Let's be reasonable with one another, shall we?

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Did God Create Everything?

A University professor at a well-known institution of higherlearning challenged his students with this question.

"Did God create everything that exists?"
A student bravely replied, "Yes he did!"

"God created everything?" The professor asked.
"Yes sir, he certainly did," the student replied.

The professor answered, "If God created everything; then God created evil. And, since evil exists, and according to the principle that our works define who we are, then we can assume God is evil."

The student became quiet and did not answer the professor's hypothetical definition. The professor, quite pleased with himself, boasted to the students that he had proven once more that the Christian faith was a myth.

Another student raised his hand and said, "May I ask you a question, professor?"
"Of course," replied the professor.

The student stood up and asked, "Professor, does cold exist?"
"What kind of question is this? Of course it exists. Have you never been cold?"
The other students snickered at the young man's question.

The young man replied, "In fact, sir, cold does not exist. According to the laws of physics, what we consider cold is in reality the absence of heat. Every body or object is susceptible to study when it has or transmits energy and heat is what makes a body or matter have or transmit energy. Absolute zero (-460 F) is the total absence of heat. And all matter becomes inert and incapable of reaction at that temperature.
Cold does not exist. We have created this word to describe how we feel if we have no heat."

The student continued, "Professor, does darkness exist?"
The professor responded, "Of course it does."

The student replied, "Once again you are wrong, sir, darkness does not exist either. Darkness is in reality the absence of light. Light we can study, but not darkness. In fact, we can use Newton's prism to break white light into many colors and study the various wavelengths of each color. You cannot measure darkness. A simple ray of light can break into a world of darkness and illuminate it. How can you know how dark a certain space is? You measure the amount of light present. Isn't this correct? Darkness is a term used by man to describe what happens when there is no light present."

Finally the young man asked the professor, "Sir, does evil exist?"
Now uncertain, the professor responded, "Of course, as I have already said. We see it everyday. It is in the daily examples of man's inhumanity to man. It is in the multitude of crime and violence everywhere in the world. These manifestations are nothing else but evil."

To this the student replied, "Evil does not exist, sir, or at least it does not exist unto itself. Evil is simply the absence of God. It is just like darkness and cold, a word that man has created to describe the absence of God. God did not create evil. Evil is the result of what happens when man does not have God's love present in his heart. It's like the cold that comes when there is no heat, or the darkness that comes when there is no light."
The professor sat down.
The young man's name -- Albert Einstein

22 Comments:

  • Logical, but one needs to incorporate this into the Biblical teaching of evil as not simply an absence of good, but as a positive disposition to hostility to God.

    By Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist, at 10/03/2006 11:55 AM  

  • I have heard or read that before. Obvious Einstein was influenced by his Jewish heritage. Whether or not he was an actual believer I think is still speculative.

    However, he demonstrated that even the laws of nature declare the spiritual truths of God's word.

    By Blogger Jim, at 10/03/2006 12:22 PM  

  • I like your blog and thank you for this post. It's great to see how others have (or currently are) defending their faith.

    By Blogger Chris Sagsveen, at 10/03/2006 1:10 PM  

  • awesome Rose i like this one...pk chris

    By Blogger pgadreamer, at 10/03/2006 3:50 PM  

  • I wondered what you would think of it, Matthew. :~)
    I simply thought it was very interesting.

    Jim,
    He obviously believed in "God the Creator." I appreciate the brilliance with which he handled the professor (they need a little of this now and then - where are today's Einsteins?) ... if it is a true story.

    Hi Chris!
    Welcome. I will check out your blog.

    PGA Chris,
    I am glad you like it!

    By Blogger Rose~, at 10/03/2006 4:58 PM  

  • I would have no qualms saying precisely that God did not create everything.

    All the generations of living organisms since their original formation have not been specially created but procreated from parents. Too, evil is not the creation of God...

    By Blogger Antonio, at 10/03/2006 7:03 PM  

  • Wow! This is something else. Where did you find this. It is somewhat timely for a related matter. I am really surprised. It kind of confirms something. Thanks, you may not realize how much this post means right now. Ha...its really something how the Lord works.

    By Blogger Bhedr, at 10/03/2006 8:28 PM  

  • Hi Rose,

    I remember seeing this somewhere else long ago, so I read it again eagerly. I do disagree with Matthew, though. Jesus taught that those who are not with Him are against Him; those who do not gather with Him scatter abroad. There is no no 'neutral' with God and, logically speaking, his opinion would seem to require that state as a prerequisite.

    By Blogger Cleopas, at 10/04/2006 8:31 AM  

  • Cleopas, I am not sure exactly how I disagree with what you are saying.

    Do you agree with me that evil is not simply the fruit of a lack of goodness but of a will that is disposed positively against God in hostility?

    By Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist, at 10/04/2006 8:48 AM  

  • What if Einstein had pursued apologetics rather than physics?

    By Blogger Gordon Cloud, at 10/04/2006 10:29 AM  

  • Hi Rose~
    Very thought provoking, I like things that make me think ;~)

    Gordon, perhaps then I would not have such a fear of relatives.

    By Blogger J. Wendell, at 10/04/2006 12:58 PM  

  • Hi Rose,

    Just stopping by again, wanted to chat with Matthew.

    I think 'evil' is too generic a word. For example, it may be said that a hurricane is an evil, yet God created the hurricane. It is in this sense that he says, in Isaiah 45:7:

    "I form the light and create darkness, I make peace and create evil. I, the Lord, do all these things."

    I think a word that may help express the basic concept better is 'sin'. This word literally means 'to miss the mark', like an archery term. God is the mark, and anything that falls short of Him is sinful in some way, by default.

    Likewise 'evil' in the sense that you mean it is not neccesarily an outright opposition to God, but simply a falling short of His perfect example. Jesus, for example, said "If you, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children . . . ". This passage portrays good intentions through imperfect lives. So even when we try our best we will still have some evil in our lives, just because we're imperfect humans and unable to make the bull's eye -- even if we're trying our best to please God at the time.

    Of course, a truly wicked person would have an even greater gap between himself and God, but the underlying reason would still be the same. He is not living up to God's example, and the fault lies therein; the measure of his wickedness is the inversion of the asbsence of God in his life, and in his case the gap becomes even larger because he opposes him directly.

    Sorry, I need to get back to work, hope this was helpful or at least thought provoking.

    By Blogger Cleopas, at 10/04/2006 2:33 PM  

  • Hi Rose,

    The event as recorded didn't happen. It does make a fun story to read.

    This brings out a theory of evil as being the negation of good. This was proposed by Augstine of Hippo. While I am a big fan of Augustine, I don't agree with this theory of evil. I agree with Matthew, that evil is a psotive disposition of hostility to God.

    By Blogger Earl, at 10/04/2006 11:43 PM  

  • Yes I am afraid this is a popular urban legend take a look at this from snopes an urban legend website:

    http://www.snopes.com/religion/einstein.asp

    Pete

    By Blogger Peter D. Nelson, at 10/05/2006 3:25 AM  

  • Peter, thanks fro sharing that. A very well writtena article.

    By Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist, at 10/05/2006 3:59 AM  

  • Loren I was thinking of that passage as well. Remember how God uses evil and the garden of eden will begin to make more sense. This does not mean he is the author of sin though. Remember God used the spirit of Ra to beguile Ahab into going into battle. Remember also that he tests us with false Spirits in Duet 13 and then think about how powerful a little harp music made the Spirit of Ra depart from oppressing Saul. Yes this theory has holes in it...but still there is something there that can be helpful toward helping us understand the whole purpose as you remember God says he looks about the whole earth to find hearts loyal to Him. The Spirit of Ra beguiles and decieves, yet the Lords Spirit makes us whole and our walk with him is not only to reach others but to test how loyal we are as we walk on this earth as believers. Certain forms of evil can beguile us and many things that we think are amoral or neutral are clearly not. Many things beguile us, but God wants us as believers to be soberminded and not tossed about.

    By Blogger Bhedr, at 10/05/2006 6:17 PM  

  • peter: It is true that Einstein did not really engage in a conversation like this, nevertheless, the principles presented therein are true. If we were to substitute Sam Smothermend for Einstein those principles of argument would still hold.

    rose: I've heard it before, knew it was not an account of a real conversation, but loved it anyway!

    That's perfectly appropriate.

    By Blogger Joe, at 10/06/2006 8:06 AM  

  • Antonio,
    You have no qualms about disagreeing with whomever and whatever you disagree with. I like, no ... love! that about you. You make a good point.

    Brian,
    I am glad you found it helpful. As Joe says down below your comment, even if it wasn't Einstein, it could get one to thinking.

    Cleopas,
    So good to see you logging in. I am not so sure I agree with the reasoning in the post either. When you think of the origin of sin as it is given in the Scriptural accoiunt of Lucifer's rebellion, that was pure evil and it doesn't seem to indicate that it came as a result of God withdrawing first. What do you think? Matthew? What do you think about that?

    Ho Gordon!
    What a great question!

    By Blogger Rose~, at 10/06/2006 9:42 AM  

  • Hi John,
    Yes, I know you do. ;~)

    Earl,
    Thanks for the information. I did not know that about Augustine being a hippo. (just kiddin)
    I think I agree with you and Matthew.
    But I still don't believe God created evil or rebellion.

    Hi Peter! WELCOME!
    I have seen you at Jeremy's blog before. That must be how you wandered over here. Thank you for the link. There are so many urban legends out there!

    Hello Joe Scoggins.
    I am so glad to see you. I remember how encouraging you were a year ago when I had first started blogging. You are still encouraging when you find time to stop by. Thanks, Joe!

    By Blogger Rose~, at 10/06/2006 9:46 AM  

  • Hi Rose,

    You say, "But I still don't believe God created evil or rebellion." I agree. How evil and rebellion can into existance is a mystery.

    By Blogger Earl, at 10/07/2006 10:54 PM  

  • Amen Earl, I agree.

    By Blogger Bhedr, at 10/08/2006 8:58 AM  

  • This is a variation on the Augustinian position that sin is an ontological parasite, it is the deprivation of the good.

    By Anonymous Bud, at 10/10/2006 2:57 PM  

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