Molinists and Arminians are quick to condemn Calvinism for impugning God’s character. A perfectly good God cannot cause evil. God is a loving father, and loving fathers don’t cause their children to hurt each other (or themselves).
God merely “permits” sin—and he has to permit it, because he cannot interfere with our free will.
Let’s suppose that’s true.
What about the staggering number of awful, horrific sins that God could prevent without interfering with free will at all?
For instance, why doesn’t God cause all the rounds that end up killing people to misfire? Why doesn’t he cause thick fog to blanket an area where refugees are being hunted by rape gangs? Why didn’t he make the brakes fail on Ted Bundy’s car, so he hit a pole and lost the use of his legs? Is there some reason God wouldn’t directly intervene in these events, as any loving father would? (Or, if for some obscure reason God cannot intervene directly, why could he not have providentially arranged the world so these things happened in the normal course of natural events?)
And that’s not even looking at all the evil that happens by accident. God can’t interfere with free will when it comes to sin; but what about something like forgetfulness? Why can’t he just nudge people to remind them to close the gate to the pool, so their toddler doesn’t wander in and drown? Why can’t he nudge them to remember to lock the gun safe, so their kids don’t play with the pistols and blow their own heads open? How is directly putting those thoughts into their heads notably different from another person reminding them verbally? And even if it does override free will, wouldn’t these people prefer he did that if it means saving their children from tragic, preventable deaths that wreck the lives of their families? Wouldn’t they freely choose that if they could?
Molinists and Arminians like to say that Calvinism makes God the “author of evil”. They rely on their intuitions about goodness to set boundaries on what it is possible for the Bible to be saying when it speaks of election, predestination, hardening, sovereignty and so on. God simply can’t mean that he does what Calvinists say he does, because that would make God evil. God cannot be less loving than us.
Yet God under Molinism refuses to remind people to lock their gun safes—and then stands by while kids play with weapons and kill themselves. He could have prevented that in any number of ways. Didn’t he love those children at least as much as their own father did?
He refuses to do anything, no matter how indirectly or “naturally”, to prevent Ted Bundy from raping, torturing, and murdering women. Aren’t Ted and those women all his children? Doesn’t he love them at least as much as their own parents? And wouldn’t their parents try to do something—anything—to prevent those terrible things?
He refuses to offer any kind of help to terrified girls being hunted by rape gangs. Doesn’t he love those girls as much as their fathers? What about the children he loves who he lets walk into schools and mow down dozens of other children he loves?
Is this the the Molinist/Arminian ideal of fatherhood?