Re: [asa] red in truth and claw?

From: John Walley <john_walley@yahoo.com>
Date: Thu Dec 11 2008 - 18:11:18 EST

I also agree with Murray that you can't separate natural evil from the rest of the theodicy question. In fact it is the answer to it in my opinion.

To refine Leibniz from our discussions the other day I would say that this world is more accurately the best of an already bad situation, due to the presence of Satan and evil. But since this was part of God's plan from the foundation of the world, and the world He intended for us, then only in that sense was it the best of all possible worlds.

God choosing to put us here is His prerogative but that alone answers both the natural evil and the theodicy question. If we have to have a reason as to why, I choose to simply believe that we and the natural evil we face are part of a cosmic quest of judgment on Satan and his evil. I think that is the ultimate lesson of the Bible, the crucifixion and life. I think all other defenses short of this are artificial and easily debunked by even the most childish reasoning.

Lastly this is another good example of dishonesty in the church. We clearly see from the record of nature that Tennyson was correct with his descriptive quote but yet the church continues to teach an idyllic Eden and lambs that laid down with the lion. Is this harmless? I contend not. The difference is a mindset about God and his nature and expectations that may or may not surive the test of the real world. This is the harm of YEC and why it should be taken on by the rest of the church.

Thanks

John

Thanks

John

--- On Thu, 12/11/08, Murray Hogg <muzhogg@netspace.net.au> wrote:

> From: Murray Hogg <muzhogg@netspace.net.au>
> Subject: Re: [asa] red in truth and claw?
> To: "ASA" <asa@calvin.edu>
> Date: Thursday, December 11, 2008, 3:55 PM
> Hi Bernie,
>
> Personally I take this to be part of the broader problem of
> evil and respond accordingly.
>
> In part this means acknowledging that regardless of how we
> understand human origins, God saw fit to create a world in
> which suffering and death is part of God's plan. Note
> here that I personally don't consider that throwing this
> back on Adam and Eve comes even remotely close to resolving
> the question of why God allows the POTENTIAL for suffering
> and death. So even given the normal YEC response to the
> problem of evil, it strikes me that God still bears some
> culpability (unless, of course, we only selectively apply
> language of primary and secondary causation!)
>
> Not liking the "blame Adam and Eve" option, then,
> my response to evil is to point to (1) the fundamentally
> incarnational nature of Christian understandings of God in
> which God "suffers with" his creation, (2) the
> deep wisdom of God which may place a comprehensive
> explanation beyond our understanding, (3) the Christian
> eschatological hope of a world in which all such evils are
> set right, (4) the nature of Christian faith which at least
> involves accepting that God is good, wise, and in control
> despite appearances to the contrary, and (5) the various
> theodicies which have been proposed.
>
> On (5) I'd expand a little to suggest that whilst I
> don't think the various theodicies provide us with an
> "answer" to the problem of suffering and death,
> nevertheless they are helpful in making some sense of it.
> So, for instance, I don't think Hick's "soul
> building theodicy" (that suffering is a necessary part
> of emotional growth) is wrong in as much as I don't
> think it the full picture. So too for the free will
> theodicy, etc.
> On (1) one would want to emphasize that the Christian
> notion of the incarnation points to a God who suffers with
> his creation so it's not entirely a case of God standing
> outside the process and expecting us to bear it alone or
> unaided.
>
> On this, it's probably worth mentioning that I believe
> we should be grounding our theology in an understanding of
> God's redemptive work in Christ rather than in God's
> creative activity as (purportedly) represented by Genesis
> 1-3. I disagree vehemently, in other words, with claims
> that one has to read Gen 1-3 literally in order to make
> sense of Christ.
>
> As such, I believe that TE's are quite free to appeal
> to long established theological responses to evil. About the
> only thing a TE CAN'T do is pass the buck to Adam and
> Eve but, as mentioned, I don't find that the least
> compelling and wouldn't be wanting to go that way in any
> case.
>
> Hope it helps somewhat,
>
> Blessings,
> Murray
> Dehler, Bernie wrote:
> > I’m going to be making a presentation to a mixed
> group of believers/non-believers. I’m going to talk to
> them about how a Christian can accept evolution. I know the
> question will come up “Isn’t evolution evil- full of
> pain and suffering- red in tooth and claw? Isn’t God evil
> if that was His design means?”
> >
> >
> > Just wondering how evolutionists on this discussion
> group might respond.
> >
> >
> > Personally, I’d go further. Not only tooth and claw
> shaping creatures- but SCULPTURING creatures. I’d say the
> most beautiful creatures were sculpted (metaphorically) by
> evolution through tooth and claw.
> >
>
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Received on Thu Dec 11 18:11:39 2008

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