St. Augustine: God creates evil

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ServantofGod

Puritan Board Junior
The Coluthians are called such after a certain Coluthus, who said that God did not create evils, contrary to what is written: "I, God, creating evils(Isaiah 45:7)". The Florinians are called such after Florinus, who, in an opposite way, said that God did create evils, contrary to what is written: "God made all things, and behold, they were very good(Genesis 1:31)". And consequently, although they stated contrary things, both were resisting the divine statements. For God does create evil, by imposing most just punishments, which Coluthus did not understand; but He does not create evil natures and substances insofar as they are natures and substances, wherein Florinus erred.

St. Augustine: De haeresibus
 

panta dokimazete

Panting Donkey Machete
It really depends on how you define "create" - right? - does God "create" nothing by removing something - that is - does God "create" darkness by removing light? Our language and reason are too limited to fully understand or describe the interrelationship between what God "allows" vs what God "creates", that is why it is good to have and trust the Scriptures:

1 Timothy 4:4
For everything created by God is good, and nothing is to be rejected if it is received with gratitude;

1 John 1:5
This is the message we have heard from Him and announce to you, that God is Light, and in Him there is no darkness at all.

Romans 8:28
28And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.
 

ChristopherPaul

Puritan Board Senior
God must be the ultimate creator of evil or else He can not be God in that something somewhere trumped Him and is outside His control. A distinction must be made between being the ultimate cause and the direct author. God is the ultimate cause of the holocaust but not the author.
 

ServantofGod

Puritan Board Junior
If I am interpreting Augustine correctly, I believe he is saying this: God creating evil is more of God "causing" evil to happen to complete His purposes, or as Augustine said, to impose just punishments. For example, raising up the wicked Assyrians, to do evil to the Israelites, for their rejection of God. Or the hardening of Pharoah, so that he might sin, so that God's purpose may be fulfilled. It was an argument against those who would say that evil is outside of God's purposes/allowance.

God does not create sinful natures though, He does not create men AS evil, nor does He create anything that IS evil, which is different from Him creating something TO BE evil.
 

panta dokimazete

Panting Donkey Machete
I agree that God causes evil - natural and moral - since He is the "primary cause" - I agree that God "creates" natural evil (that is - directing natural forces to impact Man according to His will).

I do not agree that God willfully creates moral evil, but I do believe He allows it and uses it, when appropriate, to work out His decreed will.

Luke 24:7
...the Son of Man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, and be crucified, and the third day rise again."
 
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