Author Greg Koukl
Published on 10/23/2023

Does God’s Sovereignty over Evil Excuse Sin?

Greg and Amy use the Taking the Roof Off tactic to reveal the flaw behind the objection that God can’t blame a woman who aborts her child since he himself is sovereign over miscarriages.


Question: How should I respond to the challenge that if God allows or arguably is sovereign over miscarriage, which ends a life and brings sadness to a woman, how can he blame a woman who personally decides to abort her own child? I need to go deeper than Genesis 3.

Greg: I’m a little mystified by the challenge. God allows people to die. Let’s just speak very generally here. In God’s sovereignty, people die all the time. “If some people die at my hand because I’m angry at them and I shoot them, then how could God find fault with me?” This is just a counterexample.

Amy: It proves too much.

Greg: Exactly. This is a taking the roof off. That’s the tactic, and we’re just taking this point of view seriously and giving it a test drive and seeing where it takes us. If it drives us off a moral cliff, we probably started in the wrong place. We’re on the wrong route. This is the case here.

This challenge is not even remotely compelling. If God will allow one kind of thing to happen, then, since he allows that thing to happen in the world, it’s okay for me to cause the thing to happen? Well, God allows all kinds of evil things to happen for his own reasons—for his own purposes. That doesn’t mean it’s okay for us to do those evil things. That’s why we call them evil things. The logic completely escapes me on this one.

Amy: Well, like you said Greg, it applies to every death. Now, God actually has caused everybody’s death, because death is a part of the curse. It’s part of our punishment. Every single person dies because that is God’s punishment.

Greg: That there is death. Right.

Amy: So, like you said, that would prove that you can murder anybody you want, but of course it doesn’t, and part of that is there’s no parallel here between God, as creator and judge, and us. We have our role and responsibility and authority, and God has his, and there’s no parallel between God bringing about people’s death and a mother killing the child that she’s charged with protecting. We’re talking about two different things here.

Greg: It also shows me how strong a person’s commitment is to doing the wrong thing when their attempt at justification is so shallow. I have actually said this sometimes to people when I’m talking to them. I say, “That’s persuasive to you? Are you kidding? Really? I mean, I’m not trying to be rude, but really? That’s persuasive? Well, you’re just not thinking hard enough about this issue.”

Amy: I think a lot of times what happens is people who aren’t Christian are trying to find loopholes in Christianity to help persuade people over to a materialistic worldview, to persuade them to positions that follow from a materialistic worldview. So, you do get sometimes these, kind of, gotcha-type things that you have to think through to realize, wait a minute, there’s nothing behind this.

Greg: Well, the morality of any murder is influenced by the materialistic worldview. “It’s not a murder. It’s just a killing. It’s not something wrong. It’s just what happens in a world where there’s no purpose or there’s just molecules clashing in the universe.”