Addition after a night’s sleep:
Jim, I have repeatedly tried to keep my contribution here on track, by returning to its origin, which was merely to dispute your contention that accepting Russell’s hypothesis in a universal sense would be tantamount to rigid determinism, which would entail (horrors!) Calvinism.
I have given you Augustine, Aquinas, Arminius, the Catholic Catechism, modern Catholic philosophers, the Orthodox tradition and a number of biblical examples. You have not interacted with these to correct the original point, but persisted in trying to press me to confess that I think God ordains evil so you can cease to have anything to say to me. Maybe that would prove I am a Calvinist, and would only go to confirm what all right-thinking people say about them, etc. I don’t find it helpful.
So let’s take another tack. Back in 2010 BioLogos commissioned an entire series on evolution and sin from George Murphy, from the Lutheran tradition. Unlike, say, Stephen Meyer’s article, it was issued without a spoiler, so presumably was considered a quite valid approach.
Murphy’s argument was:
(1) God created mankind through Darwinian evolution.
(2) Darwinian evolution is intrinsically selfish.
(3) Man is therefore bound to selfishness by his created nature.
(4) Selfishness is sin, and therefore mankind was bound constitutionally to sin .
(5) But it’s OK, because God brings from it the greater good of soul-making (after John Hick’s reworking of Irenaeus).
I found plenty to disagree with in all that at the time, but most crucially I disputed with him that he made God the direct author of sin as the creator of “selfish evolution”, and yet unjustly held it against mankind.
I opposed to it the traditional doctrine from Augustine and beyond that I have drawn on in this thread - that God created man with a nature possessing the ability to sin, but actually righteous. Sin, therefore, becomes a voluntary aberration against created nature, not a determined product of it. A soul-making theology can fit that easily, or not, according to theological taste.
At the same time the tradition teaches the entailment that God, in full foreknowledge and freedom, nevertheless created the world-with-its-sins rather than some other world, and furthermore did so with the eternal purpose of glorifying the Son through his sacrificial conquest of sin - “the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world”: “…in Christ before the foundation of the world.” In that sense, then, God ordained every sinful act in the very performance of creation, but in a metaphysically quite distinct way from Murphy’s physical determinism. His entails a physical inevitability for Adam to sin through evolution (though he actually denies Adam’s existence and puts Paul in error for believing in him): mine God’s mysterious counsel in the (eternal) moment of creation that foreseen sins would de eventu occur, but freely, and be subverted by God to the fulfilment of his good purpose. In that way, God is the author of all events, but man alone accountable for his voluntary sins.
Such an understanding is unavoidable in interpreting some clear biblical teachings, unless one wishes to preach “Lutheran” () physical determinism (or maybe “Lutheran” recruitment of selective Scriptural error to ones cause.
In Luke 22.22 Jesus tells his disciples that the Son of Man “must go as it has been decreed” (horizo), but woe to the man who betrays him. In other words, God has firmly ordained the events of Jesus’s betrayal and death, but only Judas is accountable for his voluntary sin in being the agent of their fulfilment (see also Acts 1.16).
I previously cited Acts 4 (though you offered no counter-interpretation) in which the apostles’ prayer clearly discerns, and Luke endorses, that in the events of their sinful conspiracy against Jesus, the Jewish and gentile leaders did “what your power and will had decided beforehand (pro-orizo) should happen.” Yet it was their own “wickedness” that led them to do it.
To determine an event is to cause it (unless you have some better understanding), and the word “author”, biblically (aitios) means to be the “concrete and active” (Vine) cause of something.
Now I neither know (nor much care) how God’s creatio continua involving quantum events might have been involved in his determination of those biblical events, but I do know that it’s not Calvin’s teaching, but Luke’s. And it seems to me that it is far less likely to make God the author of sin than some non-Calvinistic evolutionary theologies I have mentioned.