The simple answer is, “No, of course not,” but some Christians have dogmatically insisted that it does based on finite philosophical speculations.
John Calvin, for instance, wrote:
“How foolish and frail is the support of divine justice afforded by the suggestion that evils come to be, not by His will but by His permission… It is a quite frivolous refuge to say that God otiosely permits them, when Scripture shows Him not only willing, but the author of them…Who does not tremble at these judgments with which God works in the hearts of even the wicked whatever He will, rewarding them nonetheless according to desert? Again it is quite clear from the evidence of Scripture that God works in the hearts of men to incline their wills just as He will, whether to good for His mercy’s sake, or to evil according to their merits.” (John Calvin, “The Eternal Predestination of God,” 10:11)
Many modern day Calvinists would not go so far as to candidly admit what John Calvin does in the quote above (Calvin’s quote supports the false doctrine of Equal Ultimacy). Yet, can the Calvinistic systematic avoid the necessity of this logical end? Their namesake does not think so.
Certain philosophical commitments led John Calvin (and many Calvinists like him) to adopt a view of God that is not biblically defensible. Our infinite God is not stuck on a linear timeline, looking into the past or the future. He is the timeless great “I AM,” which suggests that His knowledge is less like our set knowledge of past events (or future ones if we had a crystal ball) and more like our knowledge of present reality. We know what is happening right now because we exist in the now, not because we are necessarily determining what we are experiencing in the here and now, though our choices and actions could certainly affect our present reality. Likewise, our infinite God exists in the eternal now, which is beyond our comprehension. Should we (indeed can we) draw dogmatic conclusions about such infinite realities?
To us the past is unchangeable, water under the bridge. The future, however, is as uncertain as the forecast of rain and impossible for us to fully predict or know. The only point where the “changeable” meets “certainty” for us is in the present. But, is that also true of our infinite Creator? What if the past, present and future remains both certain and changeable to God? As some have put it, “God is the eternal now.”
C.S. Lewis so aptly wrote in his book Mere Christianity, “If you picture time as a straight line along which we have to travel, then you must picture God as the whole page on which the line is drawn.” He argues that all times are the present to God insomuch as His knowledge is concerned. Other philosophers contend that God must be either outside of time or in time, whereas Lewis argues, “why can’t it be both? There is no logical barrier to this. Just because there is no creature in our experience that is both inside and outside of time, does not mean God has to be like His creatures.”
Wherever we land philosophically, however, we must refrain from bringing unbiblical conclusions, based upon our finite perceptions, to our understanding of God’s nature. We must accept the revelation of scripture. He is Holy (Is. 6:3). He does not take pleasure in sin (Ps. 5:4). Some moral evil does not even enter His Holy mind (Jer. 7:31). And, He genuinely desires all men, every individual, to come to Him and be saved (Rom. 10:21; 2 Pet. 3:9; 1 Tim. 2:4; Ezk. 18:30-31).
One presumption that we should bring to scripture is that our God is good and He is in no way implicit in the bringing about of moral evil. He is a loving God who genuinely desires for all to come to repentance so as to be saved (Ezk 18; 1Tim 2:4; 2 Pet 3:9; Rm 10:21).
No man will stand before the Father and be able to give the excuse, “I was born unloved by my Creator (Jn. 3:16). I was born un-chosen and without the hope of salvation (Titus 2:11). I was born unable to see, hear or understand God’s revelation of Himself (Acts 28:27-28).” No! They will stand wholly and completely “without excuse” (Rm. 1:20), because God loved them (Jn. 3:16), called them to salvation (2 Cor. 5:20), revealed Himself to them (Titus 2:11), and provided the means by which their sins would be atoned (1 Jn. 2:2). No man has any excuse for unbelief (Rm. 1:20).
(Portions taken from chapter 3 of Leighton’s book, “The Potter’s Promise: A Biblical Defense of Traditional Soteriology” published by Trinity Academic Press)
*One would also benefit from reading The Consolation of Philosophy (Latin: De consolatione philosophiæ), a work by the sixth century philosopher Boethius that has been described as having had the single most important influence on the Christianity of the Middle Ages and early Renaissance and as the last great work of the Classical Period. Introduction to The Consolation of Philosophy, Oxford World’s Classics, 2000.
*Deut. 29:29 states, “The secret things belong to the LORD our God, but the things revealed belong to us and to our sons forever…”