From MPhil 2003
2003 The Problem of Evil: Anglican and Baptist Perspectives: MPhil thesis, Bangor University
The fourth statement was perhaps the most controversial. God wills evil for the greater good. I do take this viewpoint, and I am in agreement with the writings of John Calvin on this matter within The Bondage and Liberation of the Will, as well as in Institutes of the Christian Religion, and has been documented throughout the thesis. This idea has been discussed through this thesis. I am not stating that God sins in any way by willing evil for the greater good, nor does he force people or fallen angels to sin. People sin by nature and choice, and God uses this evil for the greater good. Since he is infinite and dealing with finite creation, all things work under the subjection of his will and I humbly, and without complete understanding, state that he manages the Universe in a far more controlled manner than to simply allow evil to take place.
By not preventing all evil, and by using it for the greater good, he is in a sense willing it. The difference between God’s will and the sinful will when evil takes place, is that God’s will and motives alone remain pure and consistent within God’s good purposes. The idea of human free will alone does not demonstrate why God has to allow evil, as opposed to willing it. I do believe that human beings require a certain level of freedom to choose or reject God, but God could have prevented evil’s existence by not creating angels and then human beings. God knew there would be a fall, and in a sense willed the results of that fall by not preventing it from taking place, but it was within his right to have evil flourish in his creation for a time until the Kingdom of God culminated. It must be stated again that God did not coerce human beings into sinning and thus causing the fall, but he knew that this fall would take place and did not willingly prevent it. It can be deduced that God thought the evil and suffering in a corrupted creation, willed in sinful disobedience, was a tolerable situation for a time. Jesus Christ would, through his work, restore that creation and culminate a Kingdom of God filled with resurrected human beings who had experienced evil, and now through the Holy Spirit willingly rejected evil completely.
There are, as well, many instances in our creation where God could have prevented evils from taking place, for instance the American bombings of September 11, 2001. Some may argue that God must allow human free will and that is why these events took place. However, God could have prevented this from taking place, as it can be shown that many evils are prevented and certainly God would have his hand in this. Many times evil plans are thwarted, such as Nazi Germany’s plans to conquer Europe.
In that case, Adolph Hitler’s free will was not allowed to completely flourish. It was not that God forced Hitler to think differently, but rather the Fuhrer’s plans were defeated by the Allies. I do not think free will is the ultimate answer in the matter of the problem of evil, rather it is largely God’s will that determines what will ultimately take place, at the same time not forcing his creation to sin against him. This sin is achieved by people who are in the sinful biological line of Adam and Eve, and thus possess sinful nature which leads to sinful choices. This is not determinism on God’s part. God has an ultimate plan, and some sinful actions will take place within the plan and some will not. I grant, that in this sense, God allows all to sin against him but their wills are always under the authority of God’s ultimate will, who can thwart sinful plans as he chooses.
With Anglican 10% agreed, 18% were not certain, 72% disagreed. With Baptists 20% agreed, 6% were not certain, 74% disagreed.
2010 Theodicy and Practical Theology: PhD thesis, the University of Wales, Trinity Saint David, Lampeter
|Question 22: PhD Questionnaire|
Question 22: God does not cause evil
This free will theodicy based question deals with a crucial and original aspect of my PhD thesis and statistical data. I conclude within a sovereignty perspective that God does cause evil and I will explain this concept in this Chapter from both theological and philosophical perspectives from my theoretical research in the Theology and Application section. One hundred and seventy-nine respondents (84%) selected ‘AS/A’ for this question. Only 17 (8%) persons supported my notion by choosing ‘D/DS’.
August 3, 2013
'This is not determinism on God’s part.' Determinism meaning hard determinism. God is still the cause of all things, but I am acknowledging a limited free will by Adam and Eve. God does not 'cause' as in force or coerce but is the cause of all things as in first cause being infinite and omnipotent.
CALVIN, JOHN (1539)(1998)The Institutes of the Christian Religion, Book IV, Translated by Henry Beveridge, Grand Rapids, The Christian Classic Ethereal Library, Wheaton College.
CALVIN, JOHN (1543)(1996) The Bondage and Liberation of the Will, Translated by G.I. Davies, Grand Rapids, Baker Book House.
|The stamp when I did some homecare business for my Mother today.|
|Roadblock by KFC. Daily fat intake check...|