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

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

A Heartfelt Post

A really interesting post on one of the first blogs I ever read.
Dr. MacArthur's Theodicity


  • Hi Rose,

    That was a refreshing link. A heartfelt, grace-filled critique. Thanks for sharing it.

    On a related topic, but slightly to the side, I've been reading Romans 8:28-30. Someone mentioned it in the comments on one of your posts. I've been trying to look at the passage as you or Matthew (DF) would look at it. And normally, even though I may not agree with your view, I can see how you get to your conclusions. But with this passage, I'm not sure how you would tackle it. Have you dealt with the passage in a previous post? If you haven't, could you sometime? I'm curious to know how you would define and explain the statements Paul makes.

    In Christ,
    Ten Cent

    By Anonymous Ten Cent, at 3/21/2007 10:58 AM  

  • Thanks Rose.

    John R.

    By Blogger John R., at 3/21/2007 2:20 PM  

  • Theodicy is not determinism; labeling it so doesn't make it so.

    Hope: Sola gratia. The gospel is the means ... only the means. It is efficacious only when God's grace has caused it to be so.

    Dr. MacArthur doesn't have this wrong, but that's not to say that he has it all right. One issue I'll deign to assert he gets wrong is his insistence on a future for ethic Israel. He, also (I must assume), is aware of Dr. Reisinger's ABRAHAM'S FOUR SEEDS, and he, also (I must assume) won't read it (it would undo his eschatology ... that would be a good outcome ... and it would alter his hermeneutic ... from literalistic to literal.

    By Anonymous Theo Dice, at 3/21/2007 3:01 PM  

  • theo dice:
    I know who you are because of a little tool I have called "sitemeter."
    I know you now have all THE answers.

    This part of the article I linked kind of rings a bell:

    The speaker and audience may laugh with the knowing chuckle of the truly initiated...

    Re-read your comment and tell me that you are not sounding like a proud "know it all."

    It is very unbecoming.

    By Blogger Rose~, at 3/21/2007 3:42 PM  

  • Ten Cent,
    I'll get back to you.

    John Rush,
    Thanks for the article.

    By Blogger Rose~, at 3/21/2007 3:43 PM  

  • Rose, that was an excellent post by John!

    The only thing I really disagreed with was that God did not create evil. I posted this same thing at John's (it's in moderation waiting to be approved).

    Colossians 1:16 "For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him:"

    I think that God did create evil, but I do not think that He CAUSES it. I think that comes about within the freedom that God has given to his creation.

    By Blogger Dawn, at 3/21/2007 4:17 PM  

  • Hi Rose!

    I found this article on a blog recently, authored by a very humble and intelligent man:

    God: Author of Abomination?

    By Blogger Antonio, at 3/21/2007 8:24 PM  

  • Theo Dice,

    Theodicy is indeed not determinism. Theodicy is trying to justify, or explain, and all-good God in the face of evil.

    Determinism is the thought that God or Fate directly controls and causes all events...

    Dr. MacArthur seems to be using determinism as the back-bone of his theodicy.

    If evil did not originate in Adam/Eve; if it did not originate in Lucifer. It has to go higher up. Dr. MacArthur could not say that sin began in God, but he did say that sin originated in heaven. So, it seems then, according to his own words, sin originated in God. But he just couldn't quite get himself to say that. So he said "heaven."

    After reading up on this after the conference, I recommend Norman Geisler's systematic theology (4 Volumes). He seems to take the whole of Scripture into account.

    We're all reduced to a paradox. But which one best accounts for the whole of Scripture?

    "God creates but did not cause evil?"

    This is almost contradictory! (I'm trying to be gracious.)

    God is not tempted with evil or tempts men with evil. He surely doesn't cause it.

    These issues do affect one's view of God.

    John R.

    By Blogger John R., at 3/22/2007 10:13 AM  

  • John R.: "God creates but did not cause evil?"

    This is almost contradictory! (I'm trying to be gracious.)

    God is not tempted with evil or tempts men with evil. He surely doesn't cause it.

    These issues do affect one's view of God.

    John R.

    And I'm going to be gracious.

    Good grief! I'm not married to my belief. It's just the way I see it for now. To be clear. God is just and holy and good and righteous. I guess to me the fact that I believe He created evil (not that he created anyone TO BE evil) doesn't mean that God HIMSELF is evil or that He tempts anyone or makes anyone evil. I think we do that all by ourselves with our freewill. I think that evil just is. It's hard to explain.

    What is evil? Isn't it a principality or a power? And didn't God create all that IS? What was the tree of knowledge of good and evil? Evil (whatever it is) existed right? Before Adam right? We know it did because of Lucifer. Are you saying that Lucifer created evil? Can Lucifer create? Are you saying that there is something in existence beyond God's control? Are you saying that Lucifer or man has the power to create something out of nothing?

    John R., where did evil come from? How do you explain its existence?

    By Blogger Dawn, at 3/22/2007 12:01 PM  

  • Dawn,

    I apparently responded in a way to ratchet up the rhetoric. I apologize. I don't think I was responding directly to you... I may have conflated a couple of commenters and my own thoughts in this discussion. Again, mea culpa.

    I understand that we are wrestling through the issues. This includes me.

    The mystery of iniquity is hard. It seems to me that God was responsible for the fact of freedom in Adam. Adam was responsible for the acts of freedom--which ultimately led to sin. (a la Norman Geisler)

    Either way, I think to be consistent, we all have to say that God was indirectly responsible for allowing evil. And he is responsible in such a way to fulfill a morally sufficient reason--some of which may be known to us in Scripture and some of which are ot revealed.

    I react to the words "ordain" or "cause" because it seems to make God the source of evil--which cannot be, Scripturally.

    We stand on the edge of finitude, and peer out to where God goes on forever.

    By Blogger John R., at 3/22/2007 4:07 PM  

  • BTW, the same "fact and act" statement must have applied to Satan...


    By Blogger John R., at 3/22/2007 4:08 PM  

  • May I refer to a follow-up post here?

    By Blogger John R., at 4/02/2007 2:16 PM  

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