Re: the fall and the story of evil in a progressive/evolutionary creation

From: Ted Davis (
Date: Tue Jun 17 2003 - 09:07:12 EDT

  • Next message: Graham E. Morbey: "Re: the fall and the story of evil in a progressive/evolutionary creation"

    I understand Lucien's difficulties with understanding the fall. IMO, the
    problem of evil cannot be fully resolved within theism. Let me add,
    however, that nontheists don't get off the hook: if there is no God, no
    ultimate good, then there really is no category of evil. Thus, we can't
    really claim honestly or even coherently that the holocaust (for example)
    was evil--and that does seem to be a very large problem indeed. Nor can
    nontheists fully resolve what we might call the problem of design--how it is
    that the universe itself, and its contents appear so strongly to have been
    purposefully made. Why, to cite a famous paper by Eugene Wigner,
    mathematics is so unreasonably fruitful in explaining nature. We do seem to
    have something like a "draw" between design and theodicy.

    As for the fall, I like what John Polkinghorne writes in Belief in God in
    an Age of Science, p. 89. "There was death in the world long before there
    were our human precursors. After all, it was the extinction of the
    dinosaurs that gave us mammals our evolutionary chance. But the Fall, as I
    have described it, turned death into mortality. Self-consciousness made us
    aware of our transience--we could foresee our deaths--and alienation from
    the God who is the eternal ground of hope, turned that recognition into
    sadness and bitterness. In a similar way, the problems of living,
    symbolised by thorns and thistles, became causes of frustration and the
    expense of spirit."


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