May 28, 2014

Calvin on God's Secret Will

John Calvin:
The one who is supremely good wisely uses evil for the damnation of those he justly predestines to punishment and for the salvation of those he predestined to grace. So far as men are concerned, they did what God did not will; but as far as the omnipotence of God is concerned, it was impossible for them to accomplish anything without it. So when they were acting contrary to the will of God, they were in fact accomplishing his will. Therefore, the great works of the Lord are carefully crafted in respect of all that he wills, so that in a wonderful and ineffable way nothing happens contrary to his will, even that which is contrary to his will! For nothing happens if he does not permit it, and he does not permit anything unwillingly, but willingly. Neither does his permitting an evil make that evil good, except insofar as, by his omnipotence, he brings it about that good comes from the evil. [1]

1. John Calvin, The Secret Providence of God (Crossway, 2010), p. 81.

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