From a Reformed website’s review of a (Protestant) critique of Calvinsim:
Olson [the author of the book] wishes to draw a strict distinction between God permitting evil and tragedy and God causing those things. But again, this distinction isn’t particularly convincing. It seems like a matter of semantics. Anyone who believes that God foreknows everything (a doctrine some theologians are now questioning), and that he created everything, must necessarily deal with the fact that God knew that sin and suffering would come into the world and yet proceeded with creation.
Olson pushes further, however, and insists that Calvinists ignore the really, really bad things that happen in the world—the Holocaust, child abuse and childhood disease—when they happily chirp about God’s sovereignty. But Olson’s notion that the creator God “permitted” evil and suffering doesn’t solve his theodicean dilemma any more adequately than does Calvinism. Why would a good God create the universe when he knew the massive pain and injustices that would commence upon humans tasting the forbidden fruit? Olson seems to prefer the idea that God created a world that he knew would fall, and had no particular purpose in mind when he did so. Calvinists prefer to see all history as having a point, mysterious though it may seem to our limited understanding, and that all things, whether permitted or planned, ultimately point to God’s glory. [emphasis mine]
To me, this seems to sum up the Calvinist response to the historic Christian tackling of the problem of evil. (Note too the typical Calvinist handwaving of “God works in mysterious ways.”) How might a Catholic, though, respond in turn? Is it basically splitting hairs, as this reviewer claims, to say that God allows evil and yet still works good through it, rather than that he in some way causes it for good to come out? And does the latter in any way make God more “awesome”?
Thanks in advance for your responses!