Is God the ultimate cause of all things, evil included?
In one sense, you could say that God is responsible for evil in that he created individuals with the capacity to sin. But in so saying, we would also have to say that God is responsible for redemption, too. When we think about the process of inspiration, for instance, we cannot fathom how God could fully inspire the very words of Scripture yet not violate the personalities of the writers. Their personalities in fact were so free in the composition that often, if not usually, they did not even realize that they were writing holy writ. How can we explain both the human freedom and the divine sovereignty in the process of inspiration? I don’t think we can. But we can accept it.
Regarding God and evil, I’d say the same thing. Yes, God is absolutely sovereign; He is absolutely good. And his sovereignty and his goodness cannot be compartmentalized; he is fully sovereign in his goodness and fully good in his sovereignty. Yet, at the same time, God decrees things that he does not desire and desires things that he does not decree. No contradiction, even though there is an apparent contradiction.
We must affirm what Scripture affirms. And when it gets beyond our comprehension, we must still affirm it. It’s a thing called faith.
Related Topics: Theology Proper (God)