Author Of Sin

We now come to Chapter 17. In this chapter Boettner continues to list the various objections that are leveled against the Reformed Doctrine of Predestination. The next objection put forward, which is also the title of this chapter, is “That it makes God the author of sin.” Boettner writes:


The objection may be raised that if God has foreordained the entire course of events in this world He must be the Author of Sin. To begin with, we readily admit that the existence of sin in a universe which is under the control of a God who is infinite in His wisdom, power, holiness, and justice, is an inscrutable mystery which we in our present state of knowledge cannot fully explain” (p. 228).

Boettner attempts to conceal his implicit calumny of the wisdom, power, holiness, and justice of God with a cloak of faux epistemic humility. Did Boettner just contract a case of selective amnesia regarding the fact that God had an eternal purpose to accomplish in Christ Jesus (Ephesians 3:11)? How is God to go about accomplishing His eternal purpose apart from ordaining and actively causing the fall for His own glory?

“As yet we only see through a glass darkly. Sin can never be explained on the grounds of logic or reason, for it is essentially illogical and unreasonable” (p. 228).

It is true that Boettner’s sin of false humility is “essentially illogical and unreasonable.” But it does not follow that a logical and rational explanation cannot be given for Boettner’s sin. Does Boettner think that God is able to explain sin “on the grounds of logic or reason”? Is Boettner aware that the apostle Paul put forth a logical and rational reason for why God caused sin to enter into His creation? Or is Boettner just suppressing Paul’s God-breathed words by means of pseudo-pious humility and epistemic arrogance?

“And while it is not ours to explain how God in His secret counsel rules and overrules the sinful acts of men, it is ours to know that whatever God does He never deviates from His own perfect justice” (pp. 228-229).

It isn’t yours to explain God’s “secret providential workings”? Really? That’s funny. Since that’s exactly what you’ve been doing for the last 100 pages or so. Boettner SAYS it’s not “ours” to explain, and then hypocritically proceeds to give a “partial explanation”:

“A partial explanation of sin is found in the fact that while man is constantly commanded in Scripture not to commit it, he is, nevertheless, permitted to commit it if he chooses to do so. No compulsion is laid on the person; he is simply left to the free exercise of his own nature, and he alone is responsible. This, however, is never a bare permission, for with full knowledge of the nature of the person and of his tendency to sin, God places him or allows him to be in a certain environment, knowing perfectly well that the particular sin will be committed” (p. 229).

Once again, the word “compulsion” is much too weak to describe God’s active causation of sin in His creatures. Using the crucifixion of Jesus Christ as an example, HOW did God place Judas Iscariot “in a certain environment” without CAUSING him to move into that environment? If Judas Iscariot is a “free agent” who is “simply left to the free exercise of his own nature,” then what is to keep him from choosing to NOT betray Christ? Wicked and pseudo-pious Calvinists like Loraine Boettner cannot coherently explain how God in His providence makes specific sins absolutely certain.


Even the fall of Adam, and through him the fall of the race, was not by chance or accident, but was so ordained in the secret counsels of God. We are told that Christ was “foreknown indeed (as a sacrifice for sin) before the foundation of the world,” I Peter 1:20. Paul speaks of “the eternal purpose” which was purposed in Jesus Christ our Lord, Eph. 3:l1. The writer of Hebrews refers to “the blood of an eternal covenant,” 13:20. And since the plan of redemption is thus traced back into eternity, the plan to permit man to fall into the sin from which he was thus to be redeemed must also extend back into eternity; otherwise there would have been no occasion for redemption. In fact the plan for the whole course of the world’s events, including the fall, redemption, and all other events, was before God in its completeness before He ever brought the creation into existence; and He deliberately ordered it that this series of events, and not some other series, should become actual. And unless the fall was in the plan of God, what becomes of our redemption through Christ?” (p. 234).

Oh! So Boettner DOES remember that Ephesians 3:11 is in the Bible! Then what’s with Boettner’s nonsensical babbling about all this sin and evil stuff being an “inscrutable mystery”? I’m not exactly sure. It might be that since Scripture teaches that God deliberately ordained the fall Boettner has to voice agreement with it. But when it comes to explaining HOW God’s deliberate ordering came about then Boettner arrogantly removes the “mystery card” from his breast pocket. This flashing of a mystery card is part of a card trick performed in order to deflect attention from his implicit teaching that it is man, and NOT God who deliberately orders all sinful events, including the fall of Adam and the crucifixion of Christ. Boettner’s profession that God deliberately orders events that He does not cause is a total facade. In Boettner’s blackened brain man is the ultimate metaphysical cause of his own sin, of his own fall in the garden of Eden. This is the devil’s lie: “You shall be as God” (Genesis 3:5). Next Page (37)

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