Henry B. Smith (1815-1877) on Divine Permission of Sin

   Posted by: CalvinandCalvinism   in Divine Permission of Sin


2.  The permissive and efficient will of God. This is the distinction made all through the history of Calvinistic theology down to the time of the Hopkinsian school in New England. God permits the morally evil and effects the good. In respect to sin, He for wise reasons simply determines not to prevent it, all things considered. The efficient will of God has respect to what God directly produces through his own agency. The importance of this distinction is, that we cannot logically or rationally or morally conceive that God would directly produce by his positive efficiency what He forbids. Accordingly we must employ some milder term than efficiency with respect to the relation of God to moral evil, and the term selected is permission. This may not be the best, but it is well to retain it until we get a better.

Henry B. Smith, System of Christian Theology, 2nd ed., (New York: A.C. Armstrong and Son, 1884), 31. [Underlining mine.]

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