Sunday, August 30, 2015

Problem of Evil

I'm going for the gong for the shortest entry in the 'problem of evil' contest.
Reams have been written on this subject over centuries, if not millennia. I'm going to have a go in a paragraph or two.

The stimulus for this is a long interview I read with Frame of Systematic Theology fame the other day. He treated the issue in typical Calvinistic manner. Nasty. Incidentally, the reviews I read of Frame's ST didn't evoke in me a desire to read it.

Most work I've read on the PoE, including Hick's seem to have or imply a deficient theology of creation; and that, to my mind, is the problem. Some even to the extent of taking their definitions and parameters from outside the Bible.

I agree that 'evil' is not a thing; it is a quality in relationships; a detrimental one.

The nub of the problem is why did God create a world where evil was possible? Was he not powerful enough to create a world where evil was impossible, but free relationship was? This seems to suggest in part that God is some sort of almighty puppet master; but he is not. He is 'the lover of our souls' to quote a hymn and is in relationship with us who are in his image. The imageness needs to be articulated to the question.

Love entails openness to the possibility of rejection. In Adam humanity rejected God, and continues to seek to exclude God from life and relationships, but for Christ in us. To pose the problem as one who excludes God is more than absurd. Of course, to inquire as one who desires God, and rebels against the evil that besets us is to turn against rejection of God but also to misunderstand.

The question can be recast as: 'could God have made a world where rejection of him did not produce rejection of him'. Often detractors entertain this. They complain about a world marked by rejection of God, but they refuse to not reject him.

As man was given superintending custody of the creation his rejection of relationship with God brought all of creation with him. Man turned/turns from God. He drags the creation, the domain given over to him, with it. God in his mercy cushions our rejection to bring redemption.

The scriptures deal with the problem, finally, in Revelation.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.