Yesterday (January 30) one of my favorite Calvinist interlocutors posted this comment here:
“The real difficulty that I have with the Arminian doctrinal position on the question of the origin of evil, as expressed here by Dr. Olson and in his book “Against Calvinism”, is best illustrated by the story Dr. Olson relates in the book of a question posed by one of Dr. Olson’s students at the end of a class Dr. Olson was teaching on Calvinism’s doctrine of God’s sovereignty. The question posed by the student was, “If it was revealed to you in a way you couldn’t question or deny that the true God actually is as Calvinism says and rules as Calvinism affirms, would you still worship him?” Without a moment’s hesitation Dr. Olson responded that, “No, I would not because I could not. Such a God would be a moral monster.”
Scripture teaches that when considering the question of evil and suffering there is an incorrect and a correct way to view God’s morality/justness/fairness/goodness. The incorrect way says that there is a rule or law of morality/justness/fairness/goodness against which both ourselves and God are held accountable. According to this view, when we are confronted with the question of evil and suffering – or, with some incomprehensible circumstance – we seek to address it by appealing to the rule or law. This is what Dr. Olson has done, in my view, in his response to the student, although I am certain he doesn’t see it that way. In so doing, he has placed the rule or law above God and made God subject to it. If it were revealed to Dr. Olson that the God described by Calvinism is truly the way God is – as incomprehensible as that circumstance seemingly would be to Dr. Olson’s mind – then Dr. Olson would be compelled by the rule or law to cease his love and worship of God.
The correct way says that God himself is the rule/law/standard. He alone is the judge of such matters. When we as finite created beings do not understand something, or when we struggle with seemingly incomprehensible earthly circumstances, we appeal directly to our Creator in prayer, humbly acknowledging our limitations in the face of God’s incomprehensible goodness and his sovereignty in all things.
This is the message of the book of Job. This is the message, though some will no doubt disagree with my interpretation of these well trod battleground scriptures between Calvinists and Arminians, of the potter/clay analogy referenced by OT prophets Isaiah (64:8) and Jeremiah (18) and again by Paul in his letter to the Romans (9).
We are not to question God because it is not given to us as created beings to understand God’s ways and purposes. We are simply to love and to trust in him completely – independent of our circumstances, as incomprehensible as they may seem, or of what our minds can conceive that may or may not possibly be revealed to us at some future point about God.
This is the essential consequence of Calvinism’s doctrine of the sovereignty of God for the Christian: No circumstance could possibly exist that would cause the Christian who adheres to this doctrine to cease in his love and worship of God.”