10 Antics with Semantics

Robert C. Sproul Jr. makes the statement, “I am not accusing God of sinning; I am suggesting that he created sin.”[1] How can such a statement be made? What is the difference between a sinner and someone who creates sin? Are they not the same thing? In his attempt to hold onto unscriptural beliefs, the Calvinist willingly accepts both sides of an argument even though those sides are in staunch opposition to each other.


The Bible speaks often about workers of iniquity. Luke 13:27 says, But he shall say, I tell you, I know you not whence ye are; depart from me, all ye workers of iniquity.”  The term “worker of iniquity” means “to do or make wickedness or unrighteousness.”[2]


Luke 13:27 reveals that God punishes not only the action of evil but also the creation of evil. We see further evidence of this in Micah 2:1, “Woe to them that devise iniquity …” God is opposed to every form of evil—be it the act of evil or simply the creation and plotting of evil. This is why we see God condemn lustful intent as equivalent to adultery in Matthew 5:28, “But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart.” It is not merely the act itself that is evil but the plotting, devising, and creation of the act which is considered just as evil by God.


Clearly, a holy God cannot create evil. A holy God cannot intend or will evil. A holy God cannot be pleased with evil. Nevertheless, John Calvin says that “nothing happens other than what God decrees.”[3] John Piscador says, “God necessitates man unto sin.”[4] And Augustus Toplady claims, “God worketh all things in all men even wickedness in the wicked …”[5]


These three quotations are a natural progression of thought. If nothing happens other than what God decrees, then God must decree sin. If God’s decree is always accomplished, then God must necessitate man unto sin. In order for this to happen, God must accept responsibility for working all things in man including the evil He wishes to accomplish.


Calvinism attributes all credit for all things solely to God. This sounds spiritual until one realizes that this must mean that God is also given credit for creating and causing sin. Given the doctrine of Calvinism, there can be no other conclusion but to accept that God is the author of sin.


  1. Sproul, Almighty Over All, 54.
  2. “Worker,” “Iniquity,” Strong’s #2040, 93, Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance, 32, 8.
  3. Calvin, Acts, 66.
  4. Benson, The Revival and Rejection of an Old Traditional Heresy, 39.
  5. Toplady, The Works of Augustus M. Toplady, Vol. V, 210, Source: Benson, The Revival and Rejection of an Old Traditional Heresy, 146.


Is God the Author of Sin? Copyright © 2011 by Timothy Zebell. All Rights Reserved.


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