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  1. #11
    LL P. Stewie Beorn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nyx View Post
    ^ Good post, and in regards to why do bad things happen to good people, I believe there is a reason God wills certain things to happen... ultimately to facilitate our growth.

    and yes, Keller's book is a good place to start if you are absolutely new to Christian thought, of course deeper thought is needed after that : )
    Thanks.

    lol, I just dropped my recommendation after reading a review of the book. Really I shouldn't recommend books that I haven't read myself. The reviewer stated that the book does not place a strong enough emphasis on just how much an affront to God human sin is. That is critical thing to get your mind around if you are going to come to terms with the problem of pain.

    I'm with you on the need for deeper thought, but for beginners its helpful to read someone who takes a more pastoral approach. And from what I've read and hear from Keller in the past that's exactly the kind of approach he takes.

  2. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Beefeater View Post
    Thanks.

    lol, I just dropped my recommendation after reading a review of the book. Really I shouldn't recommend books that I haven't read myself. The reviewer stated that the book does not place a strong enough emphasis on just how much an affront to God human sin is. That is critical thing to get your mind around if you are going to come to terms with the problem of pain.

    I'm with you on the need for deeper thought, but for beginners its helpful to read someone who takes a more pastoral approach. And from what I've read and hear from Keller in the past that's exactly the kind of approach he takes.
    You are correct. The problem of sin IS a huge one (in regards to why we sin and why God abhors sin), and this is common among many Protestants... that is not addressing it as such and taking a pastoral approach... falling into the trap of taking the Bible literally in the sense of not reading deeply into the theology and meaning behind the stories. A new Christian reacts well initially to a pastoral approach, but must delve into its deep theology at some point because it is central to the faith... this is commonly misunderstood by critics of Christianity. Orthodox Christian theology has an excellent understanding of the existential problem of sin though... which ultimately is what helps us overcome it.

  3. #13
    LL P. Stewie Beorn's Avatar
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    Yes theology is important. As a presbyterian I'm not going to disagree with you on that. I don't think I define "pastoral approach" in the same way you do. When I think Pastoral I think of meeting people where they are at and not simply giving textbook answers. In the USA there is a generation that is largely uneducated in the important areas of philosophy, theology, and history. Its not the same place it was a 150 years ago when children were taught the first five letters of the alphabet in the New England Primer with the words Abomination, Beneficially, Continuation, Determination, and Edification.

    I think the hope of the american protestant church (in simply pragmatic and methodological terms) lies in people like Keller and John Piper who can reach a wide audience because of their ability to relate down lofty ideas, but who also constantly refer their readers and listeners to even greater theological minds like Jonathan Edwards, Augustine, John Owen, and even Chesterton... sorry probably not likely to throw in any EO guys.

  4. #14
    Glowy Goopy Goodness The_Liquid_Laser's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Beat View Post
    If God is good then why does he allow innocent suffering and natural evils?

    If God is all knowing and cannot intervene he is not all powerful. If he is all powerful and all knowing, and does not intervene then he is not all good.

    If there's a God, then he's obviously indifferent or a bit of a sadist.




    Thoughts?
    I suppose God could intervene when any little thing might go wrong? Imagine if God gave you an electric shock any time you have a thought that was less than perfectly pure. Would this be the act of a good God or an evil God?
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  5. #15
    Senior Member Hirsch63's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by The_Liquid_Laser View Post
    Imagine if God gave you an electric shock any time you have a thought that was less than perfectly pure. Would this be the act of a good God or an evil God?
    It would be the act of a god with too much time on his hands.

    But seriously, any way you slice it, it's down to Free Will.
    Patriotism is the last refuge to which a scoundrel clings...Steal a little and they throw you in jail, steal a lot and they make you a king

  6. #16
    desert pelican Owl's Avatar
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    Free will is necessary for evil, but is it sufficient?

    God is free, but God is necessarily without sin. The angels in heaven are free, yet they are without sin, and all the saints are free, yet it is believed they will be without sin upon glorification. (Or would any theist here dispute these claims?)

    In each of these cases, free will is present but sin/evil is not. Thus, free will is not sufficient to explain the existence of evil.

    Yea or Nea?

  7. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Owl View Post
    Free will is necessary for evil, but is it sufficient?

    God is free, but God is necessarily without sin. The angels in heaven are free, yet they are without sin, and all the saints are free, yet it is believed they will be without sin upon glorification. (Or would any theist here dispute these claims?)

    In each of these cases, free will is present but sin/evil is not. Thus, free will is not sufficient to explain the existence of evil.

    Yea or Nea?

    Well, the angels are quite different than humans. Angels since their Creation existed with God in Heaven and consequently, their Free Will is under much different conditions... they are not as free as we are in a sense. I believe this is why God loved us above all else, we have the hardest struggle to know Him, and when we find it, it is a much greater feat than that of the plight of the angels. Saints in heaven are human, and I believe sin is a problem of humans which goes back to the theology (not fundamentalist lunacy) of the Fall. Satan is an interesting character in this story, widely misunderstood. We are struggling to know God our Creator. Everyone has free will under God. God did not directly create Evil and it is not a separate force battling with God (nothing can "battle" God). God wills things to happen and his created beings' Free Will under His ultimate Will charts the course of humanity and the universe. We choose where we go... proving the ultimate necessity of sin for the human story.

  8. #18
    Supreme Allied Commander Take Five's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nyx View Post
    Well, the angels are quite different than humans. Angels since their Creation existed with God in Heaven and consequently, their Free Will is under much different conditions... they are not as free as we are in a sense. I believe this is why God loved us above all else, we have the hardest struggle to know Him, and when we find it, it is a much greater feat than that of the plight of the angels. Saints in heaven are human, and I believe sin is a problem of humans which goes back to the theology (not fundamentalist lunacy) of the Fall. Satan is an interesting character in this story, widely misunderstood. We are struggling to know God our Creator. Everyone has free will under God. God did not directly create Evil and it is not a separate force battling with God (nothing can "battle" God). God wills things to happen and his created beings' Free Will under His ultimate Will charts the course of humanity and the universe.
    Aquinas wrote an interesting bit on angels, which are a surprisingly complex issue. You probably know this already
    Johari Nohari

    "If an injury has to be done to a man it should be so severe that his vengeance need not be feared. "--Niccolo Machiavelli

  9. #19
    Senior Member Hirsch63's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Owl View Post

    God is free, but God is necessarily without sin.

    free will is present but sin/evil is not.
    Mmmmm, Nay.

    I can't know the mind of a God, unless of course I created him in mine. God is free, but he is not cheap....unless I buy the Reader's Digest version that has been on the shelf for centuries. Angles who have not sinned? I don't want some goody-goody angel who has no idea what I'm going through. I prefer to think of angelic status as earned somehow...Saints? Good people, great people....nominated by who? Not any God I'm familiar with.

    Sin is not evil. Sin is missing the mark; trying but failing in the attempt, being human. Evil is something else; the deliberate breaking of the law for personal gratification.

    Is to be good to not sin or commit evil acts? A person could be born who, without knowledge of a god may not ever bring sin or evil to this sphere yet has not left any tangible good behind either, someone simply benign, a place holder.

    All believers should at least obey the Law. But to just do that and nothing else...sounds to me like missing the mark. If a spark of the divine, a fragment of this God lives in each of us...then it is what we do with that gift that rends and tears at God's essential being. We debase a God or enhance a God with our deliberate actions...we cannot help but do this as we are part of God's deliberate creative act; a fragment of divine thought. It's the ultimate sustainability issue...
    Patriotism is the last refuge to which a scoundrel clings...Steal a little and they throw you in jail, steal a lot and they make you a king

  10. #20
    Senior Member forzen's Avatar
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    Free will is an illusion, humans have set boundaries that cannot be broken. Our desicions are finite and we cannot be more than what we are, a human. Good and evil is only a perception in a individual. Good exist as morale values that promotes order which promotes human preservation, everything that break this values are consider evil. Humans are uncomfortable with the unknown and as a result created the idea of god to explain those that cannot be explained. God is a human creation which stem from the fear of the unknown.

    However, I believe there are higher lifeforms, but they probably could care less if Earth and every species on it are wiped out.

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