin nature. They were good creatures with a free will. Yet they chose to sin. Why? I don’t know. Nor have I found anyone yet who does know.” (Chosen By God, p.31, emphasis mine)

Calvinism seems to crash on this point.

Question:  Was God sovereign in that He could have prevented the Fall? If so, does that make God the primary cause of the Fall of man? In other words, if God could have prevented the Fall in the first place, does that mean that the primary reason why people are eternally damned is because God, while He could have prevented it, chose not to? Therefore, even if one does chose to go to Hell, by rejecting the Gospel, do they end up there because of their choice, or because of God’s choice to allow it all to happen? Are millions going to suffer in Hell for all eternity, primarily because God, who could have stopped it, simply chose not to, or perhaps, wanted it to happen that way, for a higher, hidden purpose?
Answer:  By this logic, would you blame the father of the Prodigal Son, for not only permitting his son to leave, but also giving him the money from his share of the family inheritance? When the Prodigal Son was in the pig pen, starving, did he ever blame his father, as the primary cause of all of his troubles? If if can’t be shown that the father is negligently at fault, then neither can it be accused of God either.