Johannes Wollebius on the Permissive Decree

   Posted by: CalvinandCalvinism   in Divine Permission of Sin


III. Besides the will of God, there are no causes which can be contrary to his will. Many things indeed can be contrary to what God wants [voluntas signi], which nevertheless conform to the divine plan [voluntas beneplaciti]. God did not will man’s sin, and indeed most strictly forbade it. Nevertheless, at the same time he decreed it according to his will [beneplaciti], as a means of revealing his glory.

IV. Both good and evil, therefore, result from the decree and will of God; the former he causes, and the latter he permits.

V. Nevertheless, the decree and will of God are in no sense the cause of evil or sin, although whatever God decrees takes place of necessity. Since evils are decreed not effectively, but permissively, the decree of God is not the cause of evil. Nor are the decrees of God the cause of evil on account of the inevitability of their result, since they bring about results not by a coercive necessity but merely by an immutable one.

Johannes Wollebius, Compendium Theologiae Christianae,” in John W. Beardslee III, Reformed Dogmatics (Grand Rapids, Michigan: Baker, 1977), 48. [Originally published in 1626. Keep in mind this is a smaller dogmatic work and so his comments on various topics will not be extensive.]

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