How do we define what is good and evil?

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by Skandelon, Mar 4, 2012.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. Skandelon

    Skandelon
    Expand Collapse
    <b>Moderator</b>
    Moderator

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2003
    Messages:
    9,638
    Likes Received:
    0
    Why anything is considered EVIL in the Calvinist account of God and creation? If everything is ordained and rendered certain by God for his glory, including moral evil, why not praise God for sin? After all, sin is his will and necessary for his full glorification, right? Why not celebrate sin?

    Also, in what setting would irresistibly rendering another person’s unending torture for one’s own glory be considered good? How can that been defined as good by any standard?

    But, I know a Calvinist would argue that God’s goodness is different from ours, and I'm just too 'man-centered' etc.... But if that is the case then hasn't the definition of the word "good" just become meaningless since clearly it can't be defined by our standards? Who is to say Jeffrey's Dahmer's crimes are not good in the mysterious ways of God? After all, don't his ways seem eerily similar? Both apparently involve the torturing of others for self gratification and glory, right? What makes one evil and the other good? Is every thing that brings God glory considered 'good' even if that 'thing' is appallingly gruesome to all reasonable sensibilities? And how do we know which 'thing' brings him Glory if both evil and good are equally glorifying?

    Just some points to ponder...


    (Note, these are scholarly questions to debate not accusations to be taken personally, so please stick to the topic and avoid personally attacking each other. All these questions are raised in scholarly theological articles and are not meant to be accusatory in nature.)
     
    #1 Skandelon, Mar 4, 2012
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 4, 2012
  2. Benjamin

    Benjamin
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2004
    Messages:
    4,888
    Likes Received:
    112


    I’ll add my 2 cents on this discussion of defining the origin of evil on the fly by:

    Regarding the moral standard that transcends God:
    God is Only Good and He is also Only Truth and it is within the nature of this Truth, the self-imposed “aseity” of God that He sovereignly operates within. God is indeed limited by His own TRUTH of His Nature and this Nature does not change… even to fit the Determinist Doctrines.

    You boys seem to think God’s sovereignty must live up to your (Calvin’s) truth, and somehow this must mean that He must be responsible for evil existing; but in reality this line of thought only goes toward denying all-knowing God to be Only Good, to maintain perfection in His attribute of only being Good, which in fact downgrades His sovereignty by denying He abides by His Nature in (Truth).

    God is Truth; therefore He is sovereign within Truth. We believe His Word is truth because He is Truth. It is no less than to fall into theological fatalism to not believe in God as being 100% unchanging Truth in His Nature.

    Again, God’s attributes can ONLY involve being Good and yet evil can still exist in the world which He created and God still be sovereign over the universe at the same time. This is a necessary truth and the “how” doesn’t matter near as much as holding to this truth of His Nature. God, in His omnipotent-omniscient “aseity” exists in Truth in all His attributes, including Omnibenevolence, as a necessity of His Nature. Anyone who begins to deny the Divine attribute of Omnibenevolence to fit their doctrine is clearly on the wrong path.
     
    #2 Benjamin, Mar 4, 2012
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 4, 2012
  3. Iconoclast

    Iconoclast
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2010
    Messages:
    13,381
    Likes Received:
    728
    Evil is evil because God has defined it as such. Calvinists can praise God that even the evil acts of wicked men are under God's sovereign control.
    The ungodly do indeed celebrate sin...everyday. They will give an account for the works done in the body.
    The elect used to do the same...but now being drawn savingly by God's effectual calling....are now ashamed of those things
    God will be glorified in all things ....the salvation of the elect...the damnation of the wicked who remained in their celebration of sin.

    When I talk with people out here in public , and they have this kind of sceptical, and somewhat evil questions about God and His motives...I point out that the only place of refuge is IN Christ...because God's wrath is revealed from heaven against these sins....
    I tell them if and when they trust in Jesus ...they will be a new creature in Christ. these doubts and speculations will go away , as the Spirit opens up all of God's word to them.
    It just seems as if many of them...even those who profess religion of some kind...have invented their own god ...who does not do what the biblical God does. At that point...I show them verses that leave no doubt that the God of the bible is in complete control of all things , and that the little god they have invented will have to die first, before they can come to know the true God:thumbs::thumbs: When someone thinks evil of God and His motives...it seems a pretty good indication that something is wrong in their soul...:thumbs:
     
    #3 Iconoclast, Mar 4, 2012
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 4, 2012
  4. Van

    Van
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2011
    Messages:
    9,516
    Likes Received:
    49
    Anytime theology seeks refuge in absurdity, a red flag should drop indicating the theology misstates God's divine purpose.

    The premise that God mistreating man demonstrates His glory is such an absurdity.

    The easiest way to think of what is good, is something that is suitable for its purpose. So a bad example would be a good example of a bad example. :)

    Next we must deal with the chestnut that only God is good. What this says is we are tarnished and imperfect, flawed and therefore not perfectly good. Only God is good from the standpoint of being without flaw. But this must be balanced with the idea that a sinner can give good gifts to their children, thus the lack of perfection does not nullify the possible usefulness of our efforts.

    So lets start with these simple definitions, Good is something suitable for a purpose, so what God considers good would be according to His purpose and plan, even if that something was a calamity resulting to pain, suffering and death. Evil would be something that goes against our needs and expectations. However, for something to be evil in God's eyes, it would have to go against His purpose and plan. Thus if God's purpose and plan was to allow us to make autonomous choices that result in evil in His eyes, because that capacity to choose was necessary to fulfill His purpose and plan, then God's allowance would not be evil in His eyes.

    Let me close by debunking one other myth, God is claimed to be omnibenevolent. The idea is that since God is good, this means He never does anything that those affected would consider evil. This is pure fiction. All things work together for good for those who love Him, but Hades and Gehenna await those who do not.
     
    #4 Van, Mar 4, 2012
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 4, 2012
  5. jonathan.borland

    jonathan.borland
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2008
    Messages:
    1,154
    Likes Received:
    0
    Evil exists because God gave men and demons the capacity to choose, and without that capacity evil never would have existed. But because God is sovereign and knows the end from the beginning (including the infinite number of causes and effects that will never happen, what some call alternate realities), he can and does work everything out according to his will. God is not too small to need to coerce every human decision by compulsion in order to fulfill his plan. He is much bigger than that!
     
  6. Skandelon

    Skandelon
    Expand Collapse
    <b>Moderator</b>
    Moderator

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2003
    Messages:
    9,638
    Likes Received:
    0
    :thumbs: It has always amazed me that some consider it more powerful and 'sovereign' for God to 'play both sides of the chess board' (so to speak), rather than to win a real victory over an actual adversary.
     
  7. convicted1

    convicted1
    Expand Collapse
    Retired Staff

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2007
    Messages:
    9,011
    Likes Received:
    3
    How do I define "good" & "evil"?

    Good: anything that comes directly from God.

    Evil: anything that comes directly from satan.
     
  8. Benjamin

    Benjamin
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2004
    Messages:
    4,888
    Likes Received:
    112
    Regarding this point, I can only suppose that the Calvinist believes that God will defeat something (evil), that He created, that He decreed and controls every action of and that which origins came directly from Him ... and this is how He comes to His glory... :confused: ...; God takes glory in defeating the evil that He Himself has sovereignly cast upon us and controls... :confused: ..., and will destroy that evil "adversary" that is actually from Him, in the end? Surely I am missing something here about the Calvinist reasoning and philosophies about the origins and purposes of evil being sovereignly determined upon us all to bring the glory of God in a victory against the same?
     
    #8 Benjamin, Mar 5, 2012
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 5, 2012
  9. Iconoclast

    Iconoclast
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2010
    Messages:
    13,381
    Likes Received:
    728
    Some remain in rebellion which is evil.Psalm 2 speaks to them;
    Psalm 2

    1Why do the heathen rage, and the people imagine a vain thing?

    2The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together, against the LORD, and against his anointed, saying, 3Let us break their bands asunder, and cast away their cords from us.

    4He that sitteth in the heavens shall laugh: the LORD shall have them in derision.

    5Then shall he speak unto them in his wrath, and vex them in his sore displeasure.

    6Yet have I set my king upon my holy hill of Zion.

    7I will declare the decree: the LORD hath said unto me, Thou art my Son; this day have I begotten thee.

    8Ask of me, and I shall give thee the heathen for thine inheritance, and the uttermost parts of the earth for thy possession.

    9Thou shalt break them with a rod of iron; thou shalt dash them in pieces like a potter's vessel.

    10Be wise now therefore, O ye kings: be instructed, ye judges of the earth.

    11Serve the LORD with fear, and rejoice with trembling.

    12Kiss the Son, lest he be angry, and ye perish from the way, when his wrath is kindled but a little. Blessed are all they that put their trust in him.


    Some perish for evil thinking and rebellion as if their clever wording and speeches could have any effect on the decree...
     
  10. Benjamin

    Benjamin
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2004
    Messages:
    4,888
    Likes Received:
    112
    Indeed:

    (Deu 32:4) He is the Rock, his work is perfect: for all his ways are judgment: a God of truth "and" without iniquity, just and right is he.

    (1Jn 1:5) This then is the message which we have heard of him, and declare unto you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all.

    (Jas 1:13) Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man:

    (Isa 5:20) Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!



    (Eph 5:11) And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them.


    [​IMG]


    :smilewinkgrin:
     
    #10 Benjamin, Mar 5, 2012
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 5, 2012
  11. Cypress

    Cypress
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2010
    Messages:
    376
    Likes Received:
    0
    Benjamin,
    Whats that you've done. Is that a just say IcoNo?!?!?!
     
    #11 Cypress, Mar 5, 2012
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 5, 2012
  12. quantumfaith

    quantumfaith
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2010
    Messages:
    6,890
    Likes Received:
    0
    And YOU Icon are wrong to imply, however subtle, that other professing believers here are "heathen" and remain in rebellion. Just because someone does not see God and theology through an identical lens as do you, that does make them so. You should retreat from such a claim.
     
  13. Alive in Christ

    Alive in Christ
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2008
    Messages:
    3,822
    Likes Received:
    0
    The scriptures of cource.

    They are the standard that everything should be tested against.
     
  14. Alive in Christ

    Alive in Christ
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2008
    Messages:
    3,822
    Likes Received:
    0
    Benjamine...

    Calvinism. I feel so very sorry for those still holding to such a bizzare and nonsensical man made theory
     
    #14 Alive in Christ, Mar 5, 2012
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 5, 2012
  15. Iconoclast

    Iconoclast
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2010
    Messages:
    13,381
    Likes Received:
    728
    :laugh::laugh: good verses
     
  16. Iconoclast

    Iconoclast
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2010
    Messages:
    13,381
    Likes Received:
    728
    QF,

    In psalm 2....it is the wicked ,who speak wickedly of God and His decree.
    There are some here who seem to delight in viewing God as having evil motives despite being corrected many times.
    We know of course that everyone on BB is saved.....so you do not need to worry about such things:wavey:
    I do not notice your same sense of outrage when people speak about a god who does evil things....or who is not in control of all things whatsoever comes to pass....:thumbsup:
     
  17. Benjamin

    Benjamin
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2004
    Messages:
    4,888
    Likes Received:
    112
    Yep, too bad you don't understand them. :tongue3:
     
  18. quantumfaith

    quantumfaith
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2010
    Messages:
    6,890
    Likes Received:
    0

    Although we all know what a difficult prospect it is to ascertain the heart, intent and motives of another, I am convinced, as I think YOU are too that no one makes such arguments out of a sense of defining God as wicked. Perhaps a little overzealous in explaining how they see YOU and your view at their interpretation of its logical conclusion. I see most arguments (I think you are referring to) to be prefaced by "if things are as you say" (or something similar).
     
  19. glfredrick

    glfredrick
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2010
    Messages:
    4,996
    Likes Received:
    0
    God has to win no victory over any actual adversary. None exists who can stand at the feet of God and overcome Him.

    HE IS GOD! NO ONE ELSE IS GOD!

    You have just expressed THE most heretical statement of all that you have ever expressed on this board.

    As for "playing both sides of the chessboard (so to speak)" you have also just erected another strawman of the opposition. Quit it already. You either know better by now, or are working for anti-Christ.
     
  20. jbh28

    jbh28
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2008
    Messages:
    3,761
    Likes Received:
    0
    What was the "sic" beside of "their" for? That was the correct spelling of their.
     
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.

Share This Page

Loading...