duck5

procrastination, heresy, and navel-gazing.

Sunday, June 10, 2007

the problem of evil

are things as good as they can be?
no.
why aren't they?
God uses bad stuff for 3 reasons:
  1. as judgement because of sin (c/f isa45:7 dan9, 1cor11:30)
  2. to discipline us as his children (c/f heb12:10)
  3. to test/make sure of our faith (c/f 1pet1)

therefore we should be satisfied that God is in control over all, knowing he works all things for good (Rom8:28)

right?
wrong.

reading this article by Matheson Russell, it was good to see his righteous indignation at this "ideology", this apathetic, laissez-faire view of the evil.

Theodicy [This idea of God using evil for good] misrepresents evil by saying that evil is necessary for the good; God is weaving a tapestry and he needs the light and the dark thread to make the picture beautiful. But the analogy won’t wash: while the weaver may need the light and dark threads, the creator of heaven and earth made a world that was good, very good without a drop of blood being spilt. And theodicy puts us in the wrong relationship to evil since it asks us to put our pain, outrage and opposition to one side and to see the bigger picture, the harmonious and rational whole of the universe in which evil has its place. But this does not do justice to victims of pain, loss and injustice. And even more importantly, it doesn’t do justice to the good news of the gospel [...]


and what is the good news of the gospel?
that God is seeking to right the wrongs.
that he will not be content with a world that is self-destructive, consuming itself in hatred.
that no price is too great a price to pay, that this world might be redeemed for that which he purposed it.

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9 Comments:

Anonymous Sam said...

hallo!! :)

How would you fit Genesis 50:19,20 into that???

2:12 am  
Blogger May said...

mmm yes. very interesting. but the more i think about it, i keep on going in circles.

because then why does God allow evil to happen? he can make all things work according to his will. that's not to say though that he needs the evil to happen to have good things happen. but... ok i'm going to stop cause i'm getting a headache with my thoughts way ahead of me.

11:34 pm  
Blogger psychodougie said...

re gen50, it's not to say that evil is able to thwart God's plans.

obviously there are times when God uses evil for good, but to say God delights in using evil in this way is to go against the picture we have of a God who is grieved, of a Jesus who weeps, of a day ordained when there will be no more sadness, despair or decay.

1:50 pm  
Blogger TIM 帝木 said...

Check out any of the stories attached to the names in Matt 1. God's not happy about 'evil'* but is bigger and more powerful that it and can use it to his purpose.

What about the idea of 'evil' as a sign? The analogy being if you feel a pain in your body you will try to find the cause and fix it. If 'evil' is saying that something is wrong... what is right?

(Is this what I want to say? To tired to tell. Good night…)




* evil perhaps needs some defining. Which I couldn't be bothered trying to think about atm. Hence quotation marks.

11:35 pm  
Blogger psychodougie said...

yeah i like that tim#@; God using bad stuff as a sign. that's sort of my first use (tho more finessed?)

and your point about "evil" is something i've often thought about. therefore sam's Gen50, we reckon stuff's bad, but hey presto, switcheroo - it's good!
so does that mean it wasn't bad in the first place tho? or just that it's not able to thwart God's good purposes for his creation.

12:44 pm  
Blogger byron said...

so does that mean it wasn't bad in the first place tho? or just that it's not able to thwart God's good purposes for his creation.
This is a great question. I reckon the latter, because otherwise we'd need to say that Joseph didn't really suffer, he just appeared to suffer. Indeed, we'd need to say that Christ didn't really suffer, he just seemed to, but really it was all good. There's a name for that: Docetism.

10:32 am  
Blogger Pstyle said...

" the creator of heaven and earth made a world that was good, very good without a drop of blood being spilt"

- this presumes a 'no death prior to the fall' kind of history does it not? How does this play out if one accepts millions of years of life and death prior to anatomically modern humans?

12:04 am  
Blogger psychodougie said...

hi pstyle

" the creator of heaven and earth made a world that was good, very good without a drop of blood being spilt"

- this presumes a 'no death prior to the fall' kind of history does it not? How does this play out if one accepts millions of years of life and death prior to anatomically modern humans?


i think matheson's comments were more to do with the Genesis 1 account requiring no human sacrifice or battle, in contradistinction to other ancient near eastern accounts such as enuma elish. There, creation was achieved by means of a cosmic battle, by means of chaos and killing. not by a word.

7:58 am  
Blogger Pstyle said...

psychodougie,

Ah see your point. cheers for the clarification ;)

10:42 pm  

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