God, Job and Protection
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Paidion



Joined: 25 Jul 2005
Posts: 944
Location: Chapple, Ontario

PostPosted: Mon Feb 25, 2008 8:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I don't believe that the concept of God's sovereignty implies that he meticulously controls every event that occurs upon earth. I do not question that he has the power to do so. But he respects the free will of man too much for that.

Nor is he culpable because he chooses not to intervene in the unspeakable atrocities which take place regardless of the legal meaning of "non-performance". You speak of the audacity of expecting God to measure up to human standards. I think that that audacity has application to the supposition that he is culpable because of his "non-performance". I don't think we can infer that his non-performance is indicative of a "higher purpose" in each an every case of peoples' wicked deeds. Just give me an example of a "higher purpose" in the case of the torture and rape of a little girl. The statement that we are unlike God and are unable to see that higher purpose, is, in my opinion a cop-out. We were created in the image of God. That is why we are repulsed and sickened by such wicked actions ---- just as God is.

If God "allows" these horrendous events for a higher purpose, then why do we object that they happen? Are the laws and the courts whereby such evil doers are punished opposing the will of God?

It reminds me of the story of a Muslim who killed his wife, and then explained: "It was the will of God".

I do not have a definitive answer to the "problem of evil". I am leaning toward the non-intervention of God relating to the possible instabililty of the universe if he should always intervene. What would happen, for example, if God always prevented his children from falling off cliffs? The unfaithful would fall off as usual, while any disciple who accidentally fell off would float harmlessly to the ground. What then becomes of the "law of gravity"? It would no longer apply consistently. How could science proceed if there were no consistent natural laws?

Of all the explanations of the classic "problem of evil", I think the explanation that God permits it for a higher purpose, provides the worst witness to man concerning the true character of God, and turns the most people against him.
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Paidion
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"Not one soul will ever be redeemed from hell but by being saved from his sins, from the evil in him." --- George MacDonald
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TK



Joined: 26 Jun 2006
Posts: 699
Location: Northeast Ohio

PostPosted: Mon Feb 25, 2008 10:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Paidion-

I made the earlier suggestion that perhaps God has imposed a "self-limitation" on always intervening in the affairs of men. This seems to be along the same line of what you are suggesting, which I certainly agree with.

I do not believe that God is culpable for "non-performance" because I think there are laws in place (His) that He may not break. Nor do I believe that there is always a higher purpose. Sure, there are instances where there APPEARS to be a higher purpose in someone's suffering, but this doesnt mean that God caused or even allowed the initial suffering for the PURPOSE of the HIGHER purpose. Man, this is a tad confusing.

Further, the "higher purpose" argument just doesnt work in many cases. Why would a child of a parent living in a tribe in the jungles of south america be born with a horrible birth defect, so that the child dies w/in a few days of birth? I think the reason that this might happen is that sin has degraded the genetic code to the point where birth defects happen. I certainly do NOT think that God plays eeny meeny miney mo (for illustrative purposes) to decide who is going to be born with a birth defect today, or who will be involved in a horrible accident, or who will get cancer, etc. If these things happen (because we live in a fallen world) God is certainly able, generally through his disciples and their intervention, to get glory in these tragic situations.

I guess I am always taken back to the statements that Jesus made, specifically that if human parents, who are evil, know how to treat their children, how much more does the Father? Sure, i might have pain inflicted on my children (surgery, e.g.) if needed, but this is a far cry from me causing the injury or problem for some higher purpose.

I am a fairly new grandfather, and the thoughts(if I had the power) of somehow inflicting harm on her while she was in the womb for the purpose of, say, teaching her mom and dad patience in the end, turns my blood cold.

TK
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Paidion



Joined: 25 Jul 2005
Posts: 944
Location: Chapple, Ontario

PostPosted: Mon Feb 25, 2008 10:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Our thinking seems to be similar on this issue, TK. I appreciated your suggestion that "sin has degraded the genetic code to the point where birth defects happen". That is precisely what I think about birth defects.

I think, too, that the genetic code passed on from Adam and Eve explains why we have inherited a sinful nature. We know that mental and emotional characteristics are inherited from our ancestors, and not merely physical characteristics.

So my understanding is that though we do not inherit SIN from Adam and Eve, we do inherit a sinful nature ---- the tendency to sin.

Some think that subsequent to regeneration the sinful nature continues alongside the new nature, and that the each is in continous struggle with the other. But the Scriptures state that "Old things have passed away; behold all things have become new." Surely one of the old things which have passed away, indeed the main old thing which has passed away, is the sinful nature.

In case anyone wishes to argue this point, I want to affirm that I am not thereby claiming that a regenerated person will never sin again.
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Paidion
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TK



Joined: 26 Jun 2006
Posts: 699
Location: Northeast Ohio

PostPosted: Mon Feb 25, 2008 11:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Paidion wrote:

Quote:
But the Scriptures state that "Old things have passed away; behold all things have become new." Surely one of the old things which have passed away, indeed the main old thing which has passed away, is the sinful nature.


i have been reading a very helpful book by Watchman Nee entitled "The Spiritual Man." I am only on volume 1 of 3, but he discusses the fact that the sinful nature (our flesh/soul) was indeed crucified with Christ. He explains the relationship between what he demarcates as spirit, soul, and body, and what happened to them at the fall, and how it has been restored by what Jesus did. Of course getting it fully restored is a faith issue, or a "reckoning" issue. I can't wait to finish all 3 volumes.

TK
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