The Fool and the Heretic - another book that may spark interest

(Greg) #41

But you are asking this question from thinking in a brain attached to a body that is grounded on an earth that is revolving around the sun in a paradigm of the laws of nature which we are used to witnessing and responding to…we surely would not want to limit God who made the universe to being subject of the very nature He created.

Folks have told yecs that they are so scientifically off their rocker that this is the reason that many intellectuals wont explore the claims of Christ. Problem w this view is that the Bible does not say that God delights in revealing Himself to intellectuals, but rather to those with a childlike faith who are the ones most capable of true understanding of the vastness of difference between the majesty of God and the weakness in man. Remember that the big sin in the garden was mistrusting God and wanting to be like Him or better put-being the self-ultimate. Adam failed and the better Adam in Jesus bought the privilege of reconciliation of man back to God where the greatest treasure is Him for eternity. And we will all stand before Him one day and He will ask for an account of the things we did and the words we spoke on earth. So when it comes to the subtle accessment that man places upon God when we abide by an old earth evolutionary view that He creates natural evils and that He creates via survival of the fitest and disposal of the weak, to many of us this feels like walking on thin ice and disrespect to the God whom we love because He first loved us. So we choose to side w the essence that Scripture pronounces while the world calls us fools. Since scripture says that God confounds those wise in their own eyes, in the end it could very well be that those hoping in their intelligence may be the ones more of that category in the end.

Im not trying to win a debate here. Rather, i take the existence of God and His Words very seriously. If faith in God has eternal ramifications one of two very opposite destinies, all Christians should be serious.

(Dale Cutler) #42

I want to follow through on that a bit, since you did not respond to it. That God’s plan from the start was a two-creation model means that the first was subjected to futility from before creation day one, no matter how long the days were. Its end was in view from the start. And the only animal cursed after the fall was the serpant, not lions, for instance, the name of which is derived from ‘tearer’. God did not recreate the jaws of carnivores after the fall.

(Greg) #43

Sorry Dale for late response. Thankyou. So evil did exist in the garden. satan was an angel who disobeyed God and he was present around the time of the creation of the earth. God did not create the evil in satan- satan chose wrongly snd became evil and God allowed him in the scene around the beginning. The reason God allows evil i have only a guess: it is because God took pleasure to make man in His image to be reflectors of His glory. To be a reflection of His glory, we had to take on some of the essence of His glory which is to love God and others just as God is love. God loves God in His triune nature where each Person loves and honors the other. To love God and others requires that we are given the capability to choose to love God and others or not choose to do so. If we are not given the ability of choice, then we are really not loving and are rather like programmed robots which is very much unlike God. Robots therefore do not make very good ambassadors for God. The ability of choosing God requires that not choosing to love and honor God is available to us too. Not choosing to love and honor God is evil by definition. Evil was present in the garden and evil temped Adam and Eve to mistrust God for displacing Him for themselves. God allowed this not for the intention of making some imperfection i dont believe but because God as Creator creates vessels which bring Him glory which is best accomplished in vessels with volition to choose good in God, or evil in not God just as God is a volitional God who is love, but who always chooses rightly. We know how the story ends.

The moral perfection of God still begs the question: Can God create natural evil of death, disease, destruction, torturous pain etc? We know He allows it as it is caused by wrong choices in the vessels who have volition. But can He create it in nature? Remember that mythical creation stories depict the creation by the gods as one of chaos and calamity. The creation story in Genesis is one of peace and goodness.

(Dale Cutler) #44

All death is not evil – death can bring good. (Jesus’ death did.) Where animals created immortal and could not die before the fall? (Remember that the only animal cursed was the serpent.) I like animals and baby animals as well as the next person, but I don’t think we should bring warm and fuzzy into our hermeneutics.

(Greg) #45

Im sorry Dale but Jesus death was about the most heinous form of evil that planet earth has ever experienced. Here Jesus is, completely holy, good, upright and innocent charged w a crime He did not commit, beaten, whipped with cords that have pieces of bone and rock tied to the end that would have torn muscle to the point that his ribcage could have been exposed, spat upon, mocked, and shamefully nailed to a cross naked in what was determined by Rome to be the most vial, torturous death of all options they experimented with. When one suggests that this “brings good” to justify the idea that God is the maker of natural evil in forms of disease, suffering, natural disaster including life being burned alive is quite misunderstanding of the Christian worldview.

Jesus was unjustly accused and immorally sentenced to die, and at the same time, in His sovereignty chose to allow this to occur out of love for us where He absorbed the wrath of God the Father which we deserved. This in no way suggests that God was the creator of an unjust punishment itself. He allows such evil in His purposes, but is never the creator of it.

To have any inclination of suggesting that this is in the same vein as God being a creator of natural evil is to lessen the value of the gospel, not enhance it. God says that hell is a firery place of torment that all people deserve who sin against such a holy God. That would be all of us. There are many Bible references by Jesus about hell. It makes no sense in my mind that such a perfectly just judgement by a holy God could be imposed be the same God who institutes a paradigm of incredulously tortuous firey death to His creation especially after which He calls His masterpiece “good” upon creating it.

I think old earth creationists need to think through their theology more carefully. And Christian scientists need to put aside zeal for scientific inquiry more in order to better understand the theology that makes them Christian.

I am open ears to an older earth creationist view that removes natural evil from the scope of the fabric of God’s character. There may be theologies out there that are true to the essence of Scripture that protect and insulate God’s essence from any form of evil as apart of His being, but i am yet to hear one.


Greg, the question of sin and evil prior to Adam is one that I don’t have an answer for. Part of what brought me to Peaceful Science was to understand what some of the poster’s here believe about the Genealogical Adam and how they resolve that question.

However I would separate natural (physical) death, pain and suffering from moral evil. I think my reasons are best illustrated by a couple of stories:

I was hiking in late winter and came across a young moose dead in a small river. It had obviously broken through the ice at some point trying to cross, had fallen in and being unable to escape had frozen to death.

A number of years ago, my very curious and impetuous 2 year old son, jumped off the couch and ran over and put his hand on the glass fireplace door, badly burning his hand.

I both cases there was suffering involved, but I see moral evil playing no part. Short of a “miraculous” intervention by God, the decision of the moose to cross the river & the decision by my son to touch the fireplace were going to result in suffering. Given this, I can not understand how we can have a world where there is no pain, suffering or physical death. These seem to follow from the natural, good world God created. Going further, pain is actually a very useful thing. While the burns my son got were very painful, pain is what made him pull his hand away from the fireplace quickly enough that there was no permanent damage.

While I would never attempt minimize or explain away the real pain and suffering people are experiencing, I can say from experience that a relationship with Jesus, given joy and peace in spite of that pain, and the pain can often serve to drive us to a deeper relationship, which is ultimately what he wants.

This is not to say moral evil does not result in pain and suffering, but only that without it pain, suffering and physical death would still exist.

(Curtis Henderson) #47

You are correct, you can only guess. So why do you wave off this admission of your lack of knowledge about God when it pertains to animal death? First, you are assuming that animal death is evil - without any logical basis. Second, despite your admission that we cannot know the mind of God, you presume to determine that allowing animals to die is inconsistent with his nature. Do you think creating Lucifer, knowing full-well of his eventual downfall and enmity with God is somehow more consistent with God’s character than creating living organisms with finite life spans?

It is the sacrificial, atoning death of Jesus Christ, His glorious resurrection to new life, and His offer to partake in His eternal life that makes me a Christian, not what I believe about the literal vs non-literal interpretation of the creation account.

(Dale Cutler) #48

Death can bring good. We agree that Jesus’ death was horrendous, but you overlooked the verb. It was also in God’s plan. You would set yourself in opposition to God if you deny that.

(Greg) #49

I would challenge you as i have challenged myself to understand if Scripture supports the idea of death and suffering being part of Gods perfect order prior to the fall. God had plants for Adam and Eve to eat prior to the fall. And plants for the animals to eat prior to the fall. After the fall, death is introduced and in fact the first animal sacrifice that points to the incarnation of Christ as our perfect covering and forgiveness of our shame is done by God for gaining animal skins to replace the leaves that Adam and Eve used to cover their nakedness as a sign of their shame. This adds to greatness of love Jesus had for us as He served as a propitiation for our sins as He chose to absorb Gods wrath as He hung naked on the cross… He chose shame that we deserved. He absorbed the wrath that we deserved. This is prophesied for the first time when God gave skins from a sacrificed animal to cover Adam and Eves shame in the garden.

There is absolutely nothing in Scripture that reveals a God who makes death and suffering for its own sake. This would be the equivalent to how if a person had the ability to control weather chose to create a hurricane that wiped out a population for no other reason than because he chose to make a hurricane to destroy life. We would call such a person evil. We should be careful to conclude the same of God.

The verses in Ro 8:20- 24 are convincing to this effect: "For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of him who subjected it, in hope 21 that the creation itself will be set free from its bondage to corruption and obtain the freedom of the glory of the children of God. 22 For we know that the whole creation has been groaning together in the pains of childbirth until now. 23 And not only the creation, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies.

So i understand that we are used to living in a world and in a Gods creation that is subjected to futility after the fall that causes one to process the value of pain in order to be wise how to avoid such in future history. Your son probably learned to avoid the hot stove after his pain. However, just because we live in a world that includes things like disease, suffering and death as a result of the disibedience in man, does not make a case that God could not make a world prior to the fall that did not include these things. I believe Scripture in no place causes God to own natural evil and the only reason man attempts to explain how God could own it is because he thinks science definitavely demands an old earth. If science concluded that the earth was only 6000 yrs old, we would gladly proclaim the theology i approve and share w you. I wish an old earth creationist could show me another way around the essence Scripture clearly demands, but i am yet to see it. Dont take my word on this…check out various theologians who subscribe to a young earth creationist view and how they make a case for an overall Biblical worldview as i do.

(Dale Cutler) #50

It seems rather definite that you are adding to scripture. This first creation was only ever very good, as explicitly declared by God. There is a biblical Hebrew word for perfect and he did NOT use it.

(Dale Cutler) #51

The deep symbolism of that first deliberate sacrifice is in no way lessened by prior animal death.

(Greg) #52

Do you know if there are Hebrew words that are equivalent to the perfection i speak of that refer to God Himself? If so, is it capable of such a God to create things like tsunamis that kill and destroy and cause suffering for their own sake?

The greek word for sin is an archery term for missing the perfect center of a target. The reason why man deserves Gods wrath is because they miss His perfect righteousness. That is what sin is. Even our very best of righteous intentions are compared to filthy rags next to Gods moral perfection…so how does one accept the idea that God will make a forest fire that causes torturous death for its own sake? I understand why such is allowed in an economy where the earth was subjected to futility due the the disobedience and missing the mark by his subjects. I cannot grasp God in His perfection creating the imperfect of death and disease out from His very character.

Remember, we are not just having a theological debate over words. We are instead giving our impressions about the very God who created the universe. This should give us great caution in how quick we are to place the evil in natural disasters and disease as part of His very character.

(R. Joel Duff) #53

I would suggest that taking a listen to Ben Stanhope on this topic would be worth your while. Ben is very sensitive to the theological issues and at the same time has a good grasp of the scientific concerns. I always find his analyses worth considering.


Oh, for the love of God!

If you believe that God is omnipotent and omniscient than you should also believe that, even in the world after fall, He could stop all of the moral and natural evils with a snap of His immaterial fingers. God allows ‘evil’, God creates ‘evil’, big effing difference.

I’m never using ‘effing’ again, it sounds f***ing wrong.

(Dale Cutler) #55

You overlook that if it were not for God’s patience through the love of Christ, wanting to adopt more into his family, the earth would have been a cinder long ago, so to speak. Why anyone is still alive is the real question.

“Because of the LORD’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail.”

(Dale Cutler) #56

And again, about God’s patience:

“Or do you presume on the riches of his kindness and forbearance and patience, not knowing that God’s kindness is meant to lead you to repentance?”

(Greg) #57

I dont overlook this at all and this has nothing related to the character of God as creator before the fall of man. God allows storms after the fall and for sure does not immediately consume the earth due to His love. But before the fall, can either Gods love, patience, righteousness and holiness be of the character traits in God that manifests evil in forms of suffering? That is a tough question that i will hold my hand over my mouth before i utter a word that associates this with God and His character.

(Greg) #58

This is what the Bible would call using God’s name in vain…a grave sin. I thought you were an eastern orthodox? I dont respect some of the teachings out from this theological perspective but i think theyd stand against this one.


Ten Commandments. And, no, that’s not what the commandment says.

Yeah, I’m not gonna tell you what I think of Calvinism (mostly because I’m gonna get banned if I do) and Calvinist God so let’s leave our theological differences aside, no?

(Greg) #60

I will check it out. Thanks…man i spend too much time w these replies. My wife was watching a “hallmark movie” which i predicted the ending in the first 3 minutes… so i at least figure this a better use of my time. :slight_smile: thanks…will look at link.