God, Creation and Evil

General posts on Evangelical Universalism.

God, Creation and Evil

Postby Dondi » Wed Oct 07, 2015 8:04 am

Interesting article from the Experimental Theology blog that addresses theodicy from a UR in relation with creation.

God, Creation and Evil

I have argued, for many long and lonely years, to any who would hear, that the doctrine (or hope) of universal reconciliation (UR) has more to do with theodicy than soteriology, more to do with addressing the problems of suffering than about salvation. More, I have argued that UR is the only coherent theodicy available to the Christian faith. The only coherent theodicy.

For most of those years I was deemed crackpot for my beliefs. So it's nice to find support from some of our most respected theologians.

That UR is our only coherent theodicy is the case that Orthodox theologian David Bentley Hart makes in his recent article "Creation, God and Evil." George MacDonald even makes a surprise appearance in the article.

http://experimentaltheology.blogspot.co ... -evil.html
"...Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me." - Matthew 25:40
User avatar
Posts: 579
Joined: Tue Nov 03, 2009 5:12 am

Re: God, Creation and Evil

Postby Origen; » Fri Dec 01, 2017 1:54 am

I'm wondering where i can find a free copy of the whole article online.

When Augustine lamented the soft-heartedness that made Origen believe that demons, heathens, and (most preposterously of all) unbaptized babies might ultimately be spared the torments of eternal fire, he made clear how the moral imagination must bend and twist in order to absorb such beliefs. Pascal, in assuring us that our existence is explicable only in light of a belief in the eternal and condign torment of babies who die before reaching the baptismal font, shows us that there is often no meaningful distinction between perfect faith and perfect nihilism. Calvin, in telling us that hell is copiously populated with infants not a cubit long, merely reminds us that, within a certain traditional understanding of grace and predestination, the choice to worship God rather than the devil is at most a matter of prudence. So it is that, for many Christians down the years, the rationale of evangelization has been a desperate race to save as many souls as possible from God (think of poor Francis Xavier, dying of exhaustion trying to pluck as many infants as possible from the flames) ...

For all of this follows from an incoherence deeply fixed at the heart of almost all Christian traditions: that is, the idea that the omnipotent God of love, who creates the world from nothing, either imposes or tolerates the eternal torment of the damned. It is not merely peculiarity of personal temperament that prompts Tertullian to speak of the saved relishing the delightful spectacle of the destruction of the reprobate, or Peter Lombard and Thomas Aquinas to assert that the vision of the torments of the damned will increase the beatitude of the redeemed (as any trace of pity would darken the joys of heaven), or Luther to insist that the saved will rejoice to see their loved ones roasting in hell. All of them were simply following the only poor thread of logic they had to guide them out of a labyrinth of impossible contradictions; the sheer enormity of the idea of a hell of eternal torment forces the mind toward absurdities and atrocities.

https://www.reddit.com/r/ChristianUnive ... y_hart_on/
Scholars Corner:

Minimal Statement of Faith for Evangelical Universalists:
Posts: 871
Joined: Tue Jul 05, 2016 6:43 pm

Re: God, Creation and Evil

Postby St. Michael » Fri Dec 01, 2017 8:04 am

Thomas Aquinas and others didn't believe that the saints rejoice in the torments of the damned in and of themselves. The saints are not sadistic, cruel or bloodthirsty. No, they rejoice in the suffering of the damned only in the sense that God's glory appears in it. That is to say, they rejoice in the glories of God's justice not the cruelty in and of itself. According to Thomas Aquinas:

The blessed are in full conformity with the will of God who wills justice. The saints rejoice in the accomplishment of God's justice. To this extent it can be said that they joy in the pains of the damned.

The Bible says God doesn't delight in the death and destruction of the wicked. But it also says God' delights in His justice.

And as the LORD took delight in doing you good and multiplying you, so the LORD will take delight in bringing ruin upon you and destroying you. And you shall be plucked off the land that you are entering to take possession of it. ~~ Deut. 28:63
The eminently humble Christian is clothed with lowliness, mildness, meekness, gentleness of spirit and behavior. ~~ Jonathan Edwards
User avatar
St. Michael
Posts: 1131
Joined: Thu Feb 04, 2016 1:56 pm

Return to General Discussion on Evangelical Universalism

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Baidu [Spider] and 6 guests