Intro

This blog gains its name from the book Steele's Answers published in 1912. It began as an effort to blog through that book, posting each of the Questions and Answers in the book in the order in which they appeared. I began the project on Dec. 10, 2011. I completed it on July 11, 2015. Along the way, I began to also post snippets from Dr. Steele's other writings — and from some other holiness writers of his times. I still do that every once in a while.

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Does God Permit Sin?

QUESTION: Can it be truthfully said that God permits sin?

ANSWER: No. Sin he abhors as being only evil. The most that can be said is that he does not prevent it. This he could have done by the non-creation of free moral agents. If he had been satisfied with things and non-moral animals and had been content to be the only personality in the universe, there would have been no sin. Having created free agents, who may commune with him and love and obey him. he cannot prevent their evil use of their freedom without uncreating them and turning them into machines. This would be an unwise use of his omnipotence, and defeat his purpose. It is no more a limitation of almightiness than it is to say that an earthquake cannot shake a demonstration of Euclid. The sphere of omnipotence is the kingdom of Nature; but in God's moral government it has no place. Even with an almighty trip hammer God could not turn a sinner into a saint against his will. If you wish to know what he can do for a self-surrendering will read Eph. 1:19. The possibility of sin is necessarily involved in the existence of free agents, each of whom is the cause uncaused, the first cause, of his own acts and the creator of his own moral character and eternal destiny.

Steele's Answers pp. 160, 161.