NightCrawler
02-15-2007, 07:26 AM
If God is all powerful, all knowing and all good/benevolent, then how come He doesn't stop all the evil in the world?

Evil can be defined in two distinct categories:

Moral evils -- pain and/or suffering caused by the intent of mankind, by rational beings who may be held responsible to their actions. (men, women, etc.)
Natural evils -- pain and/or suffering caused by natural (for example, an earth quake), unintended occurances which cannot be held responsible for their respective actions. (forest fires, hurricanes, floods, meteors, etc.)
The presence of evil contradicts at least one of God's qualities:
If He is all powerful, He can stop it if He knows about it.
If He is all knowing, He is responsible to prevent it if He is caring.
If He is all good and caring, He must prevent it if He is powerful enough.
So, why is there pain and/or suffering in this world?

Example:
A young child dies helplessly in a burning building.

P.S.
A theodicy is an argument to defend the reality of God's existence despite the presence of evil. Therefore, this thread's purpose is to debate why God allows or causes evil, yet is perfect.

Tromos
02-15-2007, 08:05 AM
If He is all good and caring, He must prevent it if He is powerful enough.

In my opinion, this right here is the incorrect assumption and one clearly not made by someone that's ever been a parent.

Sometimes, a loving caring guardian must step away and allow someone they love to make a mistake and endure the consequences so that this person may grow and be wiser and happier in the long run. The statement that if God is all good and caring He must prevent "evil" is short-sighted and does not allow for the presence of a universal Plan where all pieces fit.

Further, I believe the definitions of evil that have been given are ridiculously subjective and limited by our very limited exposure to both time and experience.

Finally, we cannot really debate the issue without a clear definition of "love", which I don't think we can give either. Is it love to shelter someone so they never grow? Is it love to give a child everything that he or she wants just because they think they need it? Is it love to try to force someone to love you back or to let them go and recognize that love and freedom are too intertwined to separate?

Honestly, we might as well debate the percentage of various types of gasses and the reasons for the existence of certain heretofor undiscovered elements in the primary star of a solar system we've never encountered. It's the same level of understanding we really have about God, love, evil, and justice.

skynes
02-15-2007, 08:54 AM
This is kinda where I hit a wall when it comes to Calvinism.

If you take a free will stance, then you can say that man brought pain and death into the world, so its up to us the suffer the consequences of our actions. God has already established a plan to remove evil in the world, but if people reject His Saviour then He's already done everything He should. The responsibility is now on us.

But from a Calvinistic point of view... Every single act of evil, pain and suffering in the world is all God's Will. He chose for every single one of them to happen. How can you answer that? Death, pain and misery are all part of God's will. It makes no sense.

Tromos
02-15-2007, 11:33 AM
Jesus used the fruit tree analogy.

Pruning the tree is hard on the tree, but necessary to bear fruit. No pruning -> no fruit -> no point.

skynes
02-15-2007, 12:10 PM
Jesus used the fruit tree analogy.

Pruning the tree is hard on the tree, but necessary to bear fruit. No pruning -> no fruit -> no point.

Is that in response to me? Or generally? Or what?

Tromos
02-15-2007, 12:35 PM
Generally.

NightCrawler
02-17-2007, 03:28 PM
In my opinion, this right here is the incorrect assumption and one clearly not made by someone that's ever been a parent.
But a loving parent doesn't want a kid hurt regardless. It is only for the purpose of maturity and passing on wisdom that it is needed, right? It is to prevent further pain.

But why is the pain there in the first place?

Sometimes, a loving caring guardian must step away and allow someone they love to make a mistake and endure the consequences so that this person may grow and be wiser and happier in the long run. The statement that if God is all good and caring He must prevent "evil" is short-sighted and does not allow for the presence of a universal Plan where all pieces fit.
So, God allows sin and evil to enter the world simply on the basis that we need to mature? What would we need to learn or mature in that He could not give us without sin? Or reworded, couldn't God have possibly made a world that was better in which we didn't need to mature, especially because it didn't have sin and evil?

Or do you mean something else? If I misunderstood you, forgive me and please clear it up.

Further, I believe the definitions of evil that have been given are ridiculously subjective and limited by our very limited exposure to both time and experience.
Care to redefine them for us?

Finally, we cannot really debate the issue without a clear definition of "love", which I don't think we can give either. Is it love to shelter someone so they never grow? Is it love to give a child everything that he or she wants just because they think they need it? Is it love to try to force someone to love you back or to let them go and recognize that love and freedom are too intertwined to separate?

Honestly, we might as well debate the percentage of various types of gasses and the reasons for the existence of certain heretofor undiscovered elements in the primary star of a solar system we've never encountered. It's the same level of understanding we really have about God, love, evil, and justice.
Do we need a clear definition of love to debate God's sovereignty, plan, or intent?

Jesus used the fruit tree analogy.

Pruning the tree is hard on the tree, but necessary to bear fruit. No pruning -> no fruit -> no point.
Couldn't God have made a system in which we produced fruit regardless of pruning? What would be the point of making a system with fallible elements? For them to improve? ... And what is the reason for that?

NightCrawler
02-17-2007, 03:35 PM
This is kinda where I hit a wall when it comes to Calvinism.

If you take a free will stance, then you can say that man brought pain and death into the world, so its up to us the suffer the consequences of our actions. God has already established a plan to remove evil in the world, but if people reject His Saviour then He's already done everything He should. The responsibility is now on us.
Concerning freewill:
[If in heaven we have freewill, then there must be sin in heaven] OR [God could've created this world without evil and still given us freewill.]
:. (therefore) Either there is no freewill in heaven, or freewill is not a sufficient reason for an explanation of evil on this planet.

Concerning God's sending Christ to pay for sin and shifting all of the blame on us:
Why would God allow evil that would need to be paid for? That is pain + pain, no?

Even if all the blame is on us, why would God allow it?

But from a Calvinistic point of view... Every single act of evil, pain and suffering in the world is all God's Will. He chose for every single one of them to happen. How can you answer that? Death, pain and misery are all part of God's will. It makes no sense.
What if evil is just a privatization of good? [St. Augustine]

skynes
02-18-2007, 06:01 AM
What if evil is just a privatization of good? [St. Augustine]


I'm sorry, your what is itchy?

[If in heaven we have freewill, then there must be sin in heaven] OR [God could've created this world without evil and still given us freewill.]
:. (therefore) Either there is no freewill in heaven, or freewill is not a sufficient reason for an explanation of evil on this planet.


You've left out consequence.

From a free will perspective, pain and death are a consequence of the free choice of sin.

From a calvinist perspective, pain and death are created by God.

You say "[God could've created this world without evil and still given us freewill.]"

Aren't you assuming 'evil' is God's creation?

Evil is a word we use to describe something despicable to us.

Evil is a word God uses to describe something against Him.

Yet you speak of it as a created entity, where it would only be a choice against God.

With Free Will, you need to have the choice to say No.

NightCrawler
02-19-2007, 06:13 AM
I'm sorry, your what is itchy?
What I mean to say is, what if evil is just the lack of good? St. Augustine maintained that all created things are inherently good, yet what we see of evil is just a corruption of good. God is incorruptible, therefore he is inherently and completely good and cannot have evil in him. He summed it up by saying that good can exist without evil, but not evil without good.

You've left out consequence.

From a free will perspective, pain and death are a consequence of the free choice of sin.

From a calvinist perspective, pain and death are created by God.

You say "[God could've created this world without evil and still given us freewill.]"

Aren't you assuming 'evil' is God's creation?

Evil is a word we use to describe something despicable to us.

Evil is a word God uses to describe something against Him.

Yet you speak of it as a created entity, where it would only be a choice against God.

With Free Will, you need to have the choice to say No.
From the Calvinist point of view, unlike the Armenian stance (as I understand it), claims that God can and does use evil for His purpose. I can give verses to support this (for example, Gen 50:20 --
20 You [Joseph's brothers] intended to harm me [Joseph], but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives.)

As I understand the freewill stance, evil is wholly outside of God's plan. He never intended for it, and He would rather be without it -- but gives us a free will which, by its nature, is impossible to ensure purity or righteousness. I believe the claim that is really controversial in this defense, however, is that they claim that having a Freewill is a greater good, in fact, a good which counters all the evil which exists in the world. [restated: Freewill is a great good, and the greatest possible world would be better with freewill AND sin than to be without freewill and without sin.]

However, in either stance, wouldn't you say it is possible for God to give us freewill without sin (how I would like Heaven to be), or to just have us be without sin (regardless of freewill)? Not that I myself take this stance, but a loving God would make more sense if He prevented evil -- especially if He finds it utterly detestable, an abomination, something to be abhorred, etc.

NightCrawler
02-19-2007, 06:18 AM
Disclaimer:
IF THIS THREAD CAUSES YOU TO STUMBLE, I beg you, PLEASE FORGIVE ME. THIS IS A COMMON ARGUMENT FOR ATHEISM, AND I BELIEVE A HEALTHY DISCUSSION ON THIS MATTER IS GOOD.

skynes
02-19-2007, 10:53 AM
but gives us a free will which, by its nature, is impossible to ensure purity or righteousness.

I'm not so sure about this. You're suggesting that the concept of free will is pretty much saying 'you will always sin and can never make a pure choice'.

I don't think so. Having a choice does not mean you must choose wrong. It means having the capability to choose right or choose wrong.

In today's world it is impossible to ensure purity. That I agree with. But not in the case of the first man.

However, in either stance, wouldn't you say it is possible for God to give us freewill without sin (how I would like Heaven to be), or to just have us be without sin (regardless of freewill)?

I have no idea what heaven will be like. All I know is that in heaven all pain and suffering is gone. All sin and evil is contained within hell.

Maybe by creating sentient beings, God created the capacity for evil as default. By creating beings which COULD reach perfection, it creates the possibility of COULD NOT.

God Himself is perfect, He can never change that.
Man was created perfect and man DID have the power to change that, man could have stayed as he was created, instead man chose to become less than perfect and sin.

All sin will be contained within hell. All in heaven will be without sin. What more can we ask of God?

How can any man turn to God and say "I demand more than your life"

How much more is God capable of giving?

Tromos
02-19-2007, 12:59 PM
I don't think so. Having a choice does not mean you must choose wrong. It means having the capability to choose right or choose wrong.


For what it's worth, Martin Luther would disagree with this. Luther argued that we can only do right with the help of God. Our only true free will is to choose against God.

If I remember correctly, the substance of this argument is that if man has the choice to do something good and holy without the need for help from God, then man plays some part in his own salvation. To some extent, then, man earns his salvation through his choices instead of being saved solely through faith and the sacrifice of Christ Jesus.

There's a lot more to it than that. This subject was a debated in a rather well-known series of correspendances between Martin Luther and the Roman Catholic theologian Erasmus. Because the Roman Catholic church has historically defended the notion that salvation is through the works not the faith, Erasmus position that man plays some part in his own salvation was not contrary to Catholic doctrine. Luther's position of sola fidelis, however, did not allow the option of giving man that much credit for achieving his own salvation. Through a series of logical steps, then, Luther was forced to concede the free will of man only to deny God.

skynes
02-19-2007, 02:09 PM
My next sentence:

In today's world it is impossible to ensure purity. That I agree with. But not in the case of the first man.

I was referring to Adam and his free will, not ours.

Before the first sin, Adam was capable of choosing righteously.

Paulishdog
02-20-2007, 09:37 AM
To say that God is all good (omnibenevolent) is to say that God CANNOT commit an act of evil. To say that God is all powerful (omnipotent) is to say that God CAN do ANYTHING. The two statements are incompatable... as states of being.

I would say that God's omnipotence is an attribute of His being, but His omnibenevolence describes His will. I would also say that God is not governed by His attributes, being intelligent.

skynes
02-20-2007, 02:34 PM
To say that God is all good (omnibenevolent) is to say that God CANNOT commit an act of evil. To say that God is all powerful (omnipotent) is to say that God CAN do ANYTHING. The two statements are incompatable...

Anything as possible within laws of logic and the laws He has chosen to limit himself to i.e. Granting people time to repent.

Paulishdog
02-20-2007, 09:04 PM
Anything as possible within laws of logic and the laws He has chosen to limit himself to i.e. Granting people time to repent.

So you're trying to say what I was trying to say.

God is Will over Law. Not Law over Will.

Tromos
02-21-2007, 06:19 AM
So you're trying to say what I was trying to say.

God is Will over Law. Not Law over Will.

That seems fairly obvious since if He was Law over Will, He would be ruled by the Law. And the Law would never have allowed the sacrifice of the innocent Jesus for the sake of the guilty.

NightCrawler
02-21-2007, 06:22 AM
To say that God is all good (omnibenevolent) is to say that God CANNOT commit an act of evil. To say that God is all powerful (omnipotent) is to say that God CAN do ANYTHING. The two statements are incompatable... as states of being.
Actually, let's look at it from a logical possibility standpoint. "God can do anything that is logically possible for Him to do." He is all powerful, therefore He has all the power required to do anything. Being good is not a quantative variable of power, it is qualitative. It is like comparing apples to oranges. But let's get further into the understanding of logical possibility:

God cannot create a circular square. By definition, a square must have 4 right-angles and have 4 sides of equal length. It is impossible for every point on the plane to at that same time be equally distant from the center (definition of a circle). A circular square is, by definition, contradictory and therefore impossible. Therefore, since it is logically impossible for the object to exist, God cannot create it.

(this also applies to the logical impossibility of making a "rock too heavy for Him to lift")

If this doesn't make sense, I'll restate it: It is logically impossible for an omnibenevolent being to have evil, and no quantity of power can change that because it is logically impossible, just as a circular square is an impossible object. It isn't a matter of power.

I would say that God's omnipotence is an attribute of His being, but His omnibenevolence describes His will. I would also say that God is not governed by His attributes, being intelligent.
This /\ is kinda what I was getting at. God's power is a matter of quantity, his attributes of love and justice are a matter of quality.

Paulishdog
02-21-2007, 07:44 AM
God cannot create a circular square. By definition, a square must have 4 right-angles and have 4 sides of equal length. It is impossible for every point on the plane to at that same time be equally distant from the center (definition of a circle). A circular square is, by definition, contradictory and therefore impossible. Therefore, since it is logically impossible for the object to exist, God cannot create it.


I would dissagree with this. God not only created circles and squares, but the laws governing them. God also created something from nothing, which should be impossible logically. I think that God preexists even logic.

skynes
02-21-2007, 09:24 AM
I would dissagree with this. God not only created circles and squares, but the laws governing them. God also created something from nothing, which should be impossible logically. I think that God preexists even logic.

So then can God create a rock so big you need more than infinite power to lift it?

Can God make Himself NOT divine?

Can God make himself NOT know everything?

forceflow17
02-21-2007, 09:29 AM
No, these are inherant qualities of His being. Since He is perfect, which we know He is, and He says that He is these things, then it is true. To questian them would be to say that he doesn't always tell the truth, which would mean he isn't perfect. There are many, many things that we do not understand about Him, probably for a good reason. It would most likely be to overwhelming for our finite minds to comprehend until we are made like Jesus.

NightCrawler
02-21-2007, 11:46 AM
I would dissagree with this. God not only created circles and squares, but the laws governing them. God also created something from nothing, which should be impossible logically. I think that God preexists even logic.

We only know logic from this observed system. He created the laws when He created the system. And what's further, as Immanuel Kant was saying in his work Critique on Pure Reason, it is impossible for us to fully recognize the objective reality because we are working with imperfect faculties to observe. So, that may further support that God does preexist logic in the formal sense.

But logic does apply in our observed system. For examples, in our system He cannot be both evil and good or existing and non-existing, nor can He create a rock so heavy that He could not lift it. These examples are illogical based on this system. If He deals within this system, He will be logical.

If we step outside of the system (our universe), logic may not apply. But we cannot appeal to that, for we are simply in this system and we can only talk about what is relevant to this system. Don't tempt me to post a picture of Bizarro Man.

NightCrawler
02-21-2007, 11:55 AM
No, these are inherant qualities of His being. Since He is perfect, which we know He is, and He says that He is these things, then it is true. To questian them would be to say that he doesn't always tell the truth, which would mean he isn't perfect.
Circular argument.

We know God is perfect because said so. If He were lying, then He wouldn't be perfect. But that's impossible, because He's perfect.

There are many, many things that we do not understand about Him, probably for a good reason. It would most likely be to overwhelming for our finite minds to comprehend until we are made like Jesus.
Appeal to ignorance.

We can't know because we have finite minds, so we're gonna have to accept it until we can!


w00t! 1500 posts!!

Paulishdog
02-21-2007, 09:34 PM
He will be logical.

That is to say, His will rules over His being. Which is what I was saying. To say He can do something carries no weight compared to saying He will do something. Therefore, the argument that God cannot be omnipotent because He cannot create a rock too heavy for Him to lift is no argument at all, because God will not do such a thing. Whether or not it is possible is irrelevent.

The original argument is equally useless. You are using God's abilities and properties to disprove God, when God's will commands those abilities and properties. God's ability to destroy all evil does not dictate that it be so, however benevolent God is, because God's actions always defer to His will, not His state of being.


I may have just undone part of my own argument with that last bit... the price of staying up late, I'm afraid.

NightCrawler
02-22-2007, 06:54 AM
Why would God have (or let) Satan kill Job's family and crops?

Paulishdog
02-22-2007, 10:07 AM
God doesn't care about our well being or our happiness. He cares about our faithfulness.

Tromos
02-22-2007, 12:06 PM
God doesn't care about our well being or our happiness.

I think that's going a bit too far. While I would agree that our holiness is God's top priority, I think to state that he doesn't care about our well being would contradict the statement that He loves us. He cares about our eternal well-being, which may sometimes require us to endure temporary hardships.

NightCrawler
02-27-2007, 01:14 PM
God doesn't care about our well being or our happiness. He cares about our faithfulness.
God obviously cares about us.

Can anyone else give a reason as to why a God who is just and righteous and all-powerful can, at that same time, show why pain, suffering, or any evil in this world?

If it is because of freewill, is it because freewill is good enough in itself to trump evil?
If it is because of freewill, is it because God could not have given us a freewill which could not choose moral evil? (I can choose a cookie over a brownie, yet not have a brownie be sin)

If it is because evil gives us maturity, doesn't that play down how distinct it is from all that is good? (making morality ambiguous?)

If it is because evil causes people to do good, isn't that like saying the chicken pox is good because the vaccine is good?

skynes
02-27-2007, 01:29 PM
If God took all the evil and sin in the world away, would the majority of mankind be happy about it? Or would they hate God more for taking away what they enjoyed?

If God removed all evil from the world, would that not involve removing mankind as well?

NightCrawler
02-27-2007, 05:06 PM
If God took all the evil and sin in the world away, would the majority of mankind be happy about it? Or would they hate God more for taking away what they enjoyed?

If God removed all evil from the world, would that not involve removing mankind as well?
You're speaking of the current corrupted world, but what about Adam and Eve in the garden of Eden?

Now, in that garden, was there any evil whatsoever? Assuming they still had freewill before they sinned, why is it not logically possible for freewill to have free and responsible choice without being able to choose moral evil?

skynes
02-28-2007, 03:47 AM
why is it not logically possible for freewill to have free and responsible choice without being able to choose moral evil?


God -Hello Adam, I am God. I created you. I gave you this amazing thing called Free Will. It allows you to choose whatever you want. For meals you may choose anything that is on a tree. Morally you may choose God, God or God

Adam - Can I choose something that isn't you?

God - Nope. I'm doing it for your own good.

Adam - Not much of a free will then huh?

God - Well you can still choose anything else, you just can't ever do anything against me. You can't hate me, be mad at me, try and hurt me. Trust me it's all in your best interest.

Adam - Sounds like its all in YOUR best interest to me...

NightCrawler
02-28-2007, 06:04 AM
God -Hello Adam, I am God. I created you. I gave you this amazing thing called Free Will. It allows you to choose whatever you want. For meals you may choose anything that is on a tree. Morally you may choose God, God or God

Adam - Can I choose something that isn't you?
Do you think if he had no ability to choose it that he would consider it? It is logically possible for us to get to Jupiter, but I cannot choose to go to Jupiter (conditional possibility). Likewise, you're still equating that freewill to being logically capable of choosing not-God, while not being able to choose anyway (conditional possibility).

God - Nope. I'm doing it for your own good.

Adam - Not much of a free will then huh?
He wouldn't know a difference. And I would argue that it is much of a freewill, if freewill at all.

God - Well you can still choose anything else, you just can't ever do anything against me. You can't hate me, be mad at me, try and hurt me. Trust me it's all in your best interest.

Adam - Sounds like its all in YOUR best interest to me...
Forgive me if this sounds harsh, but what are you trying to pull? This ENTIRE SCHEME OF THE UNIVERSE is for GOD'S GOOD PLEASURE, not ours! Anything contrary would a) be very egotistical of the human race and/or b) deviate from the point of a God-centered universe.

skynes
02-28-2007, 07:44 AM
I wasn't trying to pull anything... I wrote a fictitious idea showing one possibility of free will.

dawn of light
02-28-2007, 07:51 AM
ENTIRE SCHEME OF THE UNIVERSE is for GOD'S GOOD PLEASURE
So why was man[kind] created?? For God's pleasure. For fellowship with God.

What made God want to create man, when He already had angels in heaven to fellowship with? Well I think it's probably because angels weren't created in the image of God. Angels had the ability to not choose God.

I see what you're saying, Nightcrawler, that God just could have not given us a choice about whether to choose Him or not. But I don't think that was good enough for God because we'd always have a kind of parent-child/master-servant relationship with Him. Pretty much what I'm trying to say is that God want to be wanted and chosen. He wants to have a deeper relationship with us than just that we love God because that was the only thing to do.

There are different kinds of relationship that man has with God:
master-servant
shepherd-sheep (or parent-child)
friend
lover

I don't think a friend or lover relationship with God would have been possible what you're suggesting.

Paulishdog
02-28-2007, 08:57 AM
You're speaking of the current corrupted world, but what about Adam and Eve in the garden of Eden?

Now, in that garden, was there any evil whatsoever? Assuming they still had freewill before they sinned, why is it not logically possible for freewill to have free and responsible choice without being able to choose moral evil?

Take the "Free" out of Freewill and look at what you've got left. Will. I have a question. In creating man in His own image, did God give man the same attributes of will that we've already established for God? In that case, saying that man WILL not sin is a more important statement than saying man CAN sin. However, our nature causes us to sin. So, when our will rules over our nature, like God, we will be sinless and perfect. Isn't that the direction God is taking us? To be like Him?

By the way, have you read Perelandra by C.S. Lewis?

NightCrawler
03-02-2007, 09:31 AM
Take the "Free" out of Freewill and look at what you've got left. Will.
Well, obviously we do not have an infinitely free will. So our will is limited. Therefore, if it is limited to only morally good choices, why would that make it not only more limited, but also not freewill?

I have a question. In creating man in His own image, did God give man the same attributes of will that we've already established for God?
Nope, because it is only logically possible for God to do good things, right? All-good God.

In that case, saying that man WILL not sin is a more important statement than saying man CAN sin.
True. Somehow I think that man would sin eventually, as in it was bound to happen. It was necessary. He was going to. As in "man will sin" as long as he has freewill. In heaven he will not sin, so... where does that lead us?

However, our nature causes us to sin. So, when our will rules over our nature, like God, we will be sinless and perfect. Isn't that the direction God is taking us? To be like Him?
How can you distinguish will vs nature? We have a sinful nature and a sinful will. Will = desire. Desire comes from nothing other than who we are -- our nature. By nature, we were never completely like God regarding sin (hence why they ate the fruit -- knowledge of good and evil, just like God knew). Etc.

By the way, have you read Perelandra by C.S. Lewis?
Sadly, no.

Paulishdog
03-02-2007, 10:03 AM
How can you distinguish will vs nature? We have a sinful nature and a sinful will. Will = desire. Desire comes from nothing other than who we are -- our nature. By nature, we were never completely like God regarding sin (hence why they ate the fruit -- knowledge of good and evil, just like God knew). Etc.

I distinguish will and nature because we must do so in looking at God. If God's will springs from His nature, than surely His omnipotence and omnibenevolence (nature) would lead to the destruction of evil (will). But I thought we established that God is will over nature.

In us I would say that desire is a product of our will and nature. Will springing from our spirit, and nature springing from our being.

Before we were in Christ we were sinful creations. But we are new creations in Christ. How can this be if we still have a sinful nature? Because our nature will not be reborn until this body dies... but our spirit may no longer have a sinful will here on earth. I don't desire to sin... do you? I still sin, and yes, by choise, but it is not my will. But my will is not perfect, and not in control of my nature. If I am tired, I must sleep. If I am thirsty, I must drink. My nature has more control of me than my will. Does this make sense? Or am I missing something?

NightCrawler
03-02-2007, 01:56 PM
I distinguish will and nature because we must do so in looking at God. If God's will springs from His nature, than surely His omnipotence and omnibenevolence (nature) would lead to the destruction of evil (will). But I thought we established that God is will over nature.
I am sorry, I think I have misunderstood what you meant by "nature." Either that or we have an equivocation of the word "nature."

When I think of our nature, I think of how we are made, how we are hard-wired and also what we CAN do. It is our nature to eat, it is our nature to be hungry, it is our nature to move our feet and our hands to grab the food. It is not our nature to do things we cannot do -- fly to the fridge, go without eating for a year, etc.

I understand God's nature to have the ability to do anything logically possible in this system, and even more outside the system. It is required of Him as a just God to punish evil, and only do what is good -- for it is nature to be good and just. It is required of Him and He does it.

When I think of will, I think of the spirit/mind. When I think of nature, I think of the flesh/body. But that's just me.

If I differentiated His will, I would say it never conflicts with His nature. I think you are making this distinction to allow for it to conflict. Please correct me if I am wrong.

In us I would say that desire is a product of our will and nature. Will springing from our spirit, and nature springing from our being.
oop! There you go, same as me. Sorta.

Before we were in Christ we were sinful creations. But we are new creations in Christ. How can this be if we still have a sinful nature?
Paul says we still sin, yet it is not our spirit that sins, but rather our flesh. We have a new spirit, one made alive in Christ. And while we may still have desires, we are not to live according to the flesh.

Because our nature will not be reborn until this body dies... but our spirit may no longer have a sinful will here on earth. I don't desire to sin... do you?
Daily I am tempted to sin. If I had no desire, then it wouldn't be a temptation. Would it? I end up doing what I don't really want to do, and what I really want do do I don't really do.

I still sin, and yes, by choise, but it is not my will. But my will is not perfect, and not in control of my nature. If I am tired, I must sleep. If I am thirsty, I must drink. My nature has more control of me than my will. Does this make sense? Or am I missing something?
I think we are off by just a hair in semantics.

NightCrawler
03-03-2007, 07:03 AM
So why was man[kind] created?? For God's pleasure. For fellowship with God.
Agreed, although what is the purpose of those who do not choose Him then? Surely God knew what would happen to them before He made them. So, in His planning, what was their purpose if they weren't going to be in fellowship with Him?

What made God want to create man, when He already had angels in heaven to fellowship with? Well I think it's probably because angels weren't created in the image of God. Angels had the ability to not choose God.
I think bringing angels into this is irrelevant. Being made in the physical image of God is an odd statement if you think about God being Spirit. I would think the meaning of the statement was that we had Spirit like God's only necessarily imperfect (God is perfect, anything of a copy would be imperfect or else it would share in God's equinimity). We can create, we can choose, etc. Likewise for angels, I would think. (though my evidence is lacking, I will admit)

I see what you're saying, Nightcrawler, that God just could have not given us a choice about whether to choose Him or not. But I don't think that was good enough for God because we'd always have a kind of parent-child/master-servant relationship with Him. Pretty much what I'm trying to say is that God want to be wanted and chosen. He wants to have a deeper relationship with us than just that we love God because that was the only thing to do.

There are different kinds of relationship that man has with God:
master-servant
shepherd-sheep (or parent-child)
friend
lover

I don't think a friend or lover relationship with God would have been possible what you're suggesting.
I agree. Two questions come to mind (though not directly relevant):
1) Do we lose this relationship in Heaven? We no longer choose anything not-God.
2) Did God ever need our favour?

I don't think you'll say 'yes' to either, nor are you committed to them from your statements.

[edit]
But more importantly, do you think that the pain and suffering (hurricanes killing thousands, a child getting hit by a car, people dying of cancer, etc.) in this world is sufficiently justified because of whatever moral freedom we have?