Can God Be Real?

Discussion in 'Other Christian Denominations' started by wtrsju, Jul 13, 2005.

  1. wtrsju

    wtrsju
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2005
    Messages:
    99
    Likes Received:
    0
    I came across this question in a philosophy class once. Let me first say I am a Christian and I don't doubt my faith. Although this is true, I really struggled with this question.


    If God is conceived as all powerful, all knowing and all good then the existence of evil in the world require which of the following responses?

    A. God cannot do anything about evil. (Therefore he is not all-powerful)

    B. Satan or the devil is responisble for evil in the world.

    C. God is not aware of the evil in the world. (This would imply that God is not all-knowing.)

    D. God chooses the least amount of evil in the world to make the "best of possible worlds."

    E. Evil is a necessary part of the world and part of God's creative process.


    Any help beating this question would be nice. I am not looking for the answer to the test question, I already have that. More so I am looking to explain why the question is false all around. Thanks and God bless.
     
  2. Plain Old Bill

    Plain Old Bill
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2003
    Messages:
    3,657
    Likes Received:
    0
    You are correct . The answer is none of the above.God gave and gives all men free will.We have a choice to do good or evil.The question is false because it is framed to denigrate God. It is also false because it does not lay the responsibility for (sin)evil at the feet of the perpetrator of evil(sin). The question is a simple trap for the unlearned by a teacher who obviously has no theological training or has chosen to ignore it.
     
  3. wtrsju

    wtrsju
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2005
    Messages:
    99
    Likes Received:
    0
    Plain Old Bill,

    Yes it is safe to assume that my Prof. did not like God. I am not sure if he was trying to provoke thought, but that is hard to imagine by the framing of the question. Thanks Bill.
     
  4. Humblesmith

    Humblesmith
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2005
    Messages:
    698
    Likes Received:
    0
    The skeptic says:
    If God were all powerful he could destroy evil.
    If God were all good he would destroy evil.
    Evil exists.
    Therefore God is either not all powerful, not all good, or does not exist.

    People like Rabbi Harold Kushner (book: Why do Bad Things Happen to Good People?") say 'god is not all powerful' and end up with a finite god. This is against scripture.

    People in some religions say 'god is not all good'. This is also against scripture.

    Therefore the Christian puts it this way:
    Since God is all powerful, he can destroy evil.
    Since God is all good, he will destroy evil.
    Evil exists.
    Therefore God will destroy evil eventually.

    Our problem is that we see a partial viewpoint. Just because God has not destroyed evil yet, does not mean that he's not going to. You can't stop in chapter one of a book and say "this book is going nowhere, it's a lousy book." And you can't stop God in the middle of his plan and say "he doesn't know what he's doing, he must not exist, or he's weak."

    Rest assured, God will right all wrongs.
     
  5. webdog

    webdog
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2005
    Messages:
    24,691
    Likes Received:
    0
    Doesn't calvininsm indirectly teach that God is the author of all evil according to predestination?
     
  6. av1611jim

    av1611jim
    Expand Collapse
    Banned

    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2002
    Messages:
    3,511
    Likes Received:
    0
    God has anticipated these kinds of questions. He moved many writers of Scripture to address them.
    Can the thing formed say to its Maker, "Why have you made me thus?"
    Is God evil because we are?
    God is an infinite Being, we are not.
    Time means nothing to God, therefore our perception is limited to this time, while God's perception is unlimited. Evil WILL be dealt with in HIS time, not ours. Who are we to dictate what or when God must act.?
    God is all powerful. We see this in His creation.
    God is all knowing. We see this in prophecies fulfilled. God is just. We see this in His patience with an evil world.
    God is love. We see this in His giving of His Son.

    I agree that questions such as the OP are meant to destroy God, yet they in fact show the foolishness of man.

    It is like a little ant shouting to the foot about to step on him!

    In HIS service;
    Jim
     
  7. Plain Old Bill

    Plain Old Bill
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2003
    Messages:
    3,657
    Likes Received:
    0
    Amen Humblesmith.
     
  8. Scott J

    Scott J
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2001
    Messages:
    8,462
    Likes Received:
    0
    No.

    Certainly no more than any other view that recognizes the omnipotence and sovereignty of God. A genuine calvinist does not say man has no free will in the sense that he can't make choices. Man's will is bound by his sin nature... not God's determination that he would sin.

    When through regeneration, God gives man a new nature... the man believes... of his own free will.


    The answer to the OP question isn't a matter of ability but rather of "will".

    Abortion makes a good illustration. Most of us here would like to stop abortion. We have the power to stop at least some abortions by violent means. We choose not to use any means to stop it.

    Does that make us guilty of the abortion? No.

    Why? For most of us I hope it would be a recognition that such violence would not bring glory to God.

    God has not destroyed all evil because in His infinite wisdom He has determined that doing so at this time would not bring Him glory.
     
  9. Artimaeus

    Artimaeus
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2002
    Messages:
    3,133
    Likes Received:
    0
    The problem happens when we say, "If God...then..." and we try to make God fit into one or more of our little concepts. God does not live up to our standards. He IS the standard. We need to adjust our standard to Him and not the other way around.

    Try these "if...then" statements. Use God and His Word as the "standard".

    If you say there is no God, then you are a fool.

    Psa 14:1 The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God. They are corrupt, they have done abominable works, there is none that doeth good.

    Psa 53:1 The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God. Corrupt are they, and have done abominable iniquity: there is none that doeth good.

    If God is all powerful then He would get rid of evil. He CAN deal with evil, He WILL deal with evil and both will be the RIGHT way to deal with evil. It will not be based on how some silly notion of man thinks it ought to be dealt with. the fact that He hasn't dealt with evil yet means that He SHOULDN'T have dealt with evil yet.

    Jer 32:17 Ah Lord GOD! behold, thou hast made the heaven and the earth by thy great power and stretched out arm, and there is nothing too hard for thee:

    Jer 32:27 Behold, I am the LORD, the God of all flesh: is there any thing too hard for me?

    Gen 18:25 That be far from thee to do after this manner, to slay the righteous with the wicked: and that the righteous should be as the wicked, that be far from thee: Shall not the Judge of all the earth do right?

    Psa 5:4 For thou art not a God that hath pleasure in wickedness: neither shall evil dwell with thee.

    It is our fault that there is evil and not God's.

    Dan 9:13 As it is written in the law of Moses, all this evil is come upon us: yet made we not our prayer before the LORD our God, that we might turn from our iniquities, and understand thy truth.
    Dan 9:14 Therefore hath the LORD watched upon the evil, and brought it upon us: for the LORD our God is righteous in all his works which he doeth: for we obeyed not his voice.

    Why hasn't He dealt with evil and/or when will He? He will when HE deems best.

    Mal 2:17 Ye have wearied the LORD with your words. Yet ye say, Wherein have we wearied him? When ye say, Every one that doeth evil is good in the sight of the LORD, and he delighteth in them; or, Where is the God of judgment?

    He deals with evil according to His own will and not according to our understanding. We need to adjust our understanding and not adjust God to fit it.

    Gal 1:4 Who gave himself for our sins, that he might deliver us from this present evil world, according to the will of God and our Father:

    God is sovereign.
    Man has free will.

    These two concepts taken to their "If...then" conclusions each prove the other wrong and men will take sides. The real standard (God in His Word) says that both are true. I believe Giod even if it appears to not fit certain concepts. The same can be said of the great Calvinism/Armenianism debates.

    [​IMG]
     
  10. wtrsju

    wtrsju
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2005
    Messages:
    99
    Likes Received:
    0
    Thanks friends. These are great answers. The Scripture to back it up really helps.
     
  11. yeshua4me2

    yeshua4me2
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2005
    Messages:
    214
    Likes Received:
    0
    Can God be real?

    is there such a thing as right and wrong? If there is a moral law then there has to be a moral law giver, otherwise each man would be "morals" to himself. If the Prof says there is no right and wrong, then ask him would it be wrong for you to take one of his children and bisembowel that child on pay-per-view. Of course you would split the money with him. if he says that would be wrong, then follow it to it's logical conclusion (why is it wrong, why, why, why, just keep asking why, eventually he will have to admit he doesn't know). when he admits he doesn't know tell him how God wrote the law into his heart. if he says it would not be morally wrong, you win. If there are no morals (God's Law) then anything goes, what a world that would be.


    P.S. that last answer will also show the Prof true colors to the class, ands will get you plenty of opportunities to share the truth.

    thankyou and God Bless
     
  12. TexasSky

    TexasSky
    Expand Collapse
    Guest

    The question is flawed in that it assumes there is no difference in "totally condoning," and "allowing."

    One thing that philosophers like to claim is that "evil is in the eye of the beholder."

    Evil is, in fact, disobedience to God.

    An "all knowing" and "all powerful" God can only totally prevent evil by making it impossible for man to disobey. That is within God's power, but God wanted love, more than He wanted "robotic, slave-like, forced obedience."

    God created man in God's image, and gave man the abilty to obey or not obey.
     
  13. Humblesmith

    Humblesmith
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2005
    Messages:
    698
    Likes Received:
    0
    Please don't think I'm criticizing, since I agree with your statements. But I have a comment about one point....

    While I generally agree with your conclusions, I think that there is no conflict between God's sovereignty and man's free will. To me, this is one of the cruxes of the calvinism/arminianism debates. There is no conflict between the two. God is omnipotent.....when an infinitely powerful being gives some power to another being, He does not lose any power.....He is still infinitely powerful, and we are finitely powerful. Another example: when a teacher teaches a class, the class gets smarter. But the teacher is not dumber...she does not lose knowledge when she gives some away. I think much of the c/a debate is due to the entrenched positions, and failure to think in terms other than what has been presented by tradition.

    But a good post about evil and good. Thanks.
     
  14. yeshua4me2

    yeshua4me2
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2005
    Messages:
    214
    Likes Received:
    0
    God is outside of spacetime so he is not bound by the law of causality. we choose Him because we are predestined.
     
  15. Magnetic Poles

    Magnetic Poles
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    May 16, 2005
    Messages:
    10,407
    Likes Received:
    0
    To dismiss the question as "against God" does a disservice. We are always to be ready to answer a question, and the problem of evil is one philosophers and theologians have wrestled with for centuries.
     
  16. Artimaeus

    Artimaeus
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2002
    Messages:
    3,133
    Likes Received:
    0
    I, also, agree that there is no conflict. It is just that those who take the extreme position and try to carry it to the outermost stretches of the imagination come up with what would be a contradiction.

    God decides everything.
    God does NOT decide anything.

    This would be a conflict.
     
  17. russell55

    russell55
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2002
    Messages:
    2,424
    Likes Received:
    0
    To answer the opening post, I'd say that if God is good, all-knowing, all-powerful, and purposeful, then evil exists in creation by his permission for his own good purpose.

    We're given hints in scripture as to some of what that "good purpose" for the presence of evil might be. In Ephesians 1, for instance, we learn that God saves people "to the praise of his glorious grace", and that this is "according to the purpose of his will." That God saves people works toward a good end--the glorification of God's grace; and unless sin were present in creation, there would be no need for salvation, and God's grace wouldn't be glorified in that way.
     
  18. JamesBell

    JamesBell
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    May 24, 2005
    Messages:
    226
    Likes Received:
    0
    I think the correct answer has been given already. But, I want to say it again for some reason.

    None of the answers really get at the point. God is all powerful, and could destroy evil.
    God is all knowing, he knows there is evil.
    God is all good, and cannot have sin in His presence.
    The Bible explains each of these.
    God had the power to defeat the evil one and banish him from Heaven.
    I've read the end of the book, I see that the evil one will be cast into the lake of fire, defeating evil forever.
    We know that God knows there is evil in the world. His Word tells us that all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.
    The missing part is that God chose to give each person the freedom to choose between good and evil. He did not make this decision for us, it is up to us to decide to follow Him. To allow for this, he couldn't have a world free of evil. This would mean that we never really had a choice. Once we make the decision to follow Him, we are assured of a future of no evil. God further shows His goodness, knowledge, and power by giving us His Son to die on the cross. God knew that we would sin. God cannot have sin in his presence. So, he used His power to clense us of sin through the blood of Christ.
     
  19. Marcia

    Marcia
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    May 12, 2004
    Messages:
    11,139
    Likes Received:
    0
    Those who ask this question either think of evil as a force in and of itself, which it is not, and/or they reject the concept of sin.

    Evil exists because of sin, which is something to point out (in a kind way) to people who ask questions like this or make these kind of comments.

    A discussion of sin leads naturally to the fall, man's fallen nature, and forgiveness through Christ, if the person is willing to hear it (even if they don't like it).
     
  20. D Curlee...

    D Curlee...
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2005
    Messages:
    17
    Likes Received:
    0
    I'm confused with all of these answers.

    1. Where in Scripture do we find that God is not the Author of sin?

    2. Can someone define "free will" for me Biblically?

    3. If God exhaustively foreknows EVERYTHING before He creates it, and if God works ALL things according to the counsel of His will, then didn't God by necessity have to author/determine evil, or else it would not be? In other words, had God not decreed evil to be BEFORE it actually was, then it would not be.

    In Christ,

    Dustin...
     

Share This Page

Loading...