Calvin on God’s Purpose for Evil

Moreover, we must add, that although the paternal favour and beneficence, as well as the judicial severity of God, is often conspicuous in the whole course of his Providence, yet occasionally as the causes of events are concealed, the thought is apt to rise, that human affairs are whirled about by the blind impulse of Fortune, or our carnal nature inclines us to speak as if God were amusing himself by tossing men up and down like balls. It is true, indeed, that if with sedate and quiet minds we were disposed to learn, the issue would at length make it manifest, that the counsel of God was in accordance with the highest reason, that his purpose was either to train his people to patience, correct their depraved affections, tame their wantonness, inure them to self-denial, and arouse them from torpor; or, on the other hand, to cast down the proud, defeat the craftiness of the ungodly, and frustrate all their schemes.
Institutes 1.17.1

Calvin, John. The John Calvin Collection: 12 Classic Works . Waxkeep Publishing. Kindle Edition.


  1. Here is where Calvinism shows itself to be PURE DOUBLE-MINDEDNESS

    In Theological Determinism (aka Calvinism) the THEOS determines all things exclusively and without exception. In Calvin’s words “every part of everything”.

    Therefore it follows:
    – If the creature has a “carnal nature” – then Calvin’s god determined every part of every aspect that “carnal nature” – at the foundation of the world. And the creature has no say in the matter.

    If the creature is “disposed to learn” then Calvin’s god determined every part of every aspect of that also at the foundation of the world – and the creature has no say in that matter either.

    If the creature has “depraved affections” – then Calvin’s god determined every part of every aspect of that – also at the foundation of the world – and the creature has no say in the matter of those either.

    Calvin is forced into DOUBLE-MINDEDNESS – which he admits:
    …each ought to so to apply himself to his office, AS THOUGH nothing were determined about any part.” – Concerning the eternal predestination of God

    Calvin holds as TRUE – the belief that the THEOS determines every part of everything.

    However in order to retain an alliance with scripture he must speak *AS-IF* what he believes to be infallible TRUTH is FALSE.

    A clear case of PURE DOUBLE-MINDEDNESS

    1. I had a Calvinist tell me the other day that people before the fall could please God. I asked him in what way could a simple, immutable, and impassible being be “pleased”. He really didn’t have an answer.

      1. I know what you mean Christopher! I engage with Calvinists who are almost guaranteed to make statements which can only be logically coherent predicated on “Foreknowledge via observation” or “Mere Permission”. Both of which as Calvinists they expressly reject.

        The very things the doctrine strictly rejects – they are constantly trying to smuggle back into their system – in camouflaged forms. If you look for it – you’re guaranteed to see it.

        They have such a huge love-hate relationship with their doctrine. Its crazy, sad, and hilarious all at the same time.

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