So, is God the author of sin? -Gordon
I must answer with Paul-- Certainly not! We need to see the source of the question before it is answered. People assume that since God is sovereign, that He is in control of all things. This is certainly not true. If it were, then one must do some amazing metaphysical hopping in order to say that God is not in control of every sin, every disaster, every temptation. But an all-controlling force is not the description of God in the Bible. Rather He is a king who has great power, but puts limits on his own power, in order to share his sovereignty-- his rule-- with others. And in that sharing, others, in their inadequate sense of justice and mercy, created sin in disobedience to God because sin seems more "moral" than God. At least, that was the beginning of sin. Nowadays it is cool to be "bad" or "evil" and to "break moral standards" especially if they seem arbitrary. But sin didn't begin as a way to be evil. It began as a way to be more moral than God allowed us to be.
We aren't given the full story of what happened to Satan before Genesis 1 which caused him to rebel against God and to tempt Adam and Eve. We do know, however, that God allowed many angels to rule over the earth for a period of time. They were partners in His creation. And we know that many of them were disgusted that God gave his rule over the earth to humanity. So they wanted to undermine humanity, and so they do evil things to humanity, like tempting them to rebel against God. In this way, they suppose, God must destroy them and re-establish angelic rule over the earth. But God does not change His mind once He's made a promise, and so even though humanity is a sinful, rebellious race, yet God still allows humanity to rule, planning for redemption instead of destruction.
All this is to say that God is only good and is actually more good than any of us could imagine. He is not, nor could ever be the author of sin. James says, "God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does he tempt anyone (to do evil)." So how could God have created sin? God did, however, give freedom for some of his creations to create. He gave restrictions, but He did not, nor does He, absolutely control. The fact that the world is sinful but we have a perfectly good God is the best proof of free will. This world is NOT how God wants it. And that is because He surrendered some of his control to us. Many have accused Him of being foolish in that way. I just figure that He has a better plan.