Thursday, January 14, 2021

How can bad be good?

In another podcast, Stand to Reason discusses the challenge of a specific horrendous evil being morally justified by it producing a greater good.

K presents a wonderful move in regard to this inductive 'problem of evil' in putting the burden of proof back on the Critic. Turek does similarly, but not as elegantly, or to my mind, effectively, when the question is raised in a lecture. 

As K says, it's the protagonist's job to show that no good can come from particular evil. But they start by denying God, eternal life and the depth of human all of us.

I think there's also an additional angle to this.

I don't know that we need to give, propose or even suggest a one to one 'good comes from evil', as though evil is an opportunity for God to 'out-good' it. While long term benefits might come, I don't think that's the point either.

While for the faithful God works all things together for good (Romans 8:28), that also is a long term outcome (eternal life and our journey towards it as disciples), for those not in the kingdom, and all of us in this life, we live in a world that is in a state of rejection-of-God, repudiation of his gifts and will and determined assertion of our own alienation from him.

As my sergeant in my army training said 'officer candidates are always in the s**t, it's only the depth that varies.' And so life in rejection of God. Adam's sin had cosmic consequences and we unredeemedly participate in these willingly day in and day out. Evil is a signal to us of something very wrong with  ourselves and the world which doing more of the same will not fix...the only fix is repentance.

Most calls for God to fix evil are for him to fix the bits we don't like, but to leave us to live without him thinking we enjoy the bits we do like, and to continue participating in our own evil. But this won't work. We can't just partly reject God, to have him solve the bits of life that are inconvenient...or even parlous. We have to turn from evil starting with ourselves. Then a new path of reborn life opens up. This won't change evil, but it will change us. God has told us he will deal with evil. Revelation is the manifesto of this plan.

The fact that all this is unpalatable to us is further evidence of the dreadful consequences of the state of rejecting God that we are in by virtue of the total cosmic/spiritual consequences of rejection-of-God and its pervasive domination of all human activity and institutions. We live in 'non-God' but instead of seeking God, we want him to remain detached but to solve the problem of rejection that this brings about.

No comments:

Post a Comment

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