Imagine a door. Shut, it is an effective barrier to entry; open, it is an invitation to enter. What enables the same piece of wood, metal, or plastic to function in such opposite ways? It is the hinge on which the door swings. The door’s make-up is unchanged; its state, barrier or entry, is wholly dependent on the direction of the hinge. The hinge itself is also unchanged; open or closed, it is simply reoriented. Now imagine a man created perfectly good becoming evil. Such a transformation would, like a door opening and closing, require a hinge.
The Fall of a Righteous Man
Francis Turretin asks the question that naturally arises from seeing such a radical change: “How could a holy man fall?” This question has presumably been asked ever since Adam and Eve took those fatal bites. It is not hard to imagine Adam himself asking in a befuddled tone, “How did this happen?” The question is an enduring one because man’s original fall from a state of created goodness is one of theology’s most thorny questions: there are prickly results no matter the answer proposed. It is at this point, the Fall, that God’s sovereignty and man’s responsibility intersect and whatever resolution is accepted will have radical effects on subsequent theological development. And, as with most persistent theological debates, there is an element of mystery that seems to shroud the solution, in spite of every best effort to pierce through to an ultimate answer.
This enduring lack of clarity does not, however, forbid further consideration. Indeed, upholding God’s goodness and man’s responsibility in the Fall is a worthy and necessary task. In order to accomplish this goal, a solution would need to identify something in man’s original created nature that was good, but could, without divine sabotage, be turned to sin. This mechanism would be a kind of hinge, present before and after the Fall which could explain its occurrence. One such hinge could be man’s pursuit of happiness, a philosophical tenet held by secular and religious scholars as well as by common experience. Man, it is presupposed, pursues happiness as the end of all his thought and activity. This paper will argue that God created man to pursue his happiness in what he rationally perceived to be the greatest good, that this process was sabotaged by Satan’s deception, and that man’s subsequently flawed reasoning led to the Fall. The problem is not the door, in other words, but the swinging of the hinge.
Why is a Good Man’s Fall an Issue?
A question must first be addressed and that is why the issue of how a good man fell need even be addressed? A quick glance at the ten o’clock news will readily reveal a fallen reality and questioning its origin can seem an unnecessary labor. Ultimately the issue is not the Fall of the creature, it is the goodness of the Creator. How, if God created him “very good”, is it even possible that man fell? More importantly, was God unable to create a wholly good man and thus not omnipotent? Or did He intentionally create a flawed product, deceptively label it “very good” and thus reveal Himself to be morally flawed? In order to defend orthodoxy, both God’s ability and His moral character must be upheld. Examining how a righteous man could become unrighteous is not simply about understanding man: it is about understanding God.
The Nature of Created Man
Given that the greater issue at stake is the nature of God, what was the nature of God’s crowning creation, Man, in the paradise of a pre-Fall world? There is a part of man that is indistinguishable from the stuff that makes up all the rest of creation: “the dust of the ground.” But man is not merely comprised of dust: God breathes “the breath of life” into this dust sculpture and suddenly it becomes something entirely new. Man is a hybrid being with two parts. There has been little consensus throughout theological history on the exact nature of how these two parts, physical and spiritual, interact, but it is biblically certain that man was created “in the image of God.”
How this image of God is communicated to man though, can bring its own issues apart from deciding what it contains. For example, Jonathan Edwards, in his work The Great Christian Doctrine of Original Sin, presents this explanation:
When God made man at first, he implanted in him two kinds of principles. There was an inferior kind, which may be called natural, being the principles of mere human nature; such as self-love, with those natural appetites and passions, which belong to the nature of man, in which his love to his own liberty, honour, and pleasure, were exercised: these, when alone, and left to themselves, are what Scriptures sometimes call flesh. Besides these, there were superior principles, there were spiritual, holy, and divine, summarily comprehended in divine love; wherein consisted the spiritual image of God, and man’s righteousness and true holiness; which are called in Scripture the divine nature.
While his description of man’s image of God being implanted distinct from other parts of his nature is appealing, Edwards’ categories of “inferior” and “superior” rise from outside understanding of the image of God proper and actually lean into the relationship of God and man. This blurring of the lines unnecessarily complicates the subject.
Edwards portrays the Holy Spirit as indwelling Adam from the moment of creation, only departing when man fell into sin: “When man sinned and broke God’s covenant, and fell under his curse, these superior principles left his heart: for indeed God then left him; that communion with God on which these principles depended, entirely ceased; the Holy Spirit, that divine inhabitant, forsook the house.” If Edwards is correct at this point, why did the Holy Spirit’s super-added righteous presence combined with Adam’s original goodness not suffice to prevent the Fall? This state of relationship between God and man would seem to necessarily preclude the Fall or, worse, risk a Fall that almost assuredly implicates God in the guilt of the first sin. After all, the Holy Spirit’s presence in the redeemed believer suffices to grant the possibility of a fallen person not sinning. How much more would that same Spirit’s presence in a wholly righteous man heighten that ability?
Edwards is correct when he argues that man possessed original righteousness. Indeed, he states the case forcefully: “It would have been a disparagement to the holiness of God’s nature, if he had made an intelligent creature unholy.” His placing man’s holiness in the Spirit’s indwelling is not helpful, however. A better way forward is to understand man’s nature as wholly created, materially and spiritually different from God. Man was created for relationship with God. Nonetheless, this relationship was not the same as that enjoyed by redeemed sinners who are indwelt by the Holy Spirit. It is better to understand man’s original righteousness as being wholly good, wholly derived, wholly dependent and yet wholly integral to his created nature. The Triune God was in relationship with Adam, but God’s righteousness and being were external to man.
In all the discussion about the nature of man, it cannot be forgotten that man did, in fact, fall. Man is entirely responsible for this fall and God bears no guilt for it. To accommodate these truths, there must be a firm distinction made between God and His creation. It is on this point that Augustine asserts that God, immutable and sovereign, created the world and Adam and Eve in it, mutable, or able to change. Francis Turretin picks up the same terminology when he considers the Fall. He recognizes the essential nature of the debate as defending God’s righteousness. But, while the fact of man’s mutability is undeniable, the value of affirming it seems limited. In effect, mutability argues that in order for a righteous man to fall, he had to be able to fall. Obviously, this answer will not satisfy. A door indeed turns because it can turn, but simply stating that fact doesn’t hold it in place or answer how.
The Pursuit of Happiness
A mechanism for man’s Fall has to be sought then and one possibility is found in man’s pursuit of happiness. Happiness can be defined as the, “complete satisfaction of desire.” While Edwards’ may have run into problems with his understanding of original righteousness, his understanding of man’s purpose seems spot on: John Piper famously summarizes Edwards’ perspective by declaring that, “God is most glorified in us when we are most satisfied in Him”.From a human perspective we are happiest when we are glorifying God. When Adam and Eve were living in obedience to God’s commands, glorifying Him by living exactly as He had created them to, they were happy.
Happiness as the complete satisfaction of desire is not only accepted by theologians, but by philosophers operating within a Christian worldview as well. A person may be happy, as John Locke asserts, only so long as there is not an “uneasiness of desire”. Adam and Eve were not only “very good”, they were very happy because there was no lack, nothing between them and complete satisfaction in God and His benevolent provision for them. They, as Thomas Boston states, “had a life of pure delight, and unalloyed pleasure, in this state.” Happiness was not merely accidental to Adam and Eve: it was the end God had created them to pursue.
It is not only the Christian philosophers who agree: no less a figure than Aristotle gives what is considered by many to be the archetypal statement regarding the issue in his Nicomachean Ethics:
Therefore we call final without qualification that which is always desirable in itself and never for the sake of something else. Now such a thing happiness, above all else, is held to be; for this we choose always for itself and never for the sake of something else, but honour, pleasure, reason, and every virtue…we choose them also for the sake of happiness, judging that by the means of them we shall be happy.
Happiness for Aristotle and many other philosophical thinkers is the end towards which all men strive in thought and action.
It should not be surprising that both theologians and philosophers, Christians and pagans, would agree with revealed truth. The light of general revelation is sufficient to analyze, though not perfectly, the nature of the human reality. It is not surprising that if there is a hinge in the Fall of man, that it would be witnessed to by those who exist in a fallen world. As Augustine said, “let every good and true Christian understand that wherever truth may be found, it belongs to his Master.” When pagans point from general revelation to a concept that accords with revealed truth, it highlights rather than obscures that truth. Considering that thinkers like Aristotle would, solely in the light of general revelation, argue that all men pursue happiness in their current state strongly suggests that this point is indeed the hinge for the Fall since Adam and Eve pursued the same in the original state.
God created mankind to pursue happiness and gave them the tools to do so. Turretin writes that man’s original state “abounded in all goods…necessary for obtaining true happiness in that state, so it experienced the most holy and agreeable government of God”. These goods include the ability to reason and by that reason to conclude that the ultimate good to pursue to bring about happiness was submission to God’s rule. Adam could not doubt that he was a derived being and that God was the Sovereign Creator of all that he saw. He had an intimate relationship with God, a clear view of God’s transcendent beauty and goodness. God, and His benevolent rule, was the greatest good that Adam could conceive of and so he pursued his happiness in that reality.
It is in this idyllic setting that God commands Adam and Eve to enjoy what was given to them, to work in exercise of their stewardship, and to not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. The command functions in part as a test of mankind’s acceptance of the Creator’s role as supreme good and source of man’s happiness. In particular, the command regarding the tree of the knowledge of good and evil indicates God’s desire for man to prove his submission. The other commands, to enjoy the gifts and tasks given them seem redundant: how could they not do so? The garden delighted mankind, so must be enjoyed; the One in whose image they were created worked, so they should work. But God gives them a choice that does not follow necessarily when He places a fruit-bearing tree in the middle of the Garden and says, “No.” Nonetheless, this rule would also seem inviolable and natural at first, because Adam and Eve assumed God’s authority to direct their lives towards the happiness they were created to find. Had things continued unaltered, there is no reason to suppose then that man would have ever turned from the path of righteousness and thereby tasted the horrible consequences of ignoring God’s command.
The presence of the command, however, was an opportunity for Satan to bring his temptation into the picture. It is helpful to walk through the process of this temptation in order to understand it and how it relates to man’s pursuit of happiness. Satan comes to Eve and to Adam and asks a question: “Did God actually say, ‘You shall not eat of any tree in the garden’?” He knew, and the original pair knew, that this statement is not at all what God had said. But it serves an important function: it gets Eve to question what exactly had been commanded. This questioning of God’s Word was not natural to man because God created him to receive as truth what was revealed to him. Satan had to start by introducing grounds for questioning God.
His next move is to present an entirely new concept: that God might be wrong: “You will surely not die.” Had he not established the question, he could not have followed with this assertion. He is saying that life (and happiness) will not cease if mankind disobeyed the command of God. The obvious assumption behind his statement is that if God could be wrong about the consequences of disobedience, He could be wrong about other things as well. It is here that Eve is able to begin to form the rational grounds for disobeying God. She was created to pursue happiness and ignoring what God had said need not interrupt the pursuit. She begins to see the possibility of happiness outside of God and His commands.
Satan’s final attack is his most direct: “For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” Essentially, Satan says, “Eve, if you will taste what God has commanded you not to, you can become the source of your own happiness by governing yourself instead of relying on God.” The deception is consistent with her deepest desire. The nature of the temptation is revealed in Eve’s perception of the tangible object: “the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was to be desired to make one wise.” Note the repeated emphasis on “good”, “delight”, and “desire”: all words that point to the satisfaction of a human desire.
The temptation has its root in the mind of man. Satan appealed to both the pride and the will of Adam and Eve, but the unbelief had to come first. Eve could not have believed herself capable of fulfilling her desire for happiness had she not first disbelieved God’s Word. Adam could not have joined his wife in her rebellion had not he thought God’s command laughable. Pastor Jared Wilson calls this aspect of the original sin, “the gnostic transgression”. Turretin says that man fell because his rational mind was “imbued with a false idea” through the serpent’s deception. Both are pointing to an intellectual root for man’s fall: it came on the basis of an altered mind.
Essentially, Satan exploited man’s mutability, his rationality, and his pursuit of happiness to bring about the destruction of created goodness. He presents an alternative to God’s benevolent rule as the source of mankind’s happiness. The serpent claims that God’s command is not a benefit but is designed to keep man from finding happiness within himself. Up until this point, God’s benevolence and rightfully sovereign position was unquestionable; after it, man was given the means for rejecting both God’s goodness and His kingly authority. In its place, Satan gave man the rational, though horribly deceptive, basis for elevating himself to the position of both arbiter of good and self-determinate being, able to pursue happiness on his own terms.
The Fallen Reality
John Milton writes pityingly of Adam and Eve’s experience immediately following their rebellion: “They swim in mirth, and fancy they feel / Divinity within them breeding wings / Wherewith to scorn the earth…” Their elation does not last: Adam speaks to Eve:
“O Eve, in evil hour thou didst give ear / To that false worm, of whomsoever taught / To counterfeit man’s voice, true in our Fall, / False in our promised rising; since our eyes / Opened we find indeed, and find we know, / Both good and evil, good lost, and evil got, / Bad fruit of knowledge, if this be to know, / Which leaves us naked thus, of honour void, / Of innocence, of faith, of purity.”
Adam and Eve, attempting to find happiness outside of God, found instead the exact opposite.
The original pair found out the hard way that they had been deceived. Their sin defaced everything that had been created good, tarnishing their souls beyond recognition, and prompting the righteous wrath of a jealous God. Where the door had been open before for them to be completely fulfilled in God, it was shut afterwards by their decision to look for fulfillment on their own. The consequence is that they are driven from the Garden, cut off from God and from the blessing of His goodness. In this expulsion, there is utter devastation: they are unable to connect again to the true source of their happiness. They had to adjust to a new reality.
The Fall’s effects do not stop with Adam and Eve, though. Scripture teaches that all men are born in a guilty state because of that first rebellion. This theological fact is commonly called “original sin”. Essentially, if Adam truly fell through his pursuit of happiness, there must be some way to account for sin’s continued effect beyond the original pair to their offspring. Not only were the first man and woman unable to continue in pursuit of God as greatest good, but every descendent in the millennia since has, left to themselves, chosen to look anywhere but towards God for satisfaction. How can this be?
The simplest explanation is found in John Locke’s understanding of close and distant means of pleasure.Locke does not explicitly state that he is working within a fallen reality at this point, but it is clearly seen in his understanding of man’s struggle. Though he gives nearly an entire chapter of his On Human Understanding to the topic, it can be briefly summarized here. Locke argues that man does not pursue the greatest good, but pursues goods that his deceived will convinces him are either better, more certain, or closer. Otherwise, intellectual knowledge of God as greatest good and true source of happiness would suffice to “redeem” any man and cause him to immediately forsake any other means of being happy. He writes, “If it were so that the greater good in view determines the will, so great a good…once proposed, could not but seize the will, and hold it fast to the pursuit of this infinitely greatest good, without ever letting it go again…But that it is not so, is visible in experience: the infinitely greatest confessed good being often neglected, to satisfy the successive uneasiness of our desires pursuing trifles.”
God’s punishment of Adam and Eve and their subsequent descendants with banishment from His presence served to remove Him as a close solution to man’s pursuit of pleasure. The punitive distance between man and God is cluttered by a myriad of closer, though lesser, goods for man’s pleasure drive to pursue. Man, through his nature, is unable to surmount these more immediate pleasure producers even if his mind can rationally accept God as the greatest good. His fallen nature, his fallen tendency to view himself and his own desires as the source of his certain pleasure, will continue to sidetrack and sabotage his best efforts to approach God again as ultimate good.
Briefly, this explanation is clearly in agreement with the teaching of the Scripture that man’s nature is irredeemable apart from a unilateral work of God. In order for the cycle of desire/false solution/despair in pursuit of more immediate pleasures to be broken for mankind, God has to come near. He has to radically and fundamentally change the perspective of a fallen creature by breaking into its field of vision in order for it to see God as the sovereign Creator and supreme good end. This divine proximate presence is seen in various Old Testament texts, but is more fully seen in Christ’s incarnation and the Holy Spirit’s indwelling. Thus, Christ comes in the flesh to redeem and the Holy Spirit comes to indwell redeemed men. God has to come near to man, because man is unable to come near to God on his own.
This idea, that God must come near to break into man’s pleasure pursuit, also accords with progressive sanctification and with ultimate glorification. In sanctification the presence of the Holy Spirit within the believer gives him the ability to pursue God but it also vies for control of man’s pleasure drive with what Paul calls “the old man”, that part of man still seeking to fulfill himself by himself. This process of sanctification is only finally concluded by the believer’s death and immediate presence with God. Likewise, the final end of all present reality is when God removes all barriers to His people’s pursuit of Him as the ultimate source of pleasure and they are ultimately and finally glorified.
The constant between the created righteousness and the fallen reality is man’s pursuit of happiness; it is the hinge on which man’s fall turned. In creation, Adam and Eve pursued their happiness in God as supreme good; at the Fall, and ever afterwards, they looked for the same happiness in themselves. Like a door that was open to an infinite, brilliant and beautiful light, while they remained faithful to God’s revelation of Himself, they were constantly and totally satisfied. But like when that door is shut the room becomes small, dark and dangerous, so Adam and Eve’s unfaithfulness in pursuit of their own selves led to persistent dissatisfaction and ruin.
As a hinge shutting a door folds in on itself, mankind folded in on himself, looking for happiness where it could not be found. Man, apart from God, is incapable of finding or sustaining meaning as seen in the complete inability of any humanistic philosophy to provide ultimate meaning to life. Augustine writes that, “If (man) loves himself for his own sake, he does not look at himself in relation to God, but turns his mind in upon himself…thus he does not enjoy himself at his best, because he is better when his mind is fully fixed upon, and his affections wrapped up in the unchangeable good,” in God (italics added). The pursuit of happiness in a good other than God was not only the mechanism of the Fall, but it is the constant state of man in the new reality ushered in by that dreadful event.
Limitations of this Argument
There are no doubt limitations to this argument. There is a point beyond which we cannot go in reconciling the fall of man with the goodness and sovereignty of God. Any explanation made will leave something to be desired. Indeed, there may be a risk in delving too deeply into the matter. Francis Turretin thought so, enjoining his readers that “here we truly meet the depth of the wisdom of God – rather to be wondered at that to be pried into, far surpassing the reach of reason…let us remember that the ways of God are not our ways and that we must here be wise with sobriety, lest searching into his majesty, we be overpowered by his glory.” Turretin’s caution is perhaps a bit melodramatic, but highlights the risk of claiming to have all the answers to the deepest mysteries of God’s sovereign design.
This subject may be carefully inquired into, but it should only be done with a great deal of humility because there are limits to any explanation of the Fall. Objections of many sorts may be made against the present concept. Some may object that God’s creation of man as mutable is evidence that He is culpable for the subsequent Fall. These critics will reason that if God had merely created man unable to change or even never have created him, the Fall would never have happened. Others may assert that God is guilty because He gave Adam and Eve a command He knew they would disobey. If a sovereign, omnipotent God knew an end, is that not the same thing as Him causing that end? There are responses to these objections of course, but none of them wholly complete. Somehow, in the mysterious and secret will of God, He created humanity capable of change and He knew they would. Ultimately, it must be affirmed that humanity bears full responsibility and God bears no guilt: there is no bulletproof answer.
Nonetheless, it may be that there is a logical explanation for Adam and Eve’s mutability, a way of understanding how a righteous man could fall. It has been argued that their pursuit of happiness serves this purpose as a hinge connecting their created righteousness and fallen sinfulness. More important than seeking logical resolution to the issue though, such an explanation also seeks to remove God as far as possible from the taint of sin’s guilt. If God created man to pursue his happiness in what he rationally perceived to be the greatest good, but this process was co-opted by Satan’s deception and man’s subsequently flawed reasoning led to the Fall, then the fault is on the man who fell and the devil who deceived. God is not to blame. Instead, He takes the gracious initiative to restore the fallen and deserves all the glory.
Questions about how a sovereign, creator God can be reconciled with a righteous man’s fall will always persist. But when all reality reaches its fulfillment in the glory of a new heaven and new earth perhaps then understanding will be possible. It is more likely though, that all these concerns will be left aside, tossed to the ground as the door opens and God’s people fall in down in wholly satisfied pleasure before Him, the gloriously visible, close, and present Lord of Righteousness. That end is more to be desired than any answer so come, Lord Jesus, come.
Aristotle. The Works of Aristotle. Vol. 2. Chicago, IL: Encyclopedia Britannica, Inc., 1952.
Augustine. Confessions. Translated by Albert C. Outler. Grand Rapids, MI: Christian Classics Ethereal Library , 1955.
_________. Handbook on Faith, Hope, and Love. Translated by Albert C. Outler. Grand Rapids, MI: Christians Classics Ethereal Library, 2013.
_________. Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers: Augustine: Anti-Pelagian Writings. First Series. Edited by Phillip Schaff. Vol. 5. Peabody, MA: Hendrickson, 1995.
_________. On Christian Doctrine. Public Domain. Grand Rapids, MI: Christian Classics Ethereal Library, 2013.
Boston, Thomas. “Human Nature in its Fourfold State.” BiblesNet. 2008. http://www.biblesnet.com/Thomas%20Boston%20Human%20Nature%20in%20its%20Fourfold%20State.pdf (accessed February 22, 2014).
Edwards, Jonathan. The Works of Jonathan Edwards. Christian Classics Ethereal Library PDF. Vol. 1. Carlisle, PA: The Banner of Truth Trust, 1974.
_________. The Works of Jonathan Edwards. Christian Classics Ethereal Library PDF. Vol. 2. Carlisle, PA: The Banner of Truth Trust, 1974.
The Truth Project. Directed by Del Tackett. Produced by Focus on the Family. 2004.
Fuller, Andrew. The Complete Works of the Rev. Andrew Fuller. Edited by Joseph Belcher. Vol. 3. Harrisonburg, VA: Sprinkle Publications, 1988.
Grudem, Wayne. Systematic Theology. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 1994.
Locke, John. An Essay Concerning Human Understanding. The Electronic Classics Series. Edited by Jim Manis. Hazleton, PA: PSU-Hazleton, 1999.
Milton, John. Paradise Lost. Edited by John Leonard. London: Penguin Classics, 2000.
Piper, John. Desiring God: Meditations of a Christian Hedonist. Sisters, OR: Multnomah, 2003.
Rishmawy, Derek. Reformedish. 2 20, 2014. http://derekzrishmawy.com/2014/02/20/a-very-brief-gospel-centered-defense-against-the-problem-of-evil/ (accessed 2 20, 2014).
Routledge, Robin. Old Testament Theology: A Thematic Approach. Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 2008.
Turretin, Francis. Institutes of Elenctic Theology. Edited by Jr. James T. Dennison. Translated by George Musgrave Giger. Vol. 1. Phillipsburg, NJ: P&R Publishing, 1992.
Wilson, Jared C. The Pastor’s Justification: Applying the Work of Christ in Your Life and Ministry. Wheaton, IL: Crossway, 2013.
Francis Turretin, Institutes of Elenctic Theology, ed. Jr. James T. Dennison, trans. George Musgrave Giger, Vol. 1 (Phillipsburg, NJ: P&R Publishing, 1992), 606.
Turretin, Elenctic Theology, 610.
Genesis 1:27; See Wayne Grudem, Systematic Theology, “The Creation of Man”, (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 1994), Grudem argues that there is a dangerous tendency to narrow the definition of the terms “image” and “likeness”. He argues that the goal should be to seek what the original audience would have understood: that man somehow resembled God. His perspective is very helpful for getting to the heart of the matter. For a brief summary of other perspectives, see Robin Routledge, Old Testament Theology: A Thematic Approach (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 2008), 138-141.
Jonathan Edwards, The Works of Jonathan Edwards, Christian Classics Ethereal Library PDF, Vol. 1, “The Great Christian Doctrine of Original Sin Defended”, (Carlisle, PA: The Banner of Truth Trust, 1974), 1140-1141.
Edwards, Works, Vol. 1, 1141.
See Thomas Boston, “Human Nature in its Fourfold State,” BiblesNet, 2008, http://www.biblesnet.com/Thomas%20Boston%20Human%20Nature%20in%20its%20Fourfold%20State.pdf (accessed February 22, 2014).
Jonathan Edwards, The Works of Jonathan Edwards, Christian Classics Ethereal Library PDF, Vol. 2, “Sermon: God Glorified in Man’s Dependence”, (Carlisle, PA: The Banner of Truth Trust, 1974), 8.
See Turretin’s discussion in his Elenctic Theology, “Fifth Topic: Creation”.
Augustine, Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers: Augustine: Anti-Pelagian Writings, First Series, ed. Phillip Schaff, Vol. 5 (Peabody, MA: Hendrickson, 1995), 485.
Augustine, Handbook on Faith, Hope, and Love, trans. Albert C. Outler (Grand Rapids, MI: Christians Classics Ethereal Library, 2013), 9.
Augustine, Handbook, 9. See also Augustine, Confessions, trans. Albert C. Outler (Grand Rapids, MI: Christian Classics Ethereal Library , 1955), 211.
John Piper, Desiring God: Meditations of a Christian Hedonist (Sisters, OR: Multnomah, 2003), 18. See also Jonathan Edwards, The Works of Jonathan Edwards, Christian Classics Ethereal Library PDF, Vol. 1, “Dissertation on the End for which God Created the World”, (Carlisle, PA: The Banner of Truth Trust, 1974).
 John Locke, An Essay Concerning Human Understanding, The Electronic Classics Series, ed. Jim Manis (Hazleton, PA: PSU-Hazleton, 1999), 246.
Boston, “Human Nature”, 12.
Aristotle, The Works of Aristotle, Vol. 2, “Nicomachean Ethics”, (Chicago, IL: Encyclopedia Britannica, Inc., 1952), 342.
Augustine, On Christian Doctrine, Public Domain, (Grand Rapids, MI: Christian Classics Ethereal Library, 2013), 78.
Turretin, Elenctic Theology, 569.
 Locke, Human Understanding, 246.
Turretin, Elenctic Theology, 579.
Turretin, Elenctic Theology, 605.
Jared C. Wilson, The Pastor’s Justification: Applying the Work of Christ in Your Life and Ministry (Wheaton, IL: Crossway, 2013), 59.
Turretin, Elenctic Theology, 607.
John Milton, Paradise Lost, ed. John Leonard (London: Penguin Classics, 2000), 211.
Milton, Paradise Lost, 213.
Locke, “Power”, 218-270.
Locke, “Power”, 239-240.
Romans 6:6; Ephesians 4:22-24; Colossians 3:9-11; etc.
See The Truth Project, directed by Del Tackett, produced by Focus on the Family, 2004.
Augustine, On Christian Doctrine, 33.
Turretin, Elenctic Theology, 611.
While there is no complete answer that I am aware of, there is a recent and excellent blog treatment in response to objection from the problem of evil. See Derek Rishmawy, Reformedish, 2 20, 2014, http://derekzrishmawy.com/2014/02/20/a-very-brief-gospel-centered-defense-against-the-problem-of-evil/ (accessed 2 20, 2014).