Re: [asa] red in truth and claw?

From: Jim Armstrong <>
Date: Thu Dec 11 2008 - 18:32:01 EST
I'm not so sure that it is so much "dishonesty" as it is just naive and shallow thinking and blinkered single-minded repetition. At the end of the day, one should really think seriously (if possible) about whether an immense and potential-laden Creation such as this could really be as corrupted through and through by a subordinate being as is suggested by the Satanic-cause proposition.

JimA [Friend of ASA]

John Walley wrote:
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. 





--- On Thu, 12/11/08, Murray Hogg <> wrote:

From: Murray Hogg <>
Subject: Re: [asa] red in truth and claw?
To: "ASA" <>
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

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

Hope it helps somewhat,

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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