Suffering and Evil: The Probability Version

In part one, we looked at the logical version of the problem of suffering and evil.This argument attempts to show that since suffering and evil exist, it is logically impossible for God to exist, and we explained why even atheist philosophers admit that this argument fails. But wait. It may still be argued

That while it’s logically possible that God and suffering both exist, is far from likely. There’s just so much pointless suffering, it seems improbable that God could have good reasons for permitting it. This is the probability version of the problem. Suffering provides empirical evidence

That God’s existence is not impossible, just highly unlikely. Is this a good argument? Consider three points. First, we are not in a position to say with any confidence that God probably lacks reasons for allowing the suffering in the world. The problem is that we’re limited in space and time, and in

Intelligence and insight. God, on the other hand, sees every detail of history from beginning to end, and orders it through people’s free decisions and actions in order to achieve his purposes. God may have to allow a great deal of suffering along the way. Suffering which appears pointless within our limited scope of

Understanding may be seen to have been justly permitted by God within his wider framework. Sometimes what we experience makes no sense until we gain a wider perspective and see the big picture designed by the Creator. Here’s the second point. Relative to the full scope of the evidence, God’s

Existence may well be probable. You see, probabilities are always relative to background information. For example, if we consider only how much this man weighs, we would say it’s highly improbable that he’s a world-class athlete. But when we’re willing to consider new information, that he’s a professional sumo wrestler and

The world champion, we quickly revise our view. In the same way, when the atheist claims that God’s existence is improbable, we should ask, improbable relative to what background information? If we consider only the suffering in the world, then God’s existence may very well appear to be improbable, but if we’re

Willing to look at the full scope of background information to take into account the powerful arguments for God’s existence, we may come to a very different conclusion. The third point is Christianity entails doctrines that increase the probability of the coexistence of God and suffering.

Consider four of these. First, the chief purpose of life is not happiness. People often assume that if God exists, his role is to create a comfortable environment for his human pets. They think the ultimate goal of our lives on earth is happiness, and therefore, God is obligated to keep us happy.

However, Christianity presents a radically different view, that the purpose of life is to know God. This alone brings true, lasting fulfillment. Suffering can bring about a deeper, more intimate knowledge of God either on the part of the one who’s suffering or those around him. The whole point of human history is

That God, having given us free will, is drawing as many people as he can into his unending Kingdom. Suffering is one of the ways God can draw people freely to himself. In fact, countries that have endured the most hardship often show the

Highest growth rate for Christianity. God whispers to us in our pleasures, speaks in our consciences, but shouts in our pains. It is his megaphone to rouse a deaf world. Second, mankind is in a state of rebellion against God and His purpose. Terrible human evils are testimony to

Man’s depravity, a consequence of his alienation from God. The Christian isn’t surprised at moral evil in the world; on the contrary, he expects it. The third doctrine states that God’s purpose is not restricted to this life, but spills over beyond the grave into eternal life. This world is just the

Beginning, the entry way to an unimaginable, never-ending life beyond death’s door. Paul, who wrote much of the New Testament, underwent afflictions, hardships, calamities, beatings, imprisonments, hunger; yet he wrote, we do not lose heart, for this slight momentary affliction is preparing us for

An eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, because we look not to the things that are seen, but to the things that are unseen, for the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal. Paul understood

That life on earth, and whatever suffering it holds for each of us, is temporary. Our pain will not endure forever, but our lives with God will. Paul was not belittling the plight of those who suffer horribly in this life. Indeed,

He was one of them; but he saw that those sufferings will be overwhelmed forever by the ocean of joy that God will give to those who will freely receive it. And the fourth doctrine is this: the knowledge of God is an incomparable good. Knowing God

Is the ultimate fulfillment of human existence, an infinite good. Thus, the person who knows God, no matter how much he has suffered, can still say God is good to me. So if Christianity is true, it’s not at all improbable that suffering and evil should exist. In summary, for all these

Reasons, the probability version of the problem of evil is no more successful than the logical version. As a purely intellectual problem, then, the problem of evil does not disprove God’s existence. But even if those intellectual arguments fail, the emotional problem of suffering and evil

Remains very powerful. If you have suffered deeply, or if you’ve watched someone you love go to intense pain, you may be thinking, so what is God exists? Why would I want to respond to him or worship him? I feel cold and empty, and

Want nothing to do with him. You’re not alone. God knows your name; he knows who you are and what you’re going through. God promises to be with you through your suffering. He can give you the strength to endure. Jesus Christ also suffered;

Although he was innocent, he was tortured and sentenced to death.His suffering had a purpose: to provide you and me the life-giving connection to God. Not only does God exist, but he loves you. He seeks after you, he offers you hope, and in time, he will make all things new.

He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death, or mourning, crying, or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.

#Suffering #Evil #Probability #Version

Does the Problem of Evil Make God Unlikely?

[Anderson] Evil and suffering is a big one,  and I’d be interested in your perspectives on   that. You hear people say that particularly the  Abrahamic God, who’s all-powerful and all-knowing   and all good, and you’ve just made a reference  to that yourself, the locus of all good things,

[yes] now there’s the atheistic argument from  evil. And it basically runs that if there   is such a God, and look I don’t want to sound  unsympathetic about this; it’s a big challenge   evil is a big problem, just as I described exists,  then, there’d be no evil or or suffering. But  

There is a lot of evil and suffering in the world,  therefore there can’t be a God, or certainly not   a Christian God. So where do philosophers in  general come out on that question of suffering, and where do you land? [Craig] Well historically  for centuries atheistic philosophers have defended  

The view that the existence of the suffering and  evil in the world is logically incompatible with   the existence of God. And now on the contemporary  scene, this has really changed; virtually no one   defends the logical version of the problem of  evil anymore, and the reason is that it lays upon  

The shoulders of the atheist a burden of proof  that is so heavy that no one has been able to   sustain it. The atheist would have to  prove that there is no logically possible   reason that God could have for permitting  the evil and suffering in the world,  

And no one can prove such a thing. So those who  do defend the problem of evil today have retreated   from the logical version of the problem to the  so-called probabilistic version of the problem,   where the claim is that given the evil and  suffering in the world, it’s improbable that  

God exists, if not impossible. And the difficulty  with this version of the problem is that it makes   probability judgments that are simply beyond  our ability. There is no basis for thinking   that if God has morally sufficient reasons for  permitting the evil and suffering in the world  

That these should be evident to me. For example,  every event that occurs in human history sends a   ripple effect through history, such that God’s  morally sufficient reasons for permitting it   might not emerge until centuries from now, perhaps  in another country. An illustration of this would  

Be the so-called butterfly effect in contemporary  physics. It’s been shown that the fluttering of   a butterfly’s wings on a twig in West Africa can  set in motion forces that will eventually produce   a hurricane over the Atlantic Ocean, and yet no  one watching that little butterfly on the branch  

Could possibly predict such an outcome. These  kinds of probability judgments are just beyond   our capacity. And similarly, when we see some  instance of suffering and evil in the world,   we are simply not in a position to say with any  sort of confidence God probably doesn’t have  

A morally sufficient reason for permitting that to  occur. A second point that needs to be made here   is that when one’s talking about probabilities,  then you’ve also got to consider on the other   side of the scale, what is the probability  that God does exist? And here I would offer  

A multiple considerations that I think make  it quite probable that there is in fact a   transcendent creator and designer of the universe,  despite any improbability that the suffering in   the world might throw upon the existence of  God. [Anderson] Interestingly, I’ve never  

Forgotten the story, a true story, about a young  university student in Scotland not long after well   probably I suspect during the Depression years,  things were grim, and he knocked on the door,   of a small cottage that was opened, there was  a returned serviceman from the first World War,  

And when he realized the young man wanted to  talk to him about God he said go away, he said   I was in the trenches in France and  I stopped believing in God when I saw   all that evil. And the young man said to him  I respect that that must have been terrible,  

And I certainly won’t pester you, but  can I just make the observation that   I wonder if I’d been there I might  not have stopped believing in man   rather than stop believing in God. And the old  man looked at him, tears welled up near his eyes,  

And he said you better come in; we need to talk  about this. It’s an interesting take on evil. I   sometimes think that one of our problems is we’re  not self-reflective enough. [Craig] Yes one of the   major developments in philosophy with respect to  this problem is the so-called free will defense,  

In which philosophers I think have been able to  show that it’s neither improbable nor impossible   that every world that God would create that  would involve this much good, this much moral   goodness, would also involve this much moral  evil freely perpetrated by human free agents,  

So that ultimately the blame lies  at man’s threshold and not at God’s. oh

#Problem #Evil #God

A “Pregnant Virgin”?!? Defending a Messianic interpretation of Isaiah 7:14 – The Case for Messiah

Shalom everybody and welcome to another pod for  Israel I’m here with Dr Golan Broshi my name is   Dr Seth Postel and we are continuing in our series  of the case for messiah and Old Testament defense   of the New Testament faith and today we’re  actually going to be looking at a passage  

That has received quite a bit of heat from the  anti-missionaries Isaiah chapter 7 verse 14 and   we’re going to be asking ourselves did the gospel  writers distort the words of Isaiah 7 14 so good  

To see you back Golan welcome to you thank you so  let me just kind of set the stage I’ll introduce   kind of the issues here so we actually have two  very different translations of the Hebrew text of  

Isaiah chapter 7 14. and so we actually have for  instance a new American Standard Version therefore   the Lord himself will give you a sign Behold a  virgin will be with a child and bear a son and  

She will call his name Emmanuel the JPS on the  other hand which is a Jewish translation of the   Hebrew Bible actually says look the young woman is  with child and about to give birth to a son and so  

For a young woman to be pregnant is not so much of  a miracle right that’s normal yes so the issue is   the definition of that of that girl Alma versus  correct so are we you know does the original  

Hebrew word actually mean virgin or not so there  are two very different translations and obviously   there are two very different interpretations right  so if we look at the New Testament both in Matthew   chapter one and in Luke chapter one it’s clear  that they understand that that Mary right Miriam  

Is this virgin that is supernaturally pregnant  and that is a sign that Jesus fulfills this   passage whereas if you look at the Jewish rabbinic  interpretations they would argue they’ve got a   couple of different arguments they would say that  this woman is is not a virgin right it’s Isaiah’s  

Wife right and that by naming the son Immanuel she  does it by the power of the Holy Spirit or others   would say that the young woman is a has his wife  or his daughter okay so so the rabbinic approach  

Would be that the word Alma is for a young young  girl but not not necessarily a virgin and he   doesn’t talk about a future prophecy that that  would be fulfilled 700 years but something that  

Is fulfilled in the next chapter or in the same  chapter correct so and we’ve got a kind of a a   slide that kind of kind of summarizes the issue so  here’s the anti-missionary claims against the New  

Testament and they’re really two I mean we could  probably add some but I think the main arguments   that the New Testament has Twisted or distorted  Isaiah 7 14 is first the gospels mistranslated uh   the word Alma the original Hebrew word for Alma is  young woman is what they argue and that if Isaiah  

Wanted to say that a virgin is pregnant they would  have used the Hebrew word Betula so he would have   used a different word the different words so the  Matthew basically muddles uh the the original word   secondly and this is this is another argument  is that Matthew and Luke ripped Isaiah 7 14 out  

Of context the sign is given to ahaz right and  therefore it had to have been fulfilled in the   days of ahaz and the the sign is that Samaria and  Iran would be defeated so it can’t be a prophecy   that’s dealing with something that happened  700 years later so let’s focus now on the  

First thing yeah that’s a really important issue  what what does the word Alma actually means so in   this podcast I think what we’ll do obviously we’re  going to address these two concerns one at a time  

Okay we’re going to deal it deal with it one at a  time and so the big Focus what in the world does   the word Alma mean right what does it even mean  did the gospel writers abuse it mistranslate it  

Let’s just be honest with our sources here too I  think a book that’s that came out recently that’s   a very important book is by Christoph Rico  and Peter J Gentry the mother of the infant  

King Isaiah 7 14 and they did a lot of work uh on  on the meaning of Alma and Betula and so it’s a   it’s a book that’s it’s worth a read okay so but  before the word Alma we would just want to make  

Clear what does the word Betula actually means so  in modern Hebrew if you wanted to say virgin how   would you would say that’s the only word right in  modern Hebrew there’s no other word to refer to a  

Virgin and so the argument goes likewise in modern  Hebrew so in Biblical Hebrew there’s only one one   word for Virgin and it’s a bit too long and it’s  not the word that Isaiah uses he uses Alma correct  

So the word Betula how many times does it appear  in at least 50 times 15 versions okay Exodus 22   verse 16 uh in the English verse 15 in the Hebrew  I’ll give you an example if a man seduces a virgin  

Who is not engaged right and lies with her he must  pay a Dao referred to be his wife so it’s clear   that the word here Betula means she didn’t she  didn’t know a man she didn’t sleep with anybody  

Yet correct correct so um there is actually one  contested use of Betula and again there’s 50 over   50 times it appears there’s one contested use  of the word Betula and that’s in Joel chapter 1   verse 8. so Joel 1 8 says whale Like a Virgin a  Betula girded with sackcloth for the bridegroom  

Of her youth so some people would argue that this  word the use of the word Matula here proves that   Betula can’t mean virgin because how can a a woman  who’s a virgin be lamenting the bridegroom of her   youth in other words obviously they were already  together however however it probably means that  

She’s mourning the loss of her fiance before  correct correct so so we would agree right that   Betula does in fact mean virgin yep okay and  that’s actually what Rico and gentry also they   would argue that Betula actually refers to Virgin  and in the case of it actually shows that Betula  

Has no respect for age so in Hebrew Betula can  mean batula doesn’t have any respect for age it’s   just a virgin woman either young or old correct  and also in modern Hebrew exactly alrighty so now   let’s this is the debated what about yeah  what about the word okay the word is used  

Nine times right so it’s rare it’s not as common  as batula in the Bible is it the word Alma is   it is the meaning always clear in the Hebrew  Bible nope and it’s not always clear and even  

In in modern Hebrew it’s not so clear what do  you mean when you say Alma is it a young girl   is he it doesn’t it’s not so clear so what’s  really important to notice that it the word is  

Not used a whole lot in the Hebrew Bible and  there are cases where you simply cannot know   what it means because it’s used for instance  for titles in the Psalms it doesn’t say what   they are so Psalm 46 the superscription psalm 68  verse 25 Song of Songs one three First Chronicles  

15 20. we don’t know we can’t use these to  determine its meaning so in other words in   some some places where the word Dalma appears it  doesn’t say anything about it it’s just a title   it doesn’t interpret it correct okay okay but and  this is really important in every clear case in  

Every clear case when the word is used the word it  refers to a girl who is a virgin so for instance   Rebecca Rebecca in Genesis 24 43 she’s a virgin  she’s a young woman who’s not yet married Exodus  

2 8. it’s clear that the word there means virgin  Miriam is Moses’s older sister but she’s young   of course right song of song six eight these are  cases where the word can be checked and in these   instances we’re dealing with women who are young  and virgins so where’s the debate okay where’s the  

Debate obviously actually well obviously the big  debate would be Isaiah 7 14. but we can’t use that   we can’t use that because that would be begging  the question right we can’t use our you know our   premise to prove the conclusion so we’re having  one more place there’s one more place though  

Um that the anti-missionaries love to use as proof  that al-mach does not refer to a virgin that’s in   proverbs 30 verse 19. so that’s the proof text  that’s the proof text that it cannot mean virgin  

So what does it say there so let’s read it okay  proverbs 30 verses 18 and 19 there are three   things which are too wonderful for me four which  I do not understand the way of an eagle in the sky  

The way of a serpent on a rock the way of a ship  in the middle of the sea and the way of a man with   a maid okay whatever that means this is the way of  an adulterous woman she eats and wipes her mouth  

And says I have done no wrong and so I’ve actually  heard some of the anti-missionaries actually say   here this is proof what what does a man do with a  maid he sleeps with her and therefore she can’t be  

A a virgin but there’s a problem with that just I  want you to notice number one we’re dealing with   poetry and so there’s a debate as to what exactly  is the point being made what’s too wonderful and  

Some have actually argued that what’s amazing is  that the way of an eagle in the sky means that an   eagle fly through flies through the sky and there  are no traces he doesn’t leave a trace what about  

A serpent on a rock also a serpent on the Rock and  the Sheep on the sea doesn’t leave a trace doesn’t   leave a trace and so if this is talking about  a man sleeping with a woman there is a trace of  

Course you would be pregnant she’d be pregnant and  so the point being that this is a poetic passage   and it’s actually can be argued in any number of  ways and so we can only rely on those passages  

That are absolutely clear to make our case so this  is illegitimate yeah this is not a clear it’s not   a clear text it’s a debatable text correct so  Golan why then do you think if we’re saying that  

Alma is a virgin and Betula is a virgin doesn’t  that that’s kind of foolish right we have two two   words so there must be a distinction there must be  a difference between those two Hebrew words right   correct and so so what does Rico and gentry  conclude okay so they basically conclude that  

Alma in contrast to Betula relates to a specific  period in a woman’s life when she is both young   and a virgin and this is clear in the case of  Rebecca Genesis 24 43 and in the case of Exodus  

2 verse 8 with Miriam so so in other words not  only that Alma is the Virgin it’s a young girl   a virgin a virgin a young girl correct a young a  very young woman okay correct so the question then  

Becomes is there any proof to this interpretation  from the text itself so what do we always say   what’s the best commentary on scripture but  only scripture right so the best commentary   in scripture is scripture and I think the best  commentary and the meaning of the word Alma is in  

The book of Isaiah in Isaiah chapter 54 because  he uses the word Alma in a different format the   same root but in a slightly different he talks  about the period of time when a woman is in  

Alma the period of her youth her Alum so her the  period of her youth defines what it means to be   an so let’s just read the whole section and you’re  reading from Isaiah 54 1-6 correct shout for Joy o  

Baron one the barren one here is a metaphor for  Zion right xion that that after the Exile she’s   empty of children the land of Israel is empty of  children and so this woman has no children shout  

For Joy o Baron one you have been have borne no  children Break Forth into joyful shouting and cry   aloud you who have not travailed for the sons of  the desolate one will be more numerous than the  

Sons of than the sons of the married woman says  the Lord enlarge the place of your tent stretch   out the curtains of your dwellings spare not  lengthen your cords and strengthen your pegs   for you will spread abroad to the right and  to the left and your descendants will possess  

Nations and resettle the desolate cities fear not  for you will not be put to shame and do not feel   humiliated for you will not be described traced  but you will forget the shame of your Youth and  

Here’s the word this is the period of an alma this  all right and the reproach of your widowhood you   will remember no more for your husband is  your maker whose name is the Lord of hosts  

And your redeemer is the Holy One of Israel who  is called the God of all the Earth for the Lord   has called you like a wife Forsaken and grieved  in spirit even like a wife of one’s youth when  

She is rejected says your God and so what’s really  important here is that this text actually provides   two different reasons for a woman in the ancient  world to not have children in both cases for a  

Woman at that time period not to have children  was a disgrace right it was a shameful it was   shameful at that time period And so Isaiah  actually describes two situations in which   a woman would feel shame for not having children  scenarios correct okay so let’s look at the first  

Situation and 54 Verses 4 verse a the first part  fear not for you will not be put to shame and do   not feel humiliated for you will not be disgraced  but you will forget the shame of your youth being  

An alma exactly the word shame of your being  an alma the period of your I don’t know how   to say it your youngness right okay your youth  yeah the parallel line provides the solution   to this problem 54 verse 5 a for your husband  is your maker whose name is the Lord of hosts  

In other words what is the solution to an alma  not having a child a husband a husband takes her   and in Hebrew the word the husband actually means  the the actual intimate act correct so to become  

A husband means to make an unmarried woman your  wife exactly now let’s look at we’ll talk about   this in a minute but I want you to notice the  parallel 54 4B and the reproach of your widowhood  

You will remember no more in other words here’s  a there are two scenarios to shame the shame   of an alma without children and the shame of an  al-mana a widow without children a widow what’s   the solution to the al-mana to the Widow and  your Redeemer go away who is the Holy One of  

Israel who is called the God of all the Earth in  other words in this situation God will redeem he   will redeem the Widow in other words to redeem  a widow is to provide children for a woman whose  

Husband who whose husband died and she doesn’t  have a children so let’s stop here because this   is really important in other words why would a  woman what what is the shame of an alma in this   text it’s that she never had a husband nobody  ever took her and therefore she never had a  

Child so Alma has to mean according to this text  a woman that never that was never married or was   never had a husband correct and that’s why she  doesn’t have a child let’s be clear on this this   is really important if we’re saying that the  best commentary on scripture is scripture what  

We’re saying here is that Isaiah In this passage  defines for us what an alma is and Alma is a woman   who doesn’t have children because she hasn’t yet  been slept with she hasn’t yet been taken by a  

Husband in other words she’s she’s the Virgin  she’s a young virgin correct so let’s I I think   it’s worth reading Rico and gentry summary  about this passage it’s very well written   the two women will forget forever the shame that  they had bitterly suffered and they will no longer  

Remember the fact that they were without  hope of having Descendants the reason for   the foreseen absence of progeny for children is  different for each of the two women the first one   has been married but her husband died before she  could conceive so she is in a State of widowhood  

The State of widowhood will cease as soon as the  Redeemer the goel comes on the scene as for the   second one she has never had a husband and she is  in a state of alumim this state of alumim right  

Being an alma I’m the word right will cease once a  BAL a husband takes her in marriage the conclusion   to which this strict parallelism leads us is that  the word Alma can only refer to a girl who has  

Never been married and who has never had children  once a BAL a husband arrives in the scene both her   celibacy and the absence of children or progeny  will cease so in other words according to these   two Scholars the difference between the Virgin  and Alma is that Alma is a young virgin a virgin  

Could be old or young but Alma is Almar refers to  a young virgin correct specifically a young woman   who’s yet to been take be taken by a husband  and so I think that this actually as we kind  

Of conclude the first response about the meaning  of the word Alma the fact that Alma has to be a   woman that has not yet known a man a young woman  who’s known a man makes this text all the more  

Startling so let I’m going to read it and actually  if we look at the Hebrew here it there’s all   sorts of beautiful plays on words here so you’re  reading Isaiah 7 10 to 14. correct then the Lord  

Spoke to ahaz again saying sha’al ask a sign for  yourself from the Lord your God make it as deep as right and so it’s interesting is the word ask  and she all sound almost exactly the same and  

They look almost the same they look exam exactly  so ask for yourself a sign make it as deep as   [ __ ] right or as high as Heaven we’re going to  get to that in a minute but ahaz said I will not  

Ask nor will I test the Lord then he said listen  now o House of David and by the way here he’s not   speaking just to he’s talking to the House of  David plural plural listen now House of David  

It is is it too slight a thing for you to try the  patience of men that you will try the patience   of my God as well therefore the Lord himself  will give you a sign Behold a Alma a virgin is  

Pregnant it does not say an alma will become  pregnant because that would not be a sign if   she is but there’s an alma who is pregnant how  is it possible for an alma who has never slept  

With a man who’s not been taken by a man to be  pregnant and here we see the beautiful play on   words is there connection between Alma and as  high as Heaven the same the same words it’s the  

Same words it’s the same letters just reverse same  letters yes right so what is this sign that’s as   high as Heaven La Mala and Alma will is pregnant  is and the emphasis on is it’s not tahar it’s she  

Is pregnant absolutely and so here we see that  this is truly an amazing sign and so so we can   conclude at least for that part that the gospel  writers did not reap a part to the the the the  

Translation or the meaning of the word they did  not distort the meaning of Alma I think that we   see from the book of Isaiah that they actually  that Matthew gets the the meaning and Luke gets  

The meaning correctly so we tackle the the meaning  of the word El map what about the next argument   what about the context did the gospels writers  reap out Isaiah 7 14 from its context well so  

What’s the problem with the context oh does  it is it a prophecy to be fulfilled or was it   fulfilled in Isaiah times yeah so the whole issue  of you know the context seems to tie Emmanuel’s  

Birth to the time period of the Assyrians and if  that’s the case obviously this can’t be about the   Messiah obviously right and so maybe I’ll read it  Isaiah 7 14-20 just so that we get a sense of the  

Context therefore the Lord himself will give you  a sign Behold a virgin will be with child notice   I use the word virgin we probably should say young  virgin right young unmarried woman right will be  

With child and bear son and she will call his name  Emmanuel he will eat curds and honey at the time   he knows enough to refuse evil and choose good  for before the boy will know enough to refuse  

Evil and choose good the land whose two kings you  dread will be forsaken ah here we go so Emmanuel   had to have been born during the time of the  Assyrians Case Closed you notice it says the  

Lord will bring on you and on your people and on  your father’s house such days as have never come   since the day that Ephraim separated from Judah  the king of Assyria again Assyria in that day  

That the Lord will whistle for the fly that is in  the remotest part of the rivers of Egypt and for   the bee that is in the land of Assyria they will  all come and settle on the Steep Ravines on The  

Ledges of the cliffs on all the thorn bushes and  on all the watering places in that day the Lord   will shave with a razor hired from the regions  beyond the afraides that is with the king of  

Assyria The Head and the hair of the legs and  it will also remove the beard and so so Syria   is coming up a lot do they have a case is it is  it is it the about the time of Assyria you know  

What’s really important here Golan and and this is  really important is that when we approach Isaiah   7 obviously the best way to interpret any given  passage is in the larger context and what’s really   significant and even the rabbis will admit it that  all the Messianic prophecies of Isaiah are placed  

In the context of the days of Assyria let me  show you what I mean by this I want you to notice   Isaiah chapter 10. now some people would argue  like Isaiah chapter 9 is not about the Messiah  

We’ll do another podcast on that so let’s the  rabbis do agree that Isaiah 11 is about the   Messiah right have you checked the rabbinic  commentaries even the anti-missionary say but   the immediate context of Isaiah chapter 11 is  Isaiah chapter 10. so let’s read it let’s read  

All right woe to a Syrian I’m going to start  in verse 5 of chapter 10. woe to Assyria the   rod of my anger and the staff and whose hands  is my indignation wait the Syria again it’s   Assyria I send it against a Godless nation  and commissioned it against the people of  

My Fury to capture booty and to seize plunder  to trample them down like mud in the streets   yet it does not so intend nor does it plan so in  its heart but rather it is its purpose to destroy  

And to cut off many nations for it says are not  my princes all Kings is not Kano like carcamesh   or hamat like akpad or Samaria like Damascus as my  hand is reached to the kingdoms of the idols whose  

Graven images were greater than those of Jerusalem  and Samaria shall I not do to Jerusalem and her   images just as I’ve done to Samaria and her Idols  so it will be that when the Lord has completed  

All his work on Mount Zion and on Jerusalem he  will say I will punish the fruit of the Arrogant   heart of the king of Assyria and the pomp of  his haughtiness now I’m going to skip down to  

Verses 33 and 34 behold the Lord the god of hosts  will Lop off the bows with a terrible crash this   is talking about the Judgment of the Assyrians  he’s going to cut down after the Judgment when  

The Assyrians come down and wipe out or or kind of  they’re used as God’s Rod of judgment against the   people of Israel then God’s going to cut down the  bows with the terrible question in other words the  

Assyrians those also who are tall and stature will  be cut down and those who are lofty will be abased   he will cut down the thickets of the forest with  an iron ax and Lebanon will fall by the mighty  

One and then right after this cutting down of  everything it says in chapter 11 verse 1 then when   at the Judgment of the Assyrians exactly  then a shoot will spring from the stem of   Jesse another Messianic prophecy the rabbis  absolutely don’t argue that Isaiah chapter 11  

The context if we were going to take the  historical context of Isaiah’s days we would   say that this prophecy had to have already been  fulfilled exactly and so this whole lopping off   it’s it in some ways too the the parallel story of  chapter 10 is when the Assyrians come and they’re  

Standing outside the Gates of Jerusalem right if  you remember the commander and he’s mocking and   and you know where are the gods of this nation and  that nation and God intervenes in a miraculous way   and rescues Hezekiah so in some ways you could  say that Isaiah 11 looks like Hezekiah just like  

You could say that Isaiah 9 looks like Hezekiah  or Isaiah 7 looks like Hezekiah but for the fact   that we’re dealing with a period of time these  descriptions of this exalted king and a forever   Kingdom it can’t be Hezekiah we could say that  the Deeds of Hezekiah are a sign for the Messiah  

All right so we have you’re saying  we have another Messianic prophecies   which which apparently deal in the context of  Assyria but are projecting for a for a later   time absolutely so not only does Isaiah tie the  birth of the Messiah right to the days of Assyria  

We have another classic example in in Micah  chapter five in Micah chapter five which also   in rabbinic interpretation it’s a Messianic inter  it’s a Messianic prophecy but as for you Bethlehem   afrata too little to be among the clans of Judah  from you one will go forth for me to be ruler in  

Israel his goings forth are from long ago from the  days of Eternity therefore he will give them up   until the time when she who is in labor has borne  a child then the remainder of his Brethren will  

Return to the sons of Israel and he will arise  that is this one born in Bethlehem and Shepherd   his flock in the strength of the Lord and the  Majesty of the name of the Lord his God and they  

Will remain because at the time he will be great  to the ends of the Earth this one will be our   peace when the Assyrian invades our land when he  tramples on on our own citadels then he will raise  

Against him Seven Shepherds and eight leaders of  men they will Shepherd the land of Syria yep with   The Sword and the land of nimrod at its entrances  and he will Deliver Us from the Assyrian when he  

Attacks our land when he tramples our territory  so it seems like the word Assyria means more than   what we think it is it has to be it it has to  be okay but another interesting phenomenon that   we see are that other Messianic prophecies that  the rabbis would agree are Messianic prophecies  

Are actually tied to the days of Israel’s historic  enemies yep numbers 24 14 and 17-19 and now behold   I’m going to my people come and I will advise  you what this people will do to your people in  

The days to come I see him but not now I Behold  Him but not near a star shall come forth from the   from Jacob a scepter shall rise from Israel and  shall Crush through the forehead of Moab Israel’s  

Ancient enemy and tear down all the sons of sheth  Edom shall be a possession see ear its enemies   in other words this whole use of Israel’s past  enemies in the context of future prophecies is   quite normal Rabbi ever used that verse as as was  fulfilled as the Messianic fulfillment on barkva  

Many years later that work absolutely and there  it there it is and here we see this whole notion   of what is it exactly unequal weights and measures  equals weights and measures so here are the here’s   the inconsistencies of the anti-missionaries one  one well-known anti-missionary I’m going to quote  

Him Isaiah 11 is a Messianic chapter Isaiah 11  verse 1 tells us about the kind of family he the   Messiah comes from in the context of Assyria  correct and it’s still a Messianic prophecy   so you tell me why is Isaiah 11 definitely  about the Messiah even though chapter 10 the  

Context is Assyria but Isaiah 7 is not about  the Messiah and he’s not the only Rabbi who   agrees that Isaiah 11 is the Messianic prophecy  right right talgum yonatan in Isaiah 11 verse 1   a king shall come out from the son of Jesse and  the Messiah from his son’s son shall bear fruit

And thy staff that is the Messiah as it is  said in Isaiah 11 1 and there shall come   forth a shoot out of the stock of Jesse and  the last the last reference from the talmud  

Ah okay let’s see here let me see I have it here  Ah that’s right from Sanhedrin 93 uh B the Messiah   was blessed with six virtues as it is written  and the spirit of the Lord shall rest upon him  

The spirit of wisdom and understanding the spirit  of counsel and might the spirit of knowledge and   of the fear of the Lord and it is written and his  Delight right from Isaiah 11 shall be the fear of  

The Lord and He Shall neither judge after the  sight of his eyes nor decide after the hearing   of his ears so even the rabbis of the talmud so  is there 11 even though the context is Assyria   they saw it as a Messianic Prophet so these  anti-missionaries can’t have it both ways in  

Other words if you’re going to say that Isaiah  7 cannot be a Messianic prophecy because of the   reference to Assyria and the days of Assyria then  Isaiah 11 has to be eliminated too but by the way   many of the anti-missionaries are going after  the legacy of Russia and we have a quote from  

Russia Isaiah 11 1 that you can read ah okay and  the shoot this is what Rashi says in Isaiah 11 1   and a shoot shall spring forth from the stem of  Jesse and if you say here are the consolations  

For Hezekiah and his people that shall not fall  into his hands now what will be the Exile that   was exiled to hallan Habor is their hope lost is  it not lost eventually the king Messiah shall come  

And redeem them so even Rashi here understands  why this ought to be Hezekiah right he it ought   to be Hezekiah because of the context of  chapter 10 but Hezekiah becomes a picture   of something of somebody so much greater and  the enemy Assyria it’s it is is depicted as  

An eschatological enemies the worst of enemies  can you give can you give an example anywhere   where Assyria is used and it’s clearly cannot  be referring to the the kingdom the historical   Kingdom of Assyria anywhere in the Bible maybe  even in Isaiah okay in Isaiah chapter 14 verses  

22-26 right so notice this is a judgment in the  Judgment sections the oracles against the Nations   I will rise up against them declares the Lord  of hosts I will cut off from Babylon name and   survivors Offspring and posterity declares the  Lord I will also make it a possession for the  

Hedgehog and swamps of water and I will sweep it  with the broom of Destruction declares the Lord of   hosts the Lord of hosts is sworn saying surely  just as I have intended so it has happened and  

Just as I have planned so it will stand to break  Assyria in my land and he goes on but the point   is is that in the book of Isaiah the kingdom of  Assyria and the kingdom of Babylon are actually  

Merged so that the fall of Babylon in some ways  is depicted as the fall of a series of the fall of   Assyria or Babylon is an extension of Assyria and  it’s it’s not the only one the only place in the  

Bible is there another place in the Bible where  Syria absolutely does not refer to Assyria in the   days of Isaiah and that and in Ezra the one you’re  going to read the nether is really clear okay so  

Ezra chapter 6 verse 1 for the context and then  we’ll skip to verse 22. then King Darius issued a   decree and search was made in the archives where  the treasures were stored in in Babylon so King   Darius is from the Persian period so we’re talking  about Three Kingdoms later Assyria Babylon Persia  

And notice what it says when they observe the  Passover in the days of this Persian king okay   and they observed the Feast of unleavened bread  seven days with joy for the Lord had caused them  

To rejoice and it turned the heart of the king of  Assyria toward them to encourage them in the work   of the house of God the god of Israel so again  the name of Syria doesn’t necessarily mean the   actual Assyrians it’s an eschatological term to  mean the enemies the the most brutal enemies of  

Of of Israel and of God sure and we also have  that example numbers of amalek right this this   you know amalek even in the book of of Esther  and the scroll of Esther you’ve got Haman who  

Is this amalekite and so you you don’t have any  issue here again with using the name Assyria and   making the Assumption okay that proves that it  had to be fulfilled in the time period of Isaiah  

So in other words if Isaiah 7 is talking about the  the context of Assyria it doesn’t say it doesn’t   it doesn’t mean that it’s not an eschatological  event yet to come correct and once again if the   anti-missionaries want to insist that Isaiah 7 is  eliminated because of the reference to Assyria and  

The kings in those days they have to be consistent  they have to be consistent so let’s throw out   Isaiah chapter 11 and yet the anti-missioneries  say with confidence that Isaiah 11 is also a   Messianic prophecy so I think it’s time to Summer  to sum up the whole the whole episode correct what  

Did we find out great discussion so number one  uh the word Alma although the anti-missionaries   would argue that Matthew and Luke they basically  abused the text and they they used you know they   don’t even know Hebrew or whatever the word  al-mad does in fact mean a young virgin it’s  

A young unmarried woman and that translation is  affirmed in Isaiah chapter 54 Verses 4 and 5 and   so what we really do have is an incredible miracle  that you actually have a pregnant Alma exactly   and then secondly and finally the New Testament  didn’t rip Isaiah 7 out of the context in fact  

All of the Messianic prophecies in at least  in the first part of the book of Isaiah are   set in the context of the Assyrian context and  this interpretation is affirmed by the way that   all Jewish interpreters treat Isaiah chapter 11.  by the way we see it also in the New Testament  

In the Book of Revelations where Babylon is used  as the word for in a future enemy correct yeah so   there’s no issue there whatsoever and so we see  this in Matthew and I love it in Matthew chapter   1 verses 18 through 25 we’ve got this birth  narrative it’s interesting we just coming off  

A season where around the world people are all  around the world celebrating the birth of a of   a Jewish kid a little Jewish boy right which is  quite quite remarkable but you know we can have  

Our readers look at this passage after but gondan  what do you think say would be the take on what’s   the application that we can we can make from what  we’ve just done I think at least personally for me  

I can absolutely trust the words of the gospels  and by the way when they wrote the gospels they   had they had the Bible they had the tanach the Old  Testament in front of them they didn’t have any   other scriptures so basically what you’re saying  then is that when Christians hear their faith  

Being assaulted and against the New Testament  and the way that the New Testament treats the   Hebrew Bible you’re saying that actually that  we can trust the way they’re interpreting the   Hebrew Bible and and it’s not that we don’t  welcome again we’re talking about the Jewish  

Debate it’s an in-house debate and we welcome  the debate we just want to to point out that we   can trust what the Bible says and maybe one other  application and that is is that if you’re seeking   if you don’t you’ve not yet figured out you’re  thinking through the Hebrew Bible and whether  

It does in fact talk about the Messiah and whether  Jesus is the Messiah or not we simply are here to   tell you that actually by carefully searching  the scriptures you will know that Jesus is in   fact the Messiah amen the scripture is Rock  Solid and we trust the rock amen amen [Music]  

If this touched your heart will you help pay  it forward to reach others who need to hear   this message partner with our team to bring  the gospel to Israel and the Nations [Music]

#Pregnant #Virgin #Defending #Messianic #interpretation #Isaiah #Case #Messiah

On the Function of Christ’s Human & Divine Natures in the Atonement

I was wondering if you could clear this up for me. So… argues that Christ’s suffering was equivalent to our eternal damnation on account of the infinite dignity of Christ. So he appeals to the divine nature of Christ and that absolves the issue. But earlier this morning you mentioned that when Christ experienced the

Loss of fellowship with the Father it was through his human nature and not the divine, and so what I’m having a difficult time understanding is how we can appeal to the divine nature of Jesus in order for the sacrifice to be sufficient, while denying that it is the involvement of his divine nature.

This is a tremendous subtlety of Chalcedonian orthodoxy concerning the two natures of Christ. And that is that there is only one person who Christ is, and that is a divine person. It is the second person of the Trinity. There is no

Human person who is Jesus of Nazareth. There is a divine person who has a human nature as well as a divine nature. So it’s not that in virtue of his divine nature that Christ makes atonement; it is that you have a divine person who in his

Human nature bears our sin and punishment, and it’s the person that is divine and is the one who suffers and dies and so forth for our sins, but he does so with respect to the human nature.

#Function #Christs #Human #Divine #Natures #Atonement

Secularism: Christian Worldview with R.C. Sproul

SPROUL: There’s a real sense, I think, that every Christian is a missionary. If we go back to the New Testament, and we see in the book of Acts, that when persecution arose in Jerusalem we read that all of the Christians were scattered except the apostles.

And those who were scattered abroad went everywhere preaching the Gospel. That is the way the Christian church was born—not simply with the ministry of the clergy or the apostles or even of the deacons but it was the rank and file Christians that took the Gospel wherever they went in the ancient world.

But in our church today we make a distinction, don’t we, between a professional missionary and a layman who is not a missionary? But in Biblical categories every Christian, in a sense, is a missionary, because every Christian is called to participate in the mission that Christ has given to the church.

Well when I look at what we do with missionaries before we send them into a foreign country what do we have them do? We don’t just select a missionary, put them on an airplane, have them arrive in Timbuktu or someplace like that and say “ok, do your thing.”

Before a missionary can go to the foreign field that the person has to undergo in-depth study of the culture to which they are going. They have to learn the language; they have to learn the customs; they have to be able

To understand the way people think and the way they behave in the land to which they are sent as missionaries. Now let’s assume that you are missionaries to the United States. What’s your preparation? It’s not enough simply to know the Gospel, to know the content of Scriptures, the subject

Matter that you want to communicate and bear witness to your culture. It is also very important that you understand the culture in which you are acting out your role as a missionary. So that’s the purpose of this series of lectures.

It’s to try to get a handle on the culture as it now presents itself to us as Christians. I think it would be a dreadful mistake to assume that the American culture is predominantly a Christian culture. Certainly we live in a nation that has had an enormous influence from the church and

From Judeo-Christian value systems. It’s not that our country is pagan. Our country has been strongly influenced by Christianity. Some have said that we have been influenced in the degree that people are influenced when they receive a shot of inoculation to prevent a disease that you put a minor dose of the

Disease in the inoculation so that they have just enough of it to be immune to the real thing. And some have maintained that that’s what has happened here in the American culture, that we’ve had just enough Christianity impacting our society as to make us immune from the real thing.

There’s a sense, as I said, in which our nation is not pagan. Paganism is a pre-Christian situation. It’s a situation that exists where the Gospel and the light of the Gospel has never been manifest in a particular environment, but that’s not true about America.

Ours is what I call a “secular” environment, a “secular” society. And the secularization of the American culture is a post-Christian phenomenon, not a pre-Christian—”pre-Christian” is pagan; “post-Christian” is secularized. Now, I think it’s also important for us to understand that our culture is, and has been, a melting pot.

We don’t live in a culture that is monolithic. What is monolithic? A monolithic culture is a culture where only one definable worldview or value system is operating, and there’s kind of a uniformity as you find in some nations.

You go, for example, into Red China and you see a uniform system of thought that everybody is supposed to embrace—it’s taught in the schools, it’s advertised in posters, and even the uniformity comes down to literal uniforms. People dress in the same way as there is this enforced conformity, but that’s not been the

American ideal. The American ideal has been—we are a melting pot, so that there are all kinds of different beliefs and philosophies competing for acceptance within our society and within our culture. And if a Christian is going to be able to communicate to this culture, he has to be

Aware at least of the dominant systems that are operating within our culture. As I said, we’re not monolithic but the term that we use is pluralistic, and we’ll have a separate study, a separate lecture, just on pluralism. But the various schools of thought that are most dominant, I believe, in our culture today

Include the ones that I’m about to put up here on the blackboard, and we’re going to look at each one of those individually in the lectures to come. First of all, there is the influence of what we call humanism.

As I say, we will a separate lecture defining the content and the perspective of humanism. Secondly, there is the influence of existentialism. How many of you think that you could give a good definition of existentialism? How many of you have never heard the word existentialism? All right, just a couple.

Most of you have at least heard the term existentialism, but it’s one of those terms that we hear bandied about in the culture but very few people are able to give concrete definition—we will have a separate lecture on existentialism.

A third “ism” that has had a tremendous impact on our culture that most laymen have never heard of is the “ism” called positivism. How many of you have never heard of positivism? See, there’s some more here, more than have never heard of existentialism.

And also, there’s the influence of a very ancient perspective or philosophy that we call hedonism. How many of you have never heard of hedonism? How many of you have heard of hedonism? You have … You have heard of that. Ok, all right.

And then there is, as I said, pluralism and relativism … And there’s one other “ism” that I’m going to incorporate up above with positivism which we call pragmatism, which is a distinctly American life and worldview. All right, let’s see how many I have there—five—humanism, existentialism, positivism, pragmatism, hedonism,

And pluralism and its corollary relativism. All right, those are going to be the systems of thought or philosophical perspectives that we will be examining in this brief course. But what I’m looking for today is this: is there an overarching, generic, holistic philosophy

Or value system that would in some sense incorporate all of these? It’s been said that no society can survive, no civilization can function without some unifying philosophical perspective. Even if you have all different kinds of views competing, there must be some kind of overarching

Atmosphere or environment that makes it possible even for these to coexist in a given society. And when the historians and the philosophers seek the common term, the common basic generic lowest common denominator that incorporates features of all of these, usually the term

That we hear is the term secularism, and that’s what I want to look at in the time that we have left today. Let me do my handiwork here with the eraser and we’ll start again with this word: secularism.

Obviously, when we see that word, we see that we have a root and a suffix. And my favorite method of teaching is to do word studies and break these concepts down into its constituent parts so that we can get a hold of them. There’s the word “secular,” and then there’s the suffix.

Now let’s start at the back and work our way forward. Anytime we see this three-letter suffix, “ism,” what do we see? What do we find? What’s it saying? What’s it do to the word? You’re allowed to answer my question, you know. What does it do? What does “ism” do to a word?

AUDIENCE: It makes it a state of being. SPROUL: It makes it a state of being. Little bit more than that. AUDIENCE: A philosophy. SPROUL: A philosophy, a system of thought. What we call a “veltunchung,” a way of looking at the world, a view of the world, a value system.

It’s one thing—how many of you believe in humans? And think that being human is a good thing? It’s one thing to be human; it’s another thing to be a humanist—that is one who embraces humanism. We all exist, but we’re not all existentialists, are we?

You put that “ism”, existentialism, on the end of the root for existence and you’re talking now about a philosophical system, a whole way of looking at things. You want to be practical, but does that make you a pragmatist? Of course not.

All right, so we see that the suffix “ism” takes the root and elevates it to the level of a philosophical system. Now the word “secular” is a perfectly good and positive word in the Christian’s vocabulary. Historically the church has always had a good view of that which was regarded as being secular.

I’m thinking in terms of the whole of the history of the church. In the Middle Ages, for example, men were ordained to a specific role in the priesthood that was called the secular priesthood, because those were men who had offices that took them

Out of the arena, or the institution, of the church to minister out in the world where they were specific needs that needed the healing touch of the church, or the priestly mission of the church. There’s a sense in which I was ordained as a secular clergyman, because I was ordained

To the teaching ministry, not to an ecclesiastical office within a local congregation. So I was commissioned to go to the university and to be a teacher out in the world, if you will, in the secular world that can be distinguished to some degree by that sphere that we’ve set

Apart and called the church, or the sacred realm. But so often in Christians’ minds the distinction between sacred and secular is the distinction between the good and the bad, but that’s not the way it was meant to be in the development of church history. It was simply a different sphere of operation. Ok?

Now the word secular has its origins and its roots in the Latin, in the Latin language. It comes from the Latin word “saeculum,” which means—Do we have any Latin scholars in here? What does the Latin word “saeculum” mean? What’s its translation?—It means the word “saeculum” means in the original Latin “world.” Ok?

I said a secular priest is one who ministers in the world. What does the Latin word “mundus” mean? Anybody know? “World.” Remember Athanasius? St. Athanasius, what was on his tombstone? “Athanasius Contra Mundum”—Athanasius against what? The world. All right, so that “mundus” also means world.

Well both words mean the same thing in the original Latin, what was the difference? Well, the people in the ancient world understood that as human beings they lived in time and in space. We still talk that way, don’t we?

That our life is spatial; it’s geographical; there is a certain “whereness” to my life. I live here. I am here; I’m not somewhere else. And there is also a time frame in which I live. Jesus talked about this place or this generation—this age. Ok? The present age.

So in the Latin the word for this world, thinking in terms of time is “saeculum,” and the word for this world in terms of space is “mundus.” Now what in the world, what in the “mundus” or the “saeculum” does this have to do with our culture?

Well “saeculum” or the secular had to do literally with this time, this world in the present time. The secular realm is this world in this world, in the present time. Now what happens to the word secular when you add the “ism”?

The basic overarching theme of secularism is this: That all of reality, all of life, every human value, every human activity must be understood in light of and judged by the value or the norm of this present time. Where’s the point of conflict between secularism and Christianity? Can you see it coming?

The New Testament Scriptures, the Biblical worldview is always concerned about long-range considerations. The Bible teaches us that we were created for eternity that the heart of the New Testament message is that Christ has come to give us life, a life that wells up into what?—eternal life.

And that at the very beginning of our understanding of the world we read in Genesis 1:1, “In the beginning,” what? “God created the heavens and the earth.” So that if we look at the earth and we see that it has a beginning in space and time,

But before there is even a world, if I can use the term “before,” there is One who transcends the world; One who stands above the world; One is outside of the restrictions of this space and time order that we call the world—namely, God.

“In the beginning God …” And we as part of the most core dimension of the Christian faith, we believe in a transcendent God—a God out there, a God who is beyond the confines of this planet. A God who is transcendent and a God who is what?—eternal, and that all judgments that

God makes, all things that He does are done from the perspective of what?—of the eternal. Now in philosophy we call that that God considers everything “subspecies aeternitatis.” Now that’s just a fancy Latin phrase for a very simple idea that means that God considers

Everything under, “sub” means under, under the species or the “auspices,” the auspices, or from the perspective of the eternal. In fact, the admonition and the rebuke that Christ brings to this world is that men are only thinking short term; they’re thinking in terms of the now and only the now instead

Of the future consequences of their behavior—long term. And Jesus says that He comes from above; He descends from the eternal realm. And He calls the Christian to live his life in light of eternity, and that his values are to be measured by transcendent norms of eternal significance.

I have a column that you know of in “Tabletalk,” our magazine, and what’s the byline, what’s the title of the column? “Right Now Counts…” what? “Forever.” Why do I choose that byline? Just to be cute? I did it because I said if there’s only one message that I can give to my generation,

And I can say the same message over and over and over again until people begin to think about it, it’s that. That’s the one voice that I want to scream from the streets—right now counts forever. What you do now has eternal significance.

And I did that consciously aware of the fact that we are being pressed upon by every side from the philosophy of the secularist who says, bottom line, right now counts for what?—right now. There is no eternity; there is no eternal perspective.

You’ve heard it said a jillion times “there are no absolutes;” there are no abiding principles by which human life is to be judged, is to be embraced, is to be evaluated. All reality is restricted or limited to the now. We see it in different phraseology in theology.

We’ve seen an attempt in twentieth century theology to produce a secularized gospel. Remember the Death of God movement? One of the most important books that came out of the Death of God movement by Dr. Van Buren was called the “Secular Meaning of the Gospel,” in which he talked in terms of synthesizing

Classical Christianity with the philosophy of secularism. But how can you do that without declaring the death of God? And you see the death of God, in the terms of the loss of transcendence, the loss of the eternal, means for you the death of man—because it means that history has no transcendent

Goal, no eternal purpose, that the meaning of your life is summed up in the words on the tombstone—born 1925; died 1985—that’s it. You have a terminal point, a beginning and an ending with no ultimate significance. This is called the theology or the philosophy of the “hic et nunc”—”the here and the now.”

Do you have to go to the library and get a dusty tome of philosophy, a heavy weighty treatise on moral philosophy to be exposed to these ideas? Where else do you see it? AUDIENCE: The media’s full of it. SPROUL: The media is full of it.

You know my favorite illustration of it is the beer advertisement: “You only go around life once, so do it with gusto.” And you see the guy out in the sailboat and this wind is blowing his hair and the salt spray is splashing at his face, and he’s having a fantastic time right now.

Ok? Pepsi calls it what? “The now generation.” Do it now. Do it now, because the message that comes through—you better get it now, because there is no tomorrow ultimately. Now we’re going to consider hedonism later, but one of the themes of the Epicureans who

Were hedonists in antiquity, one of … the bottom line of their philosophy was, “Eat, drink, and be merry for tomorrow you die.” Contrast that with Jesus. “Lay up treasures in heaven.” Think in terms of eternity, long-range implications.

Do you see this touches us most heavily, not simply in how we handle our bank accounts or how we speculate philosophically, but it touches us at the level of how we invest our lives, because life is an investment?

And the question that modern man has to answer is he going to invest his life for short-term benefits or for long-term gain? And every time you are faced with a moral decision, the temptation to do something now that may have harmful after effects, you are caught up in the tension and the conflict

Between two worldviews right now. Do you live for the present? Or do we live for eternity? Because, again, at the core of our Biblical understanding of life and of our moral behavior is that there are actions and that every action not only has a cause but it also has what?—a

Result or a consequence. And the consequence takes us to tomorrow, and tomorrow and tomorrow. What did Shakespeare say? “Creeps at its petty pace from day to day to the last syllable of recorded time.” But for the Christian there is no last syllable of recorded time.

Our lives are forever, but beyond the secular or the “saeculum” there is the eternal. And that’s what the Christian faith is all about. Why should a person be worried about salvation in terms of personal redemption if there is no eternal dimension? What is the mission of the church if secularism is correct?

Why should we be concerned about redemption of individuals? All we can really do—and churches get into this—all we can really do, is minimize pain and suffering for a season. We can never really offer ultimate answers to the human predicament, because for the

Secularist there is no ultimate answer because there is no ultimate realm. This side of eternity is the exclusive sphere of human activity. It’s not by accident, as we will see, that for the most part those who buy into secularism, who are thinking people, ultimately embrace a philosophy of despair.

And that despair, it’ll manifest itself in a host of ways—escapism, through drugs, alcohol, and other forms of behavior to dull the senses from the message that is being proclaimed and being screamed from every corner of our culture—There is no tomorrow ultimately.

It is a philosophy of despair, and it is right now competing for men’s minds in the United States of America. What we’re going to look at in the weeks to come are the constituent elements that make up secularism—humanism, you’ve heard of secular humanism, there’s also secularistic

Existentialism, positivism, and those different philosophies may be in the collision course with each other but they all embrace one common point; namely, the denial of the transcendent and of the eternal. Look for it in your culture. Be aware of it when you see it.

For we need to understand the world in which we live.

#Secularism #Christian #Worldview #R.C #Sproul

How to Respond to the Problem of Evil

What is a gracious, effective response to someone   who pushes away from the idea of  God because of the problem of evil? Well, my first question is, what exactly is the  problem? Now, of course I’m— this is a question  

I’m asking to get the other person to spell it  out because it’s not that I am ignorant about   the kinds of ways people factor in the problem of  evil into the existence of God. I want them to  

Spell it out because i actually think there are  serious problems with using evil as an argument   against God. So, I want them to spell it  out. Now, I know the way it’s usually characterized.

Well, if you think God is good and he’s powerful, and that would be God, right? But if he’s good, he’d   want to get rid of all evil. If he’s powerful, he’d be able to get all rid of all evil, but  

There’s evil, right? So there you go. God probably  doesn’t exist. And it turns out, though that sounds   like an argument. Like a step-by-step syllogistic  argument leading from premises to a conclusion, it turns out that when you press the issue, you  can’t build a valid argument from those facts.

If God were good, for example, then he  wouldn’t allow any evil. Really? Is that true? That’s a question, and we talk about this— I talk about this— I’m looking at you because I’m   saying “we” because you were such a help to me in editing The Story of Reality, but you recall  

From The Story of Reality how I talk about my  daughters don’t like shots, you know? They don’t   like that’s evil for them because it causes  them pain, but Daddy makes them get shots, so   why does he do that? Because Daddy’s evil? No.  Because I know that the short-term evil to them is  

Going to result in a longer term good. And so there  is a moral justification for the shorter term bad. All that does is point out that it certainly could  be possible, and that’s a very simple illustration. There’s dozens and dozens we can think of. It certainly is possible how something bad  

Could be justified. There could be a  morally sufficient reason for allowing it   because it leads to something good, okay?  Or maybe something bad that prevents   something even worse from happening. So,  there’s different ways to construe this,

To demonstrate that it is not the case that if  God were good he would never allow anything evil. Rather, he could have a morally sufficient  reason for allowing it for a time. And   that, by the way, is all we need to parry  the objection about the problem of evil.

Now, the possibility that he could have a reason, we don’t have to tell them what that reason is. Remember, the type of objection that this is is  a strong defeater. It’s not possible that there  

Is a God because there’s evil in the world, and  my response is, well, wait a minute. Maybe so. And   this, by the way, I step out a little step by step  in The Story of Reality. So, anybody wants to go  

There, they can see the chapter where I deal with  this. It’s not tricky, but it has some steps to it. This is why it makes a little bit more difficult  when you’re having a conversation with somebody. Somebody’s even listening to this saying, “Well, I  can’t remember all that stuff that he just said.”

Well, that’s true, I can understand that. But if you  don’t know why the problem of evil is not a good   argument against God, but a good argument for  God, then it’s going to be hard for you to make  

That point. And that, I think, is the most powerful  point that can be made from the problem of evil. This helps us. Evil is on our side, in that sense, because if there were no God, there would be no   evil at all…Because there’d be no  lawmaker. It’s just molecules clashing in the  

Universe. Okay, so then, what is wrong? Says  who? Your grandma? Kind of thing. So sometimes   I get to the point in a little different  way. What’s the alternative? So, somebody says, “Well, there can’t be any God, there’s evil in  the world.” Really? There’s real evil? What do  

You mean by evil? So, I would just want them  to emphasize that, okay? So, if there is no God, how can there be evil? What do you mean? Well,  there’s no lawmaker. There would be no law, alright?

Notice, those are questions, and I’m trying to  lead to make this point, or what’s the alternative? Well, the alternative is there is no God, okay?  Let’s say there is no God then, right? So, what makes  

Anything evil? You just complained about the problem  of evil. There must be evil in the world, right? So   what do you make of evil now that God doesn’t  exist? How do you get traction to even complain  

About evil in the world? You can’t. And I make  this point again in The Story of Reality because   people think that they somehow solve  the problem of evil by getting God out of the  

Equation. And what I point out is, okay, now you got  God out of the equation, okay? Now you’re an atheist. Yeah. Okay, that’s our view now. Right. How do you  solve the problem of evil? What do you mean? Well,  

You got God out of the picture. You didn’t get  rid of evil. You still got all the things that you used to call evil. They still are existing, and you  still probably consider them evil, okay? Now, solve  

The problem. The point I’m making is, atheism can  give you no traction to even make sense out of   evil to begin with. And if somebody wants to say, well, okay, then evil is just an illusion of   evolution or something. Really? Wait, just a  few moments ago, you’re saying it’s so real  

That it disqualifies the existence of God, and now you want to say it’s an illusion? See, our answer makes sense of all the  facts. We don’t have to play games like that. The world is broken. That’s why there’s evil in the  world. Broken means it ain’t the way it’s supposed  

To be. It started out one way, and now it’s a  different way. So these are all— and we broke   it. And so, we’re responsible. Some people haven’t  thought about it this way, Amy, but our whole story  

Is about the problem of evil. It starts in the  third chapter, it doesn’t get solved till 66   books later. If there was no problem of evil, we’d have no story. We’d have no Christianity. So in a certain sense, we could say  that evil is quite at home in our view.

It’s central to our story, and our story is not over yet. But it has no place in an atheistic worldview. It  does not make any sense whatsoever in an atheistic   worldview. Now, people can get that notion in  their mind, and I do walk through fairly carefully  

Not only The Story of Reality, but in the last  couple chapters of the book on Relativism that   Dr. Beckwith and I wrote called, “Relativism: Feet  Firmly Planted in Mid-Air” and lots of things we’ve  

Done on the air here, and lots of things we have on  the internet makes the same point. If there is no   God, there is no morality. But there is a morality, since the problem of evil, therefore, there is a  

God. That’s your basic modus tollens argument  for God. Moral argument for the existence of God.

#Respond #Problem #Evil

Suffering and Evil: The Logical Problem

We are all well aware of the suffering and evil in the world: horrific suffering, unthinkable evil. How then can anyone believe in the existence of an all-loving, all-powerful God? And if God does exist, why would anyone want to worship Him? Epicurus framed the logical problem of suffering and evil like this:

If God is willing to prevent evil but not able, then he’s not all-powerful. If he is able to prevent evil but not willing, he is not good. But if he is both willing and able, how can evil exist? And if he is neither

Able nor willing, then why call him God? In other words, it’s logically impossible for God and suffering to both exist, but we know full well that suffering exists. Therefore, God does not. Is this a good argument? Let’s look at it more closely.

Are these two statements logically inconsistent? No; here is an example of two logically inconsistent statements. David can’t be both married and a bachelor, but there is no explicit contradiction between these two statements, so there must be hidden assumptions behind this argument that

Would bring out the alleged contradiction. Here they are. If God is all-powerful, he can create any world he wants, and if God is all-loving, he prefers a world without suffering. So if an all-powerful, all-loving God exists, it follows that suffering does not exist. Since suffering

Obviously does exist, the atheist concludes that God must not exist. But are the atheist’s two hidden assumptions necessarily true? Consider the first assumption. Can God create any world he wants? What if he want a world populated by people who have free will? It’s logically impossible for God to force

Someone to freely choose to do good. Forcing free choices is like making a square circle; it’s not logically possible. It’s not that God lacks the power to perform the task; it is that the supposed task itself is just nonsense. So

It may not be feasible to create a world populated by people who always freely choose to do what is morally good, so the first assumption is not necessarily true. Therefore, the argument fails, and what about the second assumption? Is it necessarily true that God would prefer a world without suffering? How could we

Possibly know this? We all know of cases where we permit suffering in order to bring about a greater good. If it’s even possible that God allows suffering in order to achieve a greater good, then we cannot say this assumption is necessarily true. For the logical problem of suffering to succeed, the atheist

Would have to show that it’s logically impossible that free will exists, and that it’s logically impossible that God has good reasons for permitting suffering. This burden of proof is too heavy to bear. It’s quite possible that God and suffering both exist. This is why philosophers, even atheist philosophers,

Have given up on the logical problem of evil. We can concede that the problem of evil does not after all show that the central doctrines of theism are logically inconsistent with one another. Some philosophers have contended that the existence of evil is logically

Inconsistent with the existence of a theistic God. No one I think has succeeded in establishing such an extravagant claim. It’s now acknowledged on almost all sides that the logical argument is bankrupt. But this is hardly the end of the discussion. We still need to explore the probability version of the problem of evil.

#Suffering #Evil #Logical #Problem

The Rise and Fall of Secular Humanism: Only Two Religions with Peter Jones

JONES: This second lecture will deal with one of the powerful influences on our culture today, namely I’m looking at the rise and demise of secular humanism. I think it’s important that we understand today’s culture. And I really am so happy that there are young people listening to me because while some

Of you my age will say, “You’re saying what exactly what I understand and have lived through.” Sometimes our young people have difficulty figuring out what’s happening because they have not lived through this kind of thing. So I address them in particular.

And to understand our culture, we need to see that there are two fundamental ideologies that I will show at the end of my lectures possibly are really the same because they’re Oneist, namely secular humanism and revive paganism. They’re very different but at the end of the day, they are in their fundamental orientations

Of the world — Oneist. You know when I first came in 1964, I mention how amazed I was to see Christian America. And the other thing that amazed me was how much people lived in fear of communism. There were commies behind every bush.

And of course the McCarthy investigation of communist agents was just finished and many on the left poopooed that but it’s actually been shown that there were many communist agents in America during that time. But we were worried because this godless system of communism or Marxism was spreading throughout

The world in this sort of a domino effect from the Soviet Union to China, to Korea, to Vietnam, to Cuba. And you know the ’60s revolution was very much a revolution against the Vietnam War whose motivation of course was to oppose communism.

So we have radicals who still actually now have power who were part of those refusing to denounce communism which is sort of interesting. So the threat in the ’60s was not a religious threat but a nonreligious materialism in its various forms. In its political form of course — atheistic Marxism.

But it is also had an intellectual form called secular humanism and that was something that we all realized and perhaps still realize as a fundamental opponent of the Christian faith. Humanism was celebrated in the Renaissance just before the Reformation as the rediscovery

Of the value of the individual human being and his reason over against the power of the church. And many of us have seen the importance of that movement and of course it’s easy to describe the work of Martin Luther as an expression, in a certain sense, of that humanistic understanding

Of the importance of the individual. But of course, like most things, its good parts can be turned to bad. And what you have you see is, from the intelligent use of individual reason which has produced the incredible successes of Western culture through science and technology.

So, that one day human beings would walk on the moon; this kind of thinking became more and more enamored of its own power and felt that it was the only way of relating to the world — that human reason was the source of truth.

And belief in a world created by God and of reason created by God was dismissed as religious superstition and myth. And so for modern man — religion had to go, and this is why we have known and recognized that secular humanism is a massive attack on Christianity.

So from the 18th Century on what’s called “The Enlightenment” — “the age of light” if you like; this view of reason as the ultimate source of authority for human existence developed in a powerful way. Optimism in what mankind could produce, its capacities to bring about a better world took

The minds of intellectuals by storm and of course invaded the university. So that, so many of our intellectuals bought into this system. Bringing about if you like this vision of a kingdom of man on earth, you can already see how Oneist that is, right?

If it’s simply depending on human beings to put the world together, it is a form of Oneism. It was known as the religion of humanism and it was particularly expressed by the French Revolution. I spent eighteen years in France, so I love the French but I see their weaknesses too.

In 1789, the Paris revolutionaries built an altar to the goddess ‘Reason’ in Notre Dame Cathedral, can you believe that? There was an altar right in the center of that incredible medieval church and they celebrated to goddess ‘Reason’. The French philosopher who was part of this French Revolution — Voltaire, was fundamentally anti-Christian.

He was a friend by the way of Benjamin Franklin, who himself was a very conflicted man because some of you know that Benjamin Franklin was fascinated by George Whitfield and helped pay for some of his campaign.

And yet he was also a friend of Voltaire, one of the leading atheists of the 18th Century. Voltaire came up with the famous phrase “écrasez l’infâme,” — “Crush that vile unspeakable thing.” This became the battle cry of The Enlightenment, but it was actually Christianity that was the vile and unspeakable thing.

And so there were thousands of heads of priests and so on that were separated from their bodies through the French Revolution. The Emperor Napoleon asked Pierre-Simon Laplace, — the great French scientist if he believed in God; he was reputed to have said, “I have no need of that hypothesis.”

This is a movement, a very powerful movement in the West, and as western history develops in the 18th and 19th Centuries, you find leading intellectuals actually predicting the end of religion. In the 21st Century, we should be seeing the end of religion according to these predictions.

Ludwig Feuerbach called Christianity a “delusion,” “a gigantic human projection.” You remember Karl Marx described religion as “the opiate of the people,” the sign of a wrongly ordered society. “Man,” said Marx, “is the supreme divinity.” By the way, another expression Oneism.

But these people didn’t want to be called religious by the way; they weren’t religious, they were rational. Of course why did they believe in their own rationality, that was a faith statement by the way. Friedrich Nietzsche declared “Gott ist tot,” “God is dead.”

The tradition of Christianity was now being buried by these leading philosophers. Sigmund Freud in his book “The Future of an Illusion” speaks about religion in particularism his own Judaism as a “mass delusion, a collective neurosis which enshrines our infantile longing.”

He actually describes it as a serious pathological condition from which one needed to be healed. Really massive anti-religious mindset going on amongst the intellectuals of the 19th and 20th centuries. And that continues to this day in 1976, Richard Dawkins, one of the new atheists, in his book

“The Selfish Gene,” describes faith, quote, “as a kind of mental illness.” So here we have this rationalistic approach to eliminate faith and religion as a form of illness. And of course we saw this kind of thinking invade the church; that’s what liberalism is, you see.

Liberalism is the adaptation of the world’s kind of thinking and trying to make it Christian, that’s what liberals have done all through the ages since the beginning. Christianity, beginning with the Gnostics, who were the original liberals who tried to take pagan notions of the mystery religions and make them Christian.

So that’s the mechanism that liberals use. And when I was studying New Testament at Harvard, of course that was the great goal — to reinterpret the New Testament by demythologizing the supernatural. Demythologizing means taking away the myths and getting to the heart which really the

Heart was sort of a sense of one’s own existential being faced with nothingness; that was the real meaning of Christianity in the New Testament. So there was no miracles and certainly no resurrection of Jesus. And then of course, the mainline churches buy into this kind of thinking.

But of course, someone has said, “If you marry the spirit of the age, you will soon be a widower.” And we’ve seen mainline churches going down in their effect in our culture. And Liberalism thus defined the Gospel as mere social work, and saw Jesus only as an

Example not as a divine Savior, that was myth of course you see, so myth had to go. The Gospel was redefined in terms of Marxist politics. Liberation theology became all the rage, and Jesus was little more than a cake of 20th century revolutionary theory.

On a different level, the secular humanists were greatly influenced by Darwin, who would effectively eliminated belief in “God the Creator,” and proposed in place of “God the Creator” the idea of an unguided and impersonal process of natural selection.

Life came about by mere chance, and man was seen as the result of purposelessness and a mere natural process, that did not have him in mind by the way, and so we are really the result of chance.

It’s incredible to see how far people can go with that as an explanation for the incredible beauty and power of what we represent as human beings. The way our bodies have put together. The way our minds can function. There’s no valid explanation of this in secular humanism and yet so many liberal thinkers

Adopted it. Science was the only way of knowing anything about anything. And so, there was a belief that religion would disappear. When I came to the states in the ’60s, I was asked to read books on ‘the death of God’.

And this was all the rage and we were sort of told that this was the proof (and I wasn’t at an evangelical school and I don’t really blame my professors for seeing it this way, I saw it that way) that the death of God was the proof of the success of secular humanism.

That man no longer needed God as a hypothesis, he was now fine on his own. The final triumph then of secular humanism is to declare in America in the ’70s that God had died. Secular humanism had won. Now in a certain sense, these predictions have come true.

We’re seeing the decline of the Christian faith in the population as a whole. No longer are many people influenced by a Christian way of thinking and I don’t think we should hide our eyes from that. And in that sense we’ve seen the decline of attachment to the Christian faith.

Now, this is a massive change. People no longer actually believe in God the Creator and so they can do anything they want to, but that was not always the case. In 1890, the Supreme Court in United States defined religion as “one’s view of one’s relation

To his Creator, to the obligations they impose of reverence for his being and character and obedience to His will.” That was the statement of the Supreme Court in 1890. There was no other definition of God but of a personal transcendent creator.

But thanks in many ways to secular humanism, this is no longer the case in public discourse. So what is ‘secularism’ or secular humanism? Let me give you a simple definition, it comes in various names. As an intellectual discipline, it is known as “philosophical materialism,” that matter is ultimate. That’s the philosophy of materialism. As a religious expression, it is called ‘Atheism’, the faith belief that there is no God. There’s no — you can’t prove that rationally, right? So an atheist has to be in some sense a religious believer.

As a political form, it is practiced as ‘Marxism’ and various forms of socialism. And for many people, it’s simply a default way of thinking of living without any notion that God exists. That’s probably the way most people practice this kind of thinking.

But in all these expressions of secularism, it’s a consistent rejection as a mere ancient superstition, a sort of a holdover from the Middle Ages and we must refuse that kind of mythology if we want to really do our world good. Now, this kind of a view still dominates the western universities.

Some of you young people that go to schools around here will confirm that your professors — many of them believe in this kind of rationalism or secular humanism. However, this is not the whole story. Just as these philosophers of the 19th and early 20th century were predicting the end

Of the withering away of religion in a kind of ironic turn of events. We are now seeing the withering away of secular humanism, did you realize that? You probably don’t always see it, but this is happening and many people are talking about it.

And the withering away of secular humanism, (oh let me just say it) the proof is, how many people now say, “I’m spiritual but not religious?” In other words, they are making a claim to spirituality which doesn’t fit with secular humanism, right? — That’s superstition. Any kind of faith is superstition.

Well, the reasons why this movement of secular humanism is on the decline and indeed is withering away, is that while it was so optimistic and full of self-confidence; secular humanism produced two devastating World Wars that produced the death of millions. In some of its socialistic expressions it became totalitarian fascism.

And some of its great leader was Stalin, Hitler and Pol Pot that produced the murder of countless millions, in the name of secular humanism. That doesn’t give a movement too many honors. And of course from that — you have wild industrialization, ecological disasters; but as I was indicating

Earlier, one of the real problems is that many people have begun to feel that without some kind of spirituality they can’t exist in this world. And that’s what secular humanism does; it leaves us with a soulless materialism without any sense of a meaning in a spiritual way of thinking.

And so secular humanism produced a profound sense of alienation from the rest of the universe. So we human beings, you see, are isolated in this massive cosmos, and we have no real relationship with the outside and so we have a profound sense of alienation. Have you met people like that?

They are looking for a sense of wholeness. “W-H.” (I didn’t say holiness, I said whole-ness) they want to belong somehow to more than a mere physical. But there is another reason why secular humanism is in decline. It is severely weak as a philosophical system. What do I mean by that?

Well, you see, to be a secular humanist, you have to believe in the validity of human reason. But in order to believe in human reason, you have to presuppose it. So to demonstrate that, you have to presuppose it. So it’s a perfectly circular way of thinking, does that make sense?

In order to prove reason, you have to presuppose it. And to presuppose it, that’s a faith statement that the world is rational. You don’t have all the information, right? You don’t sit outside of the cosmos and look down, ‘Oh yeah, that’s rational’. You have to presuppose that.

And some scholars have realized that this is not a ground for establishing secular humanism. The postmodern critique of secular humanism which argued that all major ideas are simply human notions and they are not scientific or philosophical, included the critique of secular humanism oddly.

So postmodernism — the thinkers of whom were probably the sons and daughters of secular humanist turns around and eats up their parents. There are two reasons really why secular humanism is on the decline. The first, is it really cannot stand against true biblical theism.

The conversion of Antony Flew — the great atheist is an example of that. He stated this, “It is simply inconceivable that any material matrix or field can generate agents who think and act. Matter cannot produce conceptions and perceptions such a world has to originate in the living source, a mind.”

The greatest atheist of the 20th century finally has to admit that secularism cannot justify the human mind. Isn’t that beautiful? But then, finally, there’s a new way of thinking. It is the thinking of this new spirituality. David Miller, who was a professor at Syracuse University, and was one of the ‘death of God’

Theologians actually said, “At the death of God, you will see the rebirth of the gods and goddesses of ancient Greece and Rome.” That’s not secular humanism. That’s a justification of a belief in all the gods. What did Miller know that we didn’t know as we read him in the ’70s?

Well, he was a devout follower of Carl Jung. And that will be the subject of my next lecture. Thank you.

#Rise #Fall #Secular #Humanism #Religions #Peter #Jones

R.C. Sproul: The Resurrection of Christ

That will be glory when we see him in the power of the resurrection. Let’s pray. Our Father and our God, as we consider now the mighty work that you performed by the power of the Spirit to raise Him from the tomb.

That certain sign that you have given by which the whole world is judged. We pray that we may see the full import of that moment in history when you raised Him from the grave. For we ask it in Jesus’ name – Amen.

Just a couple of days ago I was reading an article in the newspaper about the recently discovered bones of Jesus, which I refer to as the journalistic phase and sensational phase of theology. To get the press’ attention in religion the more bizarre the proposition is, the more attention they give it.

I was somewhat surprised at the beginning of the article than the writer indicated that this recent assertion had be responded to by scholarly archeologists with a certain amount of scorn, revealing it for the absurdity that it was.

So I was beginning to warm up to this journalist, thinking “wow, finally we find one that fights for the angels.” Then he went on to give the results of the most recent poll in which he said 78 % of Americans (and that is how we determine truth you know – by counting noses.)

Believe in the resurrection of Jesus. The author inserted a little extra phrase there. He said “78% of Americans believe in the myth of the resurrection of Jesus.” He just couldn’t hold it back. He had to get it in there. The myth of resurrection.

One of the oldest questions if not the oldest question of theology was the one asked by Job “if a man dies shall he live again?” And before we get to the New Testament answer to that question as set forth by the greatest

Apologist of the Christian church, the apostle Paul, I want to spend a little bit of time in background to refer your attention to two watershed events that radically changed the world in the decade of the 70’s. But I am not thinking of the 1970’s. I am not even thinking of the 1870’s.

But I am thinking of the 1770’s where most Americans believe the most important watershed event took place in that decade when some disgruntled colonists on this side of the ocean rose in protest against certain illegal procedures by parliament by declaring their independence, and inaugurating this country’s birth as an independent nation.

But I believe that something else happened in that same decade in Europe that had even far greater ramifications then the American Declaration of Independence. It was the work of a single man in Prussia who was a professor whose chief at the University of Cornisburg was the field of Astrophysics.

And he had contributed significantly by way of essays in the 18th century to the discipline of astro-physics. But his real claim to fame that catapulted him into international significance, this name who never traveled more than a hundred miles from his birth place and who was know

To take a walk every afternoon at exactly the same time, and was so punctual, indeed punctilious, was he that the villagers would check their timepieces by the afternoon stroll of this gentleman whose name ironically was Emmanuel, which hardly meant God with us, but came to mean “God unknown to us.”

This man was Emmanuel Kant who in the decade of the 70’s of the 18th century wrote the most definitive and comprehensive critique of the classical arguments for the existence of God in his book that was titled The Critique of Pure Reason, in which Emanuel Kant set

The bar for the centuries to follow for religious agnosticism. As a scientist he argued that we can not move from the visible world to the invisible world as the apostle Paul declares that not only can, but do in the first chapter of Romans.

He said we can’t move from the physical to the metaphysical, from the phenomenal world, as he called it, to the pneumenal world, which was the residence of God, the self, and the thing in itself. And so this critique of the classical arguments for the existence of God, given by Kant in

An effort not to save theology but to save science from the skepticism of David Hume, was as I say a watershed moment in western history because thereafter there was a seemingly un-breechable rift between science and theology.

But though Kant is known for ushering God out of the front door of the house, he ran around to the kitchen and opened the back door and tried to let God in through that entrance by the route not of metaphysical pursuit, but by reason of practical thinking.

Kant was very much concerned about morality and ethics. By the way when he considered his skeptical stance on the knowing of God, the one argument that he felt was most impressive was the argument to design. It was that which he could not explain.

But he was concerned with the study of man, that it would seem that in the heart of every human being there was this universally present sense of duty, or sense of “oughtness.” For which, he is famous for identifying as the categorical imperative.

It was Kant’s Germanic version of the golden rule if you will. But then he asks this question from a practical view point. Thinking transcendentally, what would the necessary conditions be to make this sense of oughtness, this sense of duty which provokes the pangs of conscience in human beings; what

Would be transcendentally necessary for this sense of duty to be meaningful? That is, he asked the question: What would have to be for ethics to be meaningful? And his concern, as I say, was practical. Because what he was concerned about was the survival of civilization.

And he understood that without some sense of ethics civilization can not survive for very long, as some of the other speakers have already addressed. And so, as he pondered that question: What would be necessary for ethics to be meaningful? He said the first thing is that there would have to be justice.

Because if there is no justice, then in the final analysis the person who acts according to this sense of ethic, this sense of duty would be involved in a fool’s errand in an exercise of meaninglessness. So, for ethics to be meaningful there must be justice.

And so then he looked around and he says that in the phenomenal world in which I live I notice that justice does not always prevail. And people were asking then as the Old Testament sages were asking “Why do the wicked prosper and the righteous suffer?”

And Kant said for justice to be true we must survive the grave. And not only must we survive the grave, in order for justice to prevail, but there must be beyond the grave to ensure justice a judge who would meet out and dispense pure justice.

And he went on to say: Well, what would the necessary conditions be for such a judge to ensure the distribution of justice? And he said, well first of all that judge would have to perfectly righteous and above reproach.

Because if the judge on the other side were an unjust judge then we would have no guarantee of the victory of justice and therefore no foundation for a meaningful ethic. Then he went on to say that judge would not only have to be righteous but we would also have to be omniscient.

Because for a judge to execute perfect justice, he would not only have to be just himself, but he would have to be free from being misinformed. A just judge could be responsible for a miscarriage of justice if he erred in his understanding of the case.

Then he went on the say that even if you say that you had a perfectly righteous omniscient judge, those two conditions would not guarantee the triumph of justice, because it would be possible that that perfect, just, and omniscient judge could give the correct sentence, but be powerless to carry it out.

So that judge in the next world would also have to have all power and authority within himself to guarantee justice. You see where Kant is going? He’s saying though on the basis of theoretical thought we can’t affirm the existence of God,

Metaphysically, never the less on the basis of practical considerations for a meaningful ethic we must assume the existence of God. Otherwise life is meaningless. And so we must live as if there were a God. Now that as it were, was the dyke that held back the full torrents of skepticism for a

Few years at the end of the enlightenment. But there were cracks in that dyke that soon gave way. And a metaphysical and ethical Katrina happened in western theoretical thought. Now, that is by way of introduction. Now, I’d like to show some parallel thinking that goes on between Kant and the apostle

Paul by looking at the fifteenth chapter of Paul’s first letter to the Corinthians. Hear the word of God, in chapter fifteen, verse twelve. And I don’t know which is going to come to an end first, my message or my voice. So far the voice is losing. But we read in the text.

“Now if Christ is proclaimed as raised from the dead, how can some of you say there is no resurrection of the dead?” That’s the question. If Christ has proclaimed that God has raised Him from the dead, how is it that some of

You (and he is writing to people in the church who were trying to have a Christianity without resurrection.) say that there is no resurrection from the dead. Now, what follows is a particular kind of argument. It is a particular form of debate common to ancient philosophers and one that was used

Regularly by the apostle Paul as an apologist. It is called the “ad hominum” form of argumentation. Now, be careful. Some of you studied logic in college or in high school perhaps. And you learned to identify certain fallacies of reasoning, both formal and informal.

And one of the most frequent informal fallacies is the fallacy of reasoning called “ad hominum abusive.” That is where if you can’t attack the cogency of a man’s argument, you attack the man. You say how can you believe what this speaker says when he is an adulterer.

Well, even adulterers who do not live the truth can from time to time argue cogently. And so the man’s character does not vitiate the man’s argument. But we do that all the time, particularly in the criminalization of politics as we witness everyday in Washington D.C.

So there is a fallacious form of argument that is called “ad hominum abusive.” And frequently to save breath and time, there is a kind of short hand that refers to that fallacy by simply calling it the “ad hominum” fallacy without qualifying it by the term “abusive.”

Now, I mention all this for this reason. There is another form of “ad hominum” reasoning that is a sound form and that is a form that has been in use by philosophers from time immemorial. And that is simply arguing to the man.

And that means that I step into the shoes of my opponent. We stipulate at the beginning agreement on certain premises, and now I take my opponent’s premise and I say “I grant you, your premise. But let’s see where this premise goes out of logical necessity.”

And so I take my opponents argument to its logical conclusion showing that if his premise is sound and true his conclusion will be absurd. Again going back to Zeno the ancient philosopher; this form of argument was called “reduxio ad absurdum” – arguing from the opponents premise, taking it to its logical conclusion

And showing by a resistless logic that the conclusion would be absurd. That is exactly what the apostle Paul is doing here with these folks in Corinth who are denying the resurrection. And they say there is no resurrection of the dead. That is a universal negative. That means it admits to no exceptions.

It is universal in the sense that it encompasses everybody because no on escapes it. It is called a universal negative because it is articulated in the negative form. If, let’s go now, there is no resurrection of the dead. That is premise A – no resurrection of the dead.

If that is true, then what else would be true? If there is no resurrection of the dead, then not even Christ has been raised, obviously. We get that from the laws of necessary inference. If there is a universal negative, there can not be one positive.

So if there is no resurrection, than that means Christ can not have been raised. So, let’s see where that leads us. If Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is in vain, and your faith is in vain. So let’s face facts the apostle is saying.

Let’s not live like Alice in Wonderland in some kind of religious dream world. If Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is an exercise in futility. I’m wasting my breath. I’m wasting my time. We’re all here wasting our time at a conference like this, if Christ has not been raised.

And not only is my preaching an exercise in meaninglessness, my faith is useless and worthless as is yours. Your faith is in vain, because you’ve invested your trust and your hope and your faith in a man whose man have just been dug up along with Mary Magdalene’s so recently.

Not only that but we are found, he says, to be misrepresenting God. Because we’ve said and testified that it is God who has raised Him from the dead. And if He has not been raised from the dead, then we ought to change the name of our church

To Jehovah’s False Witnesses because we have been attributing the power of this resurrection of Jesus to God. And that attribution is a false one. ”We have testified about God that He raised Christ, whom He did not raise if it is true that the dead are not raised.”

He has to keep rubbing our noses in the consequences there. “For if the dead are not raised,” if you missed it the first time and the second time, not even Christ has been raised. “And if Christ has not been raised your faith is futile. And you are still in your sins.”

You are still in it. You are contained in sin. You are still enmeshed in sin. You are still in jail to sin without bail; because our justification does not end with the cross, but Jesus was raised for our justification. The resurrection is God’s apologia, certifying to the world that He accepted atonement that

Jesus made on the cross. But if He is not raised from the dead you’re still in your sins. You see, you look at the world religions today, Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism, Confucianism, Taoism; the thing that they don’t have is an atonement and because they don’t have an atonement.

You can’t expect them to have a resurrection either. It wouldn’t cause any crisis of faith for any Muslim to dig up the bones of Muhammad. Muhammad is dead. Buddha is dead. Confucius is dead. But Christianity stands or falls with a resurrected Jesus. And that is what Paul is saying here.

If he is not raised, your faith is nonsense and you are still in your sins. Not only that, those also who have fallen asleep in Christ, (let’s face it) our beloved ones, our husbands, our wives, our children, our parents, our friends who have died in the faith have perished.

That’s the grim reality if there is no resurrection from the dead. If in this life only we have hoped in Christ we of all people, are the most to be pitied. I say to the enemies of the Christian faith; if you don’t like what we preach; if you don’t

Like what we teach, don’t be mad at us. Pity us. Because if we are preaching a false doctrine of resurrection, if we are conjuring up a hope with no real foundation for it, then we forfeit much of the fun, supposedly, of this world, where you only go around once.

And you might as well go around and get all the gusto you can because you are on a fast pace to oblivion, to perishing without hope. It is a pitiable condition to be in. That is why the Bible says without Christ you are without hope.

So, I am just going to stop for a second and consider what Paul has just done here. Paul has drawn for us a ghastly picture of the consequences of no resurrection, no life after death. He is saying that if there is no resurrection then life itself under the sun is meaningless.

As Kant understood, your ethic, your sense of duty, your conscience is meaningless and without ethics of our society, civilization can not last. You are doomed ultimately to barbarianism, which our nation right now is rushing toward with such a velocity one wonders if anything other than the direct intervention of God

Will ever restrain it and stop it. Dostoevsky understood what Kant was arguing for in his practical reasoning that if there is no God, all things are permitted. The post-modernist understands that if there is not God and since there is no God and since

There is no resurrection from the dead, then what is left are personal preferences. Which can only be maintained if enough of you can exercise power for your complete liberty, you will make is right by your might. For you know of know other recourse.

What Kant was saying was this, since the alternative to life after death is so grim, since the alternative to life after death would make ethics impossible except for the fool. And since life without ethics is meaningless, we must live as if there is a God.

Talk about a justification for using religion as a bromide or as a crutch against facing meaninglessness. Here it is with a vengeance. Didn’t I say this put up a dyke that only lasted a little bit of time in western civilization?

A guy like Nietzsche comes along, and says: hey, let’s quit playing Alice in Wonderland. I’m not going to affirm the existence of God or the existence of life after death simply because the alternatives are grim and unbearable. Why don’t we just face it? There is not God. There is no afterlife.

There is no meaning. We are left with the nothingness, the nihil, the abyss of absurdity. This motion was seconded by Jean Paul Sartre, particularly in his little monograph, which title gave to the world his final evaluation of human existence: Nausea. That’s the end of human existence: Nausea.

Albert Camus said the only serious question left for philosophers left to examine is the question of suicide, because we are overwhelmed with the pressing and oppressing reality of the absence of God and the absence of hope. So you see Kant’s arguments didn’t stand up for the next generation.

They said “Kant gird up your loins like a man, face the inevitable. Quit trying to argue for the practical necessity of believing in God. And some can look at what Paul is doing here as the same thing.

Where he is saying if there is no resurrection your faith is in vain, your false witnesses, you preaching is an exercise in futility. But Paul does not argue for the resurrection on the basis of the hopelessness of life without it.

Yes, in the section I just read he agrees with Kant that without it life is hopeless, but that is not the foundation for his assertion that Christ is risen. He goes on to talk about the analogy that exists in nature with animals and plants and grass and human beings.

That you put a seed in the ground and before the life can come out of the ground there is a sense in which, at least metaphorically, that seed must die. It must rot to such a point that it releases and germinates the essence of life within it.

And in like manner, when our bones go into the ground, they await their final metamorphosis where God takes that which was mortal, sewn in mortality, is raised in immortality, sewn in corruption, raised in incorruption. And this analogy that the apostle uses in this same chapter closely resembles the argument

That Plato had used centuries before in arguing for life after death based upon analogies drawn from nature. When you think of the almost infinite varieties of life forms on this planet, it is hard to imagine that our life form, as high as it is, is the zenith of all life in the universe.

It could be, but what are the odds. But again Paul does not rest his case on analogies drawn from the butterfly or the seed. But why does assert the reality of the resurrection? At the beginning of the chapter, he reminds his readers of something.

He says “I would remind you brothers of the gospel. I want to remind you of the gospel that I preached to you which you received in which you stand and by which you are being saved.

If you hold fast to the word I preach to you unless you believed in vain, for I delivered to you as a first importance what I also received, that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the scriptures.” Now that was a compelling this to the Jew of the first century.

And it ought to be compelling to us. I said yesterday, or the day before that the two major tasks of apologetics is the defense of the existence of God, and secondly the defense of the scriptures as the word of God. And Paul now appeals to the scriptures.

“Christ died for our sins in accordance with the scriptures, that He was buried, that He was raised on the third day, in accordance with the scriptures.” So, Paul’s first line of apologetics is an appeal to sacred scripture. He is saying I believe in the first instance, in the resurrection of Christ because the

Word of God proclaims it. That is why I said it is so vital that we address this question of the veracity and authenticity and trustworthiness of the scriptures, because if you have that, the rest is easy. “That He was buried, that He was raised on the third day in accordance with the scriptures.”

And then listen to this, “and that He appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve, then He appeared to more than five hundred brothers at one time, most of whom are still alive. Then He appeared to James, then to all the apostles, and last of all as to one untimely

Born, He appeared also to me.” When Peter wrote to the church he says “My brethren we declare to you not cleverly conceived myths and fables. What we declare to you is what we have seen with our eyes, and heard with our ears.”

We are not declaring to you, an unsubstantiated theory or even a religious proposition that we learned in Sunday School. We are declaring something of which we had an empirical experience. We saw it. We heard it. We beheld His glory on the plain of history. And this is what Paul is recounting here.

He is saying that He appeared to Cephas – that is to Peter, then to the twelve. He appeared. Again it is not like the disciples in the story of the resurrection, and the disciples ran to the tomb on Sunday morning and the stone was rolled away and they ran inside

The tomb and they found the grave cloths still in such beautiful arrangement. But there was no Jesus. There was no body – nobody. NO BODY there. There was nobody home. And then they came back and they scratched their heads. And they said “what happened to the body? We found an empty tomb.

What could that possibly mean?” And they figured it out. “Oh it must mean that He is risen so let’s go tell everybody that He is risen and let’s start celebrating Easter Sunday based on an inference drawn from an empty tomb.” No.

It is not the empty tomb that created the faith of the early church. It was the appearance of the risen Christ. He appeared to Peter, then to the twelve. Well, these two could have cooked this up among themselves. But Paul says “wait a minute.

He appeared to more than five hundred at one time, most of whom are still alive. Go and ask them.” That’s their story and they are sticking to it. Eye witnesses, five hundred of them. We have more witnesses from history to the resurrection of Christ than we had to the life of Plato.

Then He appeared to James and to all the apostles, but what I am writing to you my dear friends in Corinth is not something that I believe on the basis of hearsay. It is good hearsay. These are good witnesses who told me this. I trust James. I trust Peter.

I trust the twelve, and you understand my credentials that I was the number one enemy of this new Christian sect that was running around proclaiming that Christ was raised from the dead. I was dragging them from prison, breathing out fire.

But last as all, “as one born out of due time, He appeared unto me.” See, the text that I just read to you was written by an eye witness to the resurrection. You are going to have to decide whether this is a credible witness or not.

Now, the one reason why the newspaper reporter says that this is a myth is not because he thinks that Paul was an idiot and fell out of the stupid tree and hit head on every branch along the way, or that he was just an uneducated fanatic from the first century.

They understand that Paul was the most educated man in Palestine when he wrote this apologia for the resurrection of Christ. His scholarly credentials were impeccable. The reason why the newspaper reporter would say it is a myth is because judging from our

Twenty first century understanding of biology, if there is anything we know now that primitive pre-scientific people in the first century didn’t know is that when people die they stay dead. And that it is impossible for the dead to rise.

Given that it is impossible for the dead to rise, then obviously the New Testament story of the resurrection of Jesus has to be a myth. What else could it possibly be? And calling it a myth is being kind, it could be an outright lie; if it’s impossible for the dead to rise.

What a different view of reality and of life we find in the New Testament, where there the impossibility according to the New Testament writers was for Him not to rise. The impossibility the premise in the New Testament is that it was impossible for death to hold Him.

And it is true that if there is any universal finding of experimental empiricism it is that when people die, they stay dead. But if there is anything more universally in our experience it is that when those people who died and stay dead, are people who are sinful people.

Now what happens if you get a people who is not sinful? Now what happens to the premise? Biblically, morality, “thanatos” death itself is inseparably tied to sin. It is the soul who sins that dies. So that if the New Testament testimony is true, that there was in Christ no sin, why

Would anyone expect Him to die. I can’t even believe – the real thing that is hard to believe is that He would die at all on the cross. And He couldn’t even die on the cross if it weren’t first that He took upon Himself the imputation of our sin.

Having taken our sin, then He met the necessary condition for human mortality. Apart from that the second Adam would never have died. But having paid that price, and finished that work, the Father raised Him from the tomb for our justification.

I can’t remember which speaker said what in this conference there were so many wonderful things said. But, this was God’s proof of the person of Jesus. Paul debated with the philosophers in Athens at the Areopagus, and I mentioned that when

He debated with the stoics and the epicureans he called attention to their monument to an unknown god. The philosophers were hedging their bets just in case they missed one. Paul said “What you worship in ignorance I proclaim to you in power.

For the God who made the world and everything in it being Lord of heaven and earth does not live in temples made by man, nor is He served by human hands as if He needed anything since He Himself gives to all mankind life and breath and everything.”

If you stumble at the resurrection, the recovery of life from the death let me take you back earlier. How about the beginning of Jesus’ life? How about the beginning of your life? How about the beginning of anybody’s life? How about life itself? Why is there life at all in this universe?

When we understand as Ravi so eloquently pointed out the necessary conditions for life can not be found in us. You did not create your own life. There was a time when you were not. There was a time when all of us were not.

But the only one who has the power of life in and of Himself eternally, the power of being in and of Himself eternally, the power of motion in and of Himself eternally, is the eternal self-existent living God who is the author of life, and the author of death.

He has the keys of life and death in His hands. And if the one who creates life in the first place in His Son can call a rotting corpse like Lazarus out of the tomb, so the same author of life can call His Son who touching

His humanity is now dead and bring Him back to life. What is so hard about that to believe? It is the opposite that is impossible. If there is such a thing as life in this universe, how can you attribute to the source of life

The fountain of life, the essence of life, the impossibility of bringing Jesus back to life and bringing you back to life? Paul goes on to say in Athens. “We ought not to think that the divine being is like gold or silver or stone, an image formed by the art and imagination of man.

The times of ignorance God overlooked, the former days.” Let me just stop here and insert something. A few minutes ago I said that the assumption of the newspaper writer is that the story of the resurrection must be a myth because resurrection is impossible.

And we know that by our sophisticated postmodern understanding of biology. And those poor people in the first century, pre-scientific, unsophisticated, people living in Palestine had no problem with the resurrection of Jesus because they saw resurrections all the time.

Every week they could go out to the cemetery and see somebody or other getting up out of a tomb. Let me tell you what folks. It was as foreign to the experience of first century man that a dead man would come out of the tomb, as it is today.

That’s why Thomas said “I’m not going to believe it just because you guys think you saw something. I’m not going to believe it unless I see the wounds, and unless I can put my finger in His hands.” And when that man showed up before Thomas and said “Here Thomas, put your fingers

In my hand. Touch me.” You know the Bible doesn’t say whether Thomas ever did. I don’t think he did. He didn’t have time to. He was on his knees. And he was saying “my Lord and my God.” No apologist was ever more sophisticated than the one who wrote “Sometimes it causes me

To tremble, were you there? Were you there when He rose up from the grave?” Sometimes it makes me shout “Glory, Glory.” You better believe glory. That’s why we’re here today folks. I hate to tell Al that it is Saturday and not Friday.

Would you believe an apologist that doesn’t even know what day it is? Somebody said it was impossible for us to make mistakes. But, here is the final point that I want you to get, the former times of ignorance God has overlooked, but now He commands all people everywhere to repent.

Because He has fixed a day in which He will judge the world in righteousness by a man whom He has appointed and of this He has given assurance to all by raising Him from the dead. There is no other sign that will be given to you except the sign of Jonah.

And if you don’t believe that sign you are in trouble because God has already set the day to judge the world. And His patience is not infinite. God as an evangelist never ever issues an invitation. That is something we do. God never invites people to receive Jesus. He commands them.

He commands all men everywhere to repent and to come to Jesus because He has proven that Jesus is the one through whom He will judge the world. How has God proven that? By raising Him from the dead. Well you say “I wasn’t there, so I can’t holler glory.

Other people God, but unless I see I’m not going to believe it. You’re going to have to send Jesus back again into my neighborhood, put Him to death again, and then raise Him for me to see. ” Too late. Too bad, He does it once for all.

And if that is not enough for you, you are in trouble. God is going to judge you by that historical act of the resurrection of Jesus Christ. We believe in the resurrection, not because the alternative is grim. We believe the resurrection because of the Biblical testimony of it’s reality in time and space.

Paul ends this section by saying “Therefore” Here is the conclusion. “Be steadfast. Be steadfast. Immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord for now you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.” Your preaching is not in vain. Your faith is not in vain.

Your labor is not in vain because God has raised Him from the dead. And George Frederick Handel knew the only appropriate response to that was to say what? Hallelujah. Let’s pray. Father how we thank you for the testimony of scripture to the reality of resurrection

That transcends all levels of mythology and in which we find our hope and our justification. Amen

#R.C #Sproul #Resurrection #Christ

The Problem of Evil: A Christian Response

The problem of evil is the most used and biggest objection to the existence of God there is not a skeptic out there who doesn’t cite the existence of evil as a reason God probably does not exist and So we need to be frank

This is a serious objection that Christians cannot simply overlook and There are no answers to the problem of evil that can explain every horrible event The reason why this is a persistent objection is because of the emotional sting that evil causes runs deep for mankind

Why does God allow so much pain and misery? Does God really love us if he can look down and see a child being tortured and not stop it any? One of us would if we came across such a horrible act Yet the omniscient God does nothing and simply lets evil continue unchecked why

I’ve spent years researching this in Adelaide a formal video on it because I wanted to take my time and give it a fair treatment Again, this is a serious issue that needs to be addressed But over the years of my research, I have come to the conclusion

The only way to address the problem of evil is not just through philosophy Although that is part of it because the problem of evil stings emotionally more than anything else. I’m Indebted to Clay Jones for this but one cannot truly address the problem of evil without the message of the gospel. I

Don’t think the problem of evil can be answered without Christianity and I’ll explain why later on But first we need to begin by going over what the problem of evil is and the different types of arguments I Would suspect the problem of evil has been used for millennia

But the logical problem of evil was famously given by the ancient Greek philosopher Epicurus and is what most people think of when they think of the problem of evil? Premise 1 if God is all good. Then he wants to stop evil premise 2 if God is all-powerful Then can stop evil

Premise 3 there is evil Conclusion. Therefore there is on an all-powerful and all good God However, this argument is not used by most modern atheistic philosophers because it ignored another important attribute of God his omniscience

Being that God is all-knowing. He might in his perfect knowledge have very good reasons for allowing evil that we cannot see Agnostic Paul Draper notes that some serious attempts have been given that show evil is logically compatible with God’s existence Specifically he says alvin plantinga’s free will defense has persuaded many

Planting a says of his free will defense a world containing creatures who are significantly free and freely perform more good than evil actions is More valuable all else being equal than a world containing no free creatures at all

Now God can create free creatures, but he can’t cause or determine them to do only what is right for If he does so then they aren’t significantly free after all They do not do what is right freely to create creatures capable of moral good therefore He must create creatures

Capable of moral evil and he can’t give these creatures of freedom to perform evil and at the same time prevent them from doing so as It turned out sadly enough some of the free creatures. God created went wrong in the exercise of their freedom

And this is the source of moral evil the fact that free creatures sometimes go wrong However counts neither against God’s omnipotence nor against his goodness for he could have first Auld the occurrence of moral evil only by removing the possibility of moral good

Paul Draper notes in order for a logical argument from evil to succeed It is necessary to show that for some known fact about evil It is logically impossible for God to have a good moral reason to permit that fact to obtain

This however is precisely what most philosophers nowadays believe cannot be shown and So the free will defense succeeds in showing it as at least logically possible For God to exist alongside evil Because it might be the case a world with freewill and evil is more

Valuable than a world with no free will and no evil and Thus William Roe has to admit there is a fairly compelling argument for the view that the existence of evil is logically consistent with the existence of a theistic God What most atheists argue today is the evidential problem of evil

Which today is where the real debate is because it is a probabilistic argument It argues that given the amount of evil in the world. It is unlikely an all-loving all-powerful God exists as Paul Draper says premise 1 gratuitous evil exists Premise 2 the hypothesis of indifference ie that if there are

Supernatural beings they are indifferent to gratuitous evils is a better explanation for 1 than theism Conclusion therefore evidence prefers that no God as commonly understood by theists exists Perhaps Sam Harris explains the issue of evil in a far more relatable way Somewhere in the world a man has abducted a little girl

Soon he will rape torture and kill her If an atrocity of this kind is not occurring at precisely this moment It will happen in a few hours or days at most the girl’s parents believe at this very moment that an all-powerful and all-loving God is

Watching over them in their family. Are they right to believe this? is it good that they believe this know the entirety of atheism is contained in this response as You can see the issue many skeptics have is given the amount of horrendous evil in the world

How can an all-loving God allow this to happen, especially if he has the power to stop it? Surely it is far more likely there is no such God The issue itself has to be addressed by looking at what moral evil is it cannot be brushed over as mere hardship?

To put it bluntly as Lewis said the Christian answer that we have used our freewill to become very bad is so well known That it hardly needs to be stated But to bring this doctrine in the real life in the minds of modern men and even modern Christians is very hard

We need to really look at what evil is and I’m not going to hold any punches back or give a cheap account So viewer discretion is advised The reality is the atheists are right that our history is filled with insurmountable horrendous evil

The reality we all have to face his genocide is not inhumane despite that little lie. We’d like to tell ourselves Genocide is very much human When the Bible says humans are totally depraved is meant to be a very serious claim Matt Dillahunty and many others have argued

The Bible is an evil book that poisons our minds Telling us we are totally depraved is a horrible thing to say and degrades us as humans Well, that would only be true if the Bible was lying and we are not actually depraved

If I was suffering from narcissism and you told me I was a narcissist and needed to get psychiatric help That would only be a horrible thing to say if it was false If it was true that it might have been the best thing you could have told me

Because you would want to see me get help and overcome my mental disorder so if the Bible claims that we are totally depraved we ought to test that against reality and It will help us better understand. What moral evil is

What I’m about to go over will be a hard pill to swallow and it will take some time to unpack Because once we understand human nature, I suggest the problem of evil falls in the context

See, we like to think of ourselves as further along than our primitive ancestors who engaged in genocide rape and torture But there have been more people murdered in the past 120 years than any other time in our history The two world wars gave humanity an up-close look at some of the most brutal

Humans have ever committed against their fellow humans the Nazis rounded up Jews homosexuals gypsies the handicapped Polish Ukrainians and many other groups they deemed unworthy, they ripped children from their mothers and they murdered children in front of their parents. They

Made their victims walk in horrible death marches force them into sweltering rail cars and then made them travel for days without food or water People would defecate urinate and puke all over each other in these rail cars all to be taken the death camps where they were painfully exterminated with poisonous gas

Reports from guards talk of people in the chambers climbing over each other to try to claw their way out They knew everyone was dead when the screaming stopped The Nazis also performed Carew some experiments on young children where victims were put in a decompression chambers drained of blood or sewn together

The worst part was most of the young men who carried out these killings and tortures were average people from Germany drafted into the military We have identified over 10,000 camps ghettos and brothels the Nazis set up Many of the so called unfit were forcing the slave labor for Volkswagen BMW

Bayer and many other companies So it is not like the Germans did not know what was going on the German population knew early on Hillier wanted to exterminate those he saw his unfit and most did nothing when he started rounding people up and Worst of all many joined in and helped him

Was this inhumane this was completely human Of course it is sadly obvious to any student of history Japan was probably far worse than Germany the horrors They brought upon the Chinese people were thought to be unfathomable in a post enlightenment era the Japanese army raped tortured and murdered more than

300,000 Chinese and committed some of the most gruesome acts known to man People were lined up in decapitation contests civilians were tied down and used for bayonet practice Soldiers routinely would target women for gang rapes and torture and more often than not they targeted children

Many went beyond rape and disemboweled women slice off their breasts. They would hang men and women on hooks up by their tongues Fathers were forced to rape their own daughters at gunpoint people were buried alive castrated and roasted alive over fires It was so bad that Nazi leaders present and man king

Intervened to put a stop to it The Japanese army was so bad Nazis couldn’t even handle it Was this inhumane? This was completely human After the war when Russia marched into Berlin, they did many of the same things to German civilians

Starving women who came out of their homes to search for food were targeted for gang rape by Russian soldiers Fathers were forced to watch their daughters raped and tortured and were forced to pick which soldier got to go first in The USSR people were tortured and enslaved in concentration camps in Siberia

Populations like the Ukrainians were selected to be starved to death Parents were murdered in front of their children But then the children were left alive to starve to death as to not waste any bullets on them Was this inhumane? This was completely human

Okay, but surely these examples are extremes and the result of citizens being brainwashed by fascists and communists It would be wonderful if that was all this was But we see endless examples of these massacres throughout history in Rwanda in 1994 People were tortured and raped and over 800,000 were murdered

1.2 million Armenians were murdered by the Young Turks from 1915 to 1923 Roughly 2 million were murdered in Cambodia between 1975 and 1979 in Guatemala Thousands of mine Indians were murdered the Reconciliation Commission of South Africa found that there were over 36,000 cases of abductions rape tortures and killings

I could go on and on talking about the genocide committed against saroja Muslims the rape epidemic in the Congo and Haiti Isis the Taliban Saddam Hussein’s Iraq the French military in Algeria the British Empire in

Tasmania in many other lands they conquered and even the slavery of Africans in the Western world and the genocide committed against Native Americans on every continent in every century genocide rape and war has been committed by humans because that is what humans do and I’ve only stuck with recent examples

Our history is filled with countless more examples and probably even more acts of genocide that were lost a time Humans are murderous selfish evil creatures and we have the audacity to call genocide inhumane I would bet the hundreds of species. We’ve directly caused to go extinct. Wish we were actually inhumane and

Let’s not pretend that we ourselves are somehow better than these other humans or that we would never commit such horrible acts Most of the people who ended up committing these terrible acts were terrifyingly normal They did it out of hate fear pride or just to be accepted by superiors

Holocaust survivor and professor Freddie Katz says only a tiny proportion of this century’s massive killings are Attributable to the actions of those people we call criminals or crazy people or socially alienated people Or even people we identify as evil people

The vast majority of killings were carried out by plain folk in the population ordinary people like you and me Cats reminds us he was ordinary people that carried out the plans of Hitler Stalin and Mao It was ordinary people that sat by and let it happen

Assuring themselves their own skins would be saved if they just followed orders It was ordinary people They let political divides Turned into vitriolic hatred for their opponents that eventually led them to think they must be killed first before they turn and kill us

We forget that there were actually many Jews that administered the ghettos or man, the gas chambers out of fear for their own survival even now in this country People who are on opposite sides of the political spectrum Or spoken of is not even human or need to be murdered for the greater good

It doesn’t take many more steps before we allow ourselves to slide into actions. We cannot take back people today are even talking as if a civil war is on the horizon and Yet we don’t think massacres could happen today

Given the history of our species I am highly skeptical things could not get out of control as they so often have in the past Psychologist Israel journey says Sometimes sitting in a staff meeting of a modern psychiatric hospital. I could see how it all could happen

The ingredients were all there the bitter hating factions among the staff disguising themselves in the pomp and circumstances of a mental health conference the barely disguised superiority and disdain for the hapless patient the patronizing professional sympathy in

Righteousness that barely concealed the brutality of the so-called modern therapies of electric shock in brain surgery The dehumanizing everyday hurting of anonymous patients into anonymous routines Everywhere in lovely families that persecuted one or more other members in the Universities

I loved where faculty intrigues and hatred knew no bounds in the Pampas coldness of exalted physicians Turning away from the death fears of their patients Almost every researcher that has looked in the genocide Concludes that genocide is carried out by the average person not by supervillains or dark Lords

Whether we want to lie to ourselves or not There is potential in us all to commit genocide and all sorts of other selfish evil acts Laying them Gilkey believed humans were naturally good until he was placed in an internment camp by the Japanese He said nothing indicates

So clearly the fixed belief in the innate goodness of humans as Does this confidence that when the chips are down and we are revealed for what we really are We will all be good to each other Nothing could be so totally an error

We forget that we have most of our needs met in the Western world That most people who have lived on this earth did not have access to We’ve not had to face the hardships of the past like tribal warfare with the kill-or-be-killed Mentality because we are blessed with such excess

So we are lucky our primal natures are not so evident If you had to fight for your survival under a brutal regime Or in an ancient setting you may very well be surprised at what you were capable of

The reality is our depraved nature is not something thrust upon us. It is very much a part of us and our ancestry The murder rate in prehistoric times was much higher than we expected When there was no law or fear of punishment

People often did what they had to do to survive or simply just did what they wanted in fact a recent paper suggested due to high murder rates the human population bottleneck roughly between 5,000 and 7,000 years ago with only one man for every 17 women

The idea modern societies have simply corrupted us is not backed by data Studies also back this up Stanley Milgram conducted the first Milgram experiments Where a subject would be brought in under the assumption that he was there to be one of two participants in a learning experiment

They were instructed to ask a person in another room a series of questions Unbeknownst, they were actually a paid actor if the other person answered wrong They would have to give them an electrical shock as ordered by the scientists Each shock would increase in the amount of pain it caused

The actor would cry from the other room They were having heart problems But the scientists performing the experiments would tell the subject he had to keep going regardless of the pain They were causing the person in the other room the results shockingly demonstrated that 65% of subjects in ministered all the shocks as

Instructed including one that was perpetrated to give a lethal shock Other researchers replicated these results with even higher percentages with subjects administering all the shocks in 1970 in West Germany 85% administered all shocks in 2017 in Poland 90% of participants also administered all the shocks

The data shows it is not hard for the average person to do horrible things Atheist Michael ruse says I think Christianity has spot-on about original sin how could one think otherwise when the world’s most civilized in advanced people the people of Beethoven Goethe can’t Embrace that slimeball Hitler and participated in the Holocaust

But surely there has to be some good people out there who do not deserve the lives they’ve been given Clay Jones asked a very simple question in his book do gang members stop at red lights Yes, but not because they respect that particular law it is out of self-interest

No one wants it gets sidelined by oncoming traffic Most people do not rob banks because they don’t want to go to jail Most people do not cheat on their spouse because they don’t want to destroy a marriage they may like ruin the reputation or lose relationships they derive meaning from

It’s hard to deny that much of what motivates us is self-interest when people do decide to go ahead with these terrible acts it is because they think they have clever ways out of them or Think the act will benefit them more than what they could lose

The sad reality is we are all motivated by our own self-interest in The light of human nature even acts of heroism and sacrifice can be motivated by self-interest Ernest Becker who openly rejects Christianity says Everything painful and sobering in what psychoanalytical genius and religious genius had discovered about a man

Revolves around the terror of admitting what one is doing to earn his self-esteem This is why human heroics is a blind driven as’ that burns people up in passionate people Screaming for glory as uncritical and reflexive as the howling of a dog in the more passive masses of mediocre

Men, it is disguised as they humbly and complainingly follow out the roles that society has provided for their heroics Man will lay down his life for his country his society his family He will choose to throw himself on a grenade to save his comrades. He is capable of the highest generosity and self-sacrifice

But he has to feel and believe that what he is doing is truly heroic timeless and supremely meaningful The hard truth no one wants to accept is there is no one good None are righteous. No one no one understands No one seeks for God all have turned aside together. They have become worthless

No one does good. Not even one There are many that wish to whitewash Jesus and just reduce them to a good moral teacher that offers some good advice and lessons But jesus never paints humanity as something inherently good that just needs a little guidance

But instead of sinners that desperately need to repent less we to perish if Christianity is true. It needs to answer for why bad things happen to people The answer we offer is this There are no good people for bad things to happen to da Carson says

First Jesus has not assumed that those who suffered under Pilate are those who were killed in the collapse of the tower? Did not deserve their fate Indeed the fact that he can tell those contemporaries that unless they repent

They too will perish shows that Jesus assumes that all death is in one way or another the result of sin and therefore deserved Second Jesus does insist that death by such means is no evidence whatsoever That those who suffer in this way are any more wicked than those who escape such a fate?

The assumption seems to be that all deserve to die if Some died under a barbarous governor and others in a tragic accident It is not more than they deserve but that does not mean that others deserve any less

Rather the implication is that it is only God’s and mercy that has kept them alive Third Jesus treats wars in natural disasters not as agenda items in a discussion of the Mysterious ways of God but as incentives to repentance

It as if he is saying that God uses disaster as a megaphone to call attention to our guilt and Destination to the imminence of his righteous judgment if he sees no repentance this is an argument developed at great length in Amos for

Disaster is a call to repentance Jesus might have added as he does elsewhere that peace and Tranquillity, which we do not deserve show us God’s goodness and forbearance it Is a mark of our lostness that we invert these two?

We think we deserve the times of blessing and prosperity and think that times of war in disaster are not only unfair become perilously close to calling into question God’s goodness or his power even Perhaps his very existence Jesus simply did not see it that way

Now I have hammered this point for quite a while because one of the worst lies we tell ourselves Is we really are good and do not deserve the world. We have created but nothing could be further from the truth God’s judgment our absence in rescuing us from this world seems barbaric

Only to the person that has not understood the depths of human psychology But if we can take some time to reflect on the state of humanity as seus Lewis puts it God’s wrath Seems to be inevitable a mere corollary from God’s goodness

Mere sloth wolf once questioned the wrath of God, but when he saw two hundred thousand people killed in Yugoslavia He said my people were shelled day in and day out Some of them brutalized beyond imagination and I cannot imagine God not being angry

Though I used to complain about the indecency of the idea of God’s wrath I came to think I would have to rebel against the God who wasn’t wrathful at the site of the world’s evil God isn’t wrathful in spite of being loved God is wrathful because God is love

Now I need to be clear that Myself or any of the author’s I’ve quoted are not saying every horrible thing that happens to a person Should be seen as a direct punishment from God for their sin. No one is suggesting that

The point is simply to critique the notion that bad things happen to good people bad things happen to bad people and this is so because this is the world the human species chooses to live in every day as Our cease pearl once said why do bad things happen to good people?

Well, that only happened once and he volunteered The truth of the matter is no one has died before the age of accountability. That is not guilty Every person is invested in self interests and contributes to evil one way or another in

Light of all this the real question we should be asking is not why does a good God allow so much evil? But why does a good God not just wipe us out for the good of the universe? The answer to why there is so much evil is simple. There are so many humans

Every day we choose to contribute to the evil in the world by simply going about our day doing nothing and focusing on ourselves To put this into perspective with numbers the UN estimates that would cost roughly 30 billion a year to end world hunger in

Americans alone wasted 116 billion in gambling in 2016 God has already given us everything we need to turn this world into Eden and we simply delay it Whether you want to admit it or not every one of us contributes to the evil in the world

Mostly through focusing on ourselves and doing nothing to help We have everything we need to end things like world hunger and human trafficking and instead We spend our money on pointless things just to make ourselves happy Because if the problem is not right in our face we pretend it doesn’t exist

Simply put evil exists because we exist When this has been pointed out the next question is why did God create us this way? Why are we so easily prone to commit horrible acts?

Well, that is assuming God did make us evil one can argue he did not he made us free and to be truly free means We have to be allowed to choose how we want to be Seus Lewis says the moment you have a self at all

There is the possibility of putting yourself first wanting to be the center wanting to be God In fact, that was the sin of Satan and that was the sin. He talked to the human race it is not as if we were simply made to be this way as

A species we choose to be this way every day instead of focusing on good and holy things This is not how things were supposed to be Early on God called humans out of the wilderness to serve as priests over creation and to enter into a covenant with him

So that he could sanctify us to subdue the rest of creation in his name This is a story of Eden when Adam and Eve were called by God to be close to him in learn his ways But they rejected the Covenant God made with them and left his presence

So we could be our own gods in with that came the freedom to go as far into evil as we wanted to No matter how it would affect those around us god, they’re not dumas to a world of evil our species by rejecting Eden did so and without God’s protection and

Eden and the Tree of Life, we now live in a world of moral and natural evil Now many will object they were not in Eden. How can we be forced to live in a fallen world that we did not choose

Clay Jones response of this by saying that we did an individually vote to make Adam the head of our race Doesn’t matter because God knows who can best represent us Also, if God knew that all of us would have acted similarly. He does no wrong in choosing one person to represent us

If Christianity is true and the problem of evil needs to be addressed One cannot say this unfair Adam and Eve were our chosen representatives God in His omniscience knew who the best representatives would have been and therefore given human free Will there were no possible futures where humans did not choose sin?

So why even give us free will Should we really have been given the freedom to be truly evil? Why on earth would such a world not be better where we are deprived of free will So as to not cause grief pain and misery Clay Jones notes

It is not hard to perceive of such worlds and more often than not they are far worse than a world with free will we ought to consider how humanity has looked at this scenario and unsurprisingly a life without free will is

Often betrayed in movies as a horrible existence, and this should be pretty obvious Take the old movie from the 50s the invasion of the body snatchers The invaders do not want to kill off humanity But simply change humanity to lack free will and they offer it as a wonderful existence free of pain

Desire emotion ambition self-interest in such a world not only Terrifies us it becomes obvious that such a world would be worse than a world with free will and evil It would have been so much easier. If you’ve gone to sleep last night Oh relax, we’re here to help you

You know better than that Who you want us to put them would you like to watch them grow? No. Thanks. Put them in there There’s nothing to be afraid of we’re not gonna hurt you. But once you understand you’ll be grateful Remember how Teddy and I fought against it?

Well, we were wrong me and Teddy doesn’t mind of course not she feels exactly the way I do. Let’s go We’ll leave town. We won’t come back. We can’t let you go. You’re dangerous to us Don’t fight it miles. It’s no use Sooner or later you’ll have to go to sleep

I’ll wait for you in the hall Myles You and I are scientific men. You can understand the wonder of what’s happened I just think less than a month ago santomero was like any other town people with nothing but problems Then out of the sky came a solution

Seeds drifting through space for years took root in a farmer’s field From the seeds came pods, which have the power to reproduce themselves in the exact likeness of any form of life So that’s how it began, how does the sky

Your new bodies are growing in there they’re taking you over self or so atom forever There’s no pain Suddenly while you’re asleep, they’ll absorb your minds your memories and you’re reborn into an untroubled world Where everyone’s the same exactly What a world We’re not the last humans left. They’ll destroy you

Tomorrow you won’t want them to tomorrow you’ll be one of us I’m not Becky Tomorrow will I feel the same there’s no need for love no emotion And you have no feelings only the instinct to survive

You can’t love or be loved am I right you say it as if it were terrible believe me. It isn’t You’ve been in love before It didn’t last it never does Desire ambition faith without them life so simple, believe me. I

Don’t want any part you’re forgetting something miles. What’s that? You have no choice I guess we haven’t any choice good One to love and be loved I want your children. I don’t want a world without love grateful Buda rabbit are

The obvious reason as to why it is better to have free will and evil than the lack both is because we would simply lose our humanity our movies and books Celebrate realities we’re a world of free will along with pain and misery is a far better

Alternative to a world without these things a Good example can be seen in the movie, Pleasantville two teenagers are transferred into a scripted television show from the 1950s where everything is perfectly happy yet enslaved to a script they have to run through

However, the teens begin to introduce new passions and desires to the characters and throughout the movie All the characters reject are scripted enslavement for a life of freedom and color Even though that comes with passions emotions suffering in problems The message is clear the freedom to engage in love passions desires

Must come with real freedoms to do so Without free will these things are meaningless even though it comes with the bad as well an Existence of freedom along with misery and love is far better than scripted enslavement

The truth of the matter is given the option of a world with free will and pain versus a world without free will and pain Humans will always most likely choose a world with free will because as alvin plantinga says a world containing creatures who are significantly

Free and freely perform more good than evil actions It’s more valuable all else being equal than a world containing no free creatures at all So God simply could not have created humans without free will

We essentially would just be biological robots and that is not a world where we could truly experience love and companionship But with that has to come the true freedom to choose love or choose evil you cannot have your cake and eat it, too

If you want a world with true conscious agents who are free. You have to allow them to choose good without forcing them to Ask yourself this would you as a healthy adult want to spend a lifetime married to a lifeless?

Robot who always does what you command never speaks to you as a free agent or engages in an honest discussion The answer is no then you can understand why God chose a world where we are truly free and choose to love him or not

But surely there had to be another way couldn’t we have a world without the horrendous evil we currently have a World without a Holocaust or the Rwanda Massacre where we still have free will must surely be possible

Clay Jones debated Richard Norman on the radio show unbelievable and Jones, press Norman to answer this How could God give humans free will and not let them hurt others and the only answer he offered was I don’t know I’m not God, but it is possible

The key I guess back to my major point is that doesn’t just say it should have been a different world doesn’t tell us how Anywhere near how that world works. Well, I’m not to define creator I mean saying we’re talking about divine omnipotence in which any number of possible worlds could exist

Clay Jones, simply reply to that with if you can’t imagine a better way Then it’s at least logically possible that there isn’t a better way. I don’t know I’m not God as a cop-out We’ve harnessed the atom and put a man on the moon

If you’re going to complain that God should have done differently with regard to free will but you cannot offer a better way Then maybe there isn’t a better way Johnny There was no other way As we discuss in our video on omniscience Avengers infinity Wars provides an excellent analogy

Dr. Strange looked into the future and could only see one possible way to save the most number of people But that way involved a lot of pain and death given the free choices of evil creatures Likewise

Given God’s middle knowledge where he can only actualize a world that works with the free choices of creatures There are no possible worlds where God could create a world where we are free, and there is no evil or misfortune

God would actualize the world where there is the least amount of evil while taking human free choices into account Therefore the argument is given human freedom within middle knowledge God might not be able to actualize perfect worlds or worlds with less evil

Because there are no possible worlds where we are free and always do the right thing or do the right thing more often But couldn’t God just actively prevent more evil When the Nazis lined up the Jews to be shot

Why didn’t he just make the guns Jam or caused an earthquake to form a great chasm between them both? Such a world would not have freedom it would be a playpen with an overprotective mother Seus Lewis says we can perhaps conceive of a world in which God

Corrected the results of the abuse of free will by his creatures at every moment So that a wooden beam becomes soft as grass when it was used as a weapon in The air refused to obey me if I attempted to set up in it the sound waves that carry lies are insults

But such a world would be one in which wrong actions were impossible in which therefore freedom of the will would be void Evil is not evil only an intention it needs to be carried out and experienced Otherwise we are not truly free to do what we want

We would be nothing more than constrained robots locked in with predetermined boundaries This would be a sci-fi horror Where we know there is something holding us back and can’t freely reject it We can see from sci-fi shows being free up to a certain point is not freedom. It’s slavery System

God wants actual free creatures to do the good But the only way he can truly have free creatures that will do the good is allow us to see the devastating consequences that rebellion causes Babying us is not freedom nor would we ever grow and learn to freely choose to reject evil?

We have to experience it for ourselves and hopefully learn from it It’s a dictator who says be free, but you’ll suffer if you use your freedom in this kind of way. Yeah

Thank you for that Richard. I agree. Yeah be free. But if you use your free will wrongly you’re really gonna hurt each other It’s gonna be bad. Yes exactly. What is problem with your position precisely precisely that you make God sound like

Some kind of dictator that’s just a problem with your position outlet a dictator that says do what you want. And here we are Yeah, we do what you want and you will suffer for it. Well, do what you want and look what you’ll do

You’ll do outwits to each other you’ll do you’ll be the Khmer Rouge. You’ll be Rwanda This is what happens when free wit beans go off and decide they’re gonna do whatever they want

And so to say he’s a dictator that says to his people. Okay. You don’t want to follow my rules knock yourselves out if he But couldn’t God teach us another way given the self-centered nature of humanity I ask how

Some have suggested God ought to provide dreams to warn people, but that is assuming we would even listen Growing up. My parents warned me not to do a number of stupid things I did them anyway, as we all did when we were kids

There’s been a Surgeon General warning on cigarette packets for decades people still smoke Recent history alone is filled with examples of large corporations who had evidence their products were harmful and they did nothing God performed dozens of miracles before Israel in the desert and they still hardened their hearts and complained

So perhaps if God was more involved nothing would change Real life is not an episode of touched by an angel We’re glowing being can show up tell us to change and we live happily ever after people have to be shown how evil they are and what their actions cause if

Everyone could just be told to change things would have gotten a lot better thousands of years ago This is a hard truth humanity has to learn and it cannot be done by God simply Babying us and providing knee pads for every corner in

Fact if God did simply that and gave us everything needed to keep us perfectly happy Arguably it could make things worse Keith Ward says I could give people lots of good things and they will like me because of what I give them

But will they love me freely for myself? Well, they love me unselfishly Hardly, in fact such a course of action may be self-defeating. I Cannot make people unselfish by giving them lots of things they want and so encouraging selfish tendencies

We have to remember the chief goal of God is not to make us happy but to make us holy through sanctification which will make us truly happy in the long run as we discussed in our videos on the nature of Heaven and Hell and

Given the self-centered nature of humanity that God would want us to overcome Having us live in a fallen world will help us to realize we need to return to God and to be sanctified William Lane, Craig and JP Moreland, put it like this

Innocent human suffering provides an occasion for deeper dependency and trust in God if We are depraved as the evidence shows keeping humanity happy and safe will not fix what is actually wrong with us History seems to show that hardships caused more people to turn to God

Patrick Johnstone has noted in his work that Christianity tends to grow more in countries that have faced severe hardship Under communist rule in China Christianity was and still is to some degree heavily persecuted Yet despite that it is set to become the world’s largest Christian nation by 2030

Although I do not argue God is the cause of misery and suffering allowing us to live in a fallen world that we choose can be used by God to bring us back to him and Ultimately help sanctify us into eternity where our present pain will be dwarfed in comparison to the joy

We will experience there but God doesn’t always have to prevent evil. Why not just a little more why do children have to die of cancer? Couldn’t the Holocaust have been cut in half if God had simply warned the Jews in a dream to get out of Germany before Hitler Became Chancellor in

Response clay Jones says First who is to say, how much is too much? For instance skeptics often cite the Holocaust as an example I ask those who say God shouldn’t have allowed so much evil whether they would be Satisfied if instead of six million Jews killed only 600,000 had been killed

No one ever says yes six thousand. Nope 600. Nope, six Should everyone be allowed to live to a certain age before they die? should certain diseases only effect really bad people at what point is the line drawn between security and freedom a

Reality where we are free and have rejected God’s lordship has to have real consequences and be fully realized for what it is When people suggest this what they are really saying is I want to be God and the Creator needs to be our magical Butler

Who watches over us never lets anything really bad happen, but still lets us rebel so that we can do what we want if That was the case. We would never truly see the real consequences that our rebellion has caused

Instead we would have God as our servant who was supposed to take care of us when it is needed But doesn’t really let the horrendous consequences of what happened when we abandoned him to play out in the natural world without his presence

Unless we see what the evil in our hearts truly does. We will never learn God’s message is simply that your rebellion must be fully realized so that hopefully you will come back Summary so far Evil exists because humans had the freedom to choose god, but instead we chose to be our own gods

When we walked away from God in Eden, we chose a different Lord for the earth And with that a world filled with issues that a connection to God and the Tree of Life would have prevented

Although God could regularly intervene. He doesn’t because he wants our species to see the real consequences of our rebellion which is life without his presence and sanctification as horrible as it is is the only way to learn the horrors of what life without God is like

Natural laws have to work in a regular way if our actions are to mean anything at all But that is not the whole story the Skeptic who makes the argument from the problem of evil often will subtly

Presuppose a non theistic worldview, they will mention a young child who died before his or her time from a horrible disease but if the argument is to attack a Christian worldview The whole of that worldview has to be taken into consideration And more often than not we forget that when that child dies

They do not rot in the grave forever But can live on an eternity in the pain and this life will be dwarfed in comparison to the joy. We will feel the next the previous two videos I made went over heaven and hell and explain what they are and how no one in Hell

Doesn’t want to be there so It’s important to remember that God has not doomed us to a world of misery in one life or an eternity of misery in hell Those who die can go on forever in a world of endless love if they choose to and the joy

We will experience in heaven will dwarf the misery. We feel here So the child dying of a horrible disease is not forgotten but given new life in the age to come Although God lets us experience. What a world that has rejected him feels like He still rescues all who want to be rescued

The worst pains of this life will be as miniscule in the next as the pains of when you fell down as a toddler Are to you now as an adult So you can’t compare the evils we feel now on a Christian worldview without accounting for eternity

God has promised a way back to Eden for all those who want it as seus Lewis said They say of some temporal suffering No future bliss can make up for it not knowing that heaven once attained will work backwards and turn even that agony into a glory and

God did not sit idly by He didn’t just make a way back to Eden. He came to us in our pain and misery to pull us out There are a lot of gods that are for joy for our misery

But sit distantly away never experiencing as we experience never suffering human pain as we suffer Not with this God There is only one God that plunged himself into pain to save us You want to know the answer to a world filled with torture and murder?

It is a God who was tortured and murdered to wipe away every tear in sadness While we were his enemies Christ died for us if Evil was meaningless or a cruel joke and omnipotent God plays on us then. Why did the omnipotent God empty himself?

Become a lowly servant to suffer as we suffer and die as we die even the Atheist philosopher Albert Camus admitted Christ the man God suffers too with patience Evil and death can no longer be entirely imputed to him since he suffers and dies

Then I don’t go Gotha is so important in the history of man only because in its shadow the divinity Abandon is traditional privileged and drank its last drop despair included the agony of death Even if you cannot find a reason for your suffering and have nothing I said thus far suffices in Christ

The reason can’t be because he doesn’t love us at The cross a coin was flipped on one side justice and the other side mercy And it was the only time in history the coin landed on its edge God allowed justice to fall on self so that mercy might fall on us

The Gospels thus tell the story which is unique in the world’s great literature religious theories or philosophies the story of the Creator God taking responsibility for what’s happened to creation bearing the weight of his problems on his own shoulders a

Sydney Carta most famous for writing the lord of the dance put it in one of to my mind his finest songs It’s God they ought to crucify Instead of you and me I said to the carpenter a hanging on the tree

Or as one old evangelistic tract put it the nations of the world got together To pronounce sentence on God for all the evils in the world Only to realize with a shock that God had already served his sentence the tidal wave Of evil had crashed over the head of God himself

The terrorist spear went into his side like a plane crashing into a great building God has been there. He has taken the weight of the world’s evil on his own shoulders You cannot look at the problem of evil while ignoring the cross

God took evil upon himself so that a new creation could begin in his resurrection If evil was the fault of God, he has already carried out his sentence as st Augustine said God had one son on earth without sin, but never one without suffering if

Evil is a problem. The problem is also felt by God the cry of Jesus – Paul says it all Saul why are you persecuting me? Notice Jesus did not say why are you persecuting my people? He said why are you persecuting me?

Jesus places himself in the midst of evil and suffering with us if Evil was too much to bear for any creature. God would never have created in the first place But God still did create knowing full

Well, he would take the brunt of it because the love of creation was worth more than all the pain he feels through us Evil exists for now because of us, but even in that God took the pain and misery of us all

Faithfully to the car and in the end he will wipe away every tear

#Problem #Evil #Christian #Response