Why Did God Allow the Fall?

James Anderson and James N. Anderson | June 27, 2017


It’s a question that puzzles new converts and terrifies Sunday school teachers. Indeed, it’s a conundrum most of us have wrestled with, and for good reason. The fall of Adam wasn’t merely the first human sin. It was a calamitous act for the world and the human race. Because of the fall, “All mankind . . . lost communion with God, are under his wrath and curse, and so made liable to all miseries in this life, to death itself, and to the pains of hell forever” (Westminster Shorter Catechism, Q19).

Why would God permit such a tragic event, such an act of flagrant rebellion, in full knowledge of its horrific consequences?

A friend of mine quipped, “I can answer that one in three words: I don’t know!” Joking aside, his response does raise an important issue. Would it be a big problem if we didn’t have a good answer to that question? Would our inability to answer it give us any reason to doubt Christianity?

Hardly. In reality, every worldview raises some questions its advocates can’t answer, so the mere existence of an unanswered (even unanswerable) question doesn’t necessarily count against a worldview. It may simply imply a lack…


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