Wednesday, June 2, 2010

The Passing Vanity of Evil

Jesus said, "God alone is good." What does that mean, exactly?

It certainly is saying something about ultimacy and uniqueness. Good is a value, God is so valuable in this regard as to be alone on his playing field. There is God and nothing else when it comes to plumbing the depths of that value, good. It is not said here that God is good because, or in relation to: God himself is what good is, period. So to know if something is good, lay it beside God and compare, how does it measure up to the standard.

Sometimes I think we frame our conceptions of God's virtues in the wrong way in order to "prove" that God is good (i.e. God could never do this or that, or God can not do this or that), but God does whatever he wants and there is no power in heaven or earth that can make him do other. Whatever he says or whatever he does is the very definition of good, it is the standard. He is the standard, and it is left for us to trust him.

The question of contigencies with God is inconsequential. Whether he would have or could have done something else, something better, something more or even less good, is a complete abstraction. We have what's he's said and done and that's it. Is it really possible to imagine another course for the omniscient and omnipotent? I don't have a brain that operates in that realm, does anyone? Of what value or reliability could our musings be?

I believe that good and evil and the option to do one or the other come into play only in the interaction between God and other beings having the power to will. Really, the existence of evil proves the existence of freewill! Evil only exists where a will opposing God's can be expressed, for evil is only evil because it is will expressed in opposition to his. Evil is not an independent, universal value and will not exist in eternity, it's really nothing but a passing vanity.

6 comments:

  1. Well, said...Unless, you are willing to deny the existence of evil (since it's all done in God's will rather than against it), or attribute evil to God (ying-yang, evil-twin style).

    Thankfully, there are those of us who know that: "God is light and Him is no darkness at all".

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  2. Cindy,
    Exactly! One could whitewash evil by exhaustive determinism or resort to dualism, but neither do justice to God as he reveals himself to be in the scriptures.

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  3. Cov
    Welcome to the Sound.

    I'll check you site out as soon as I am able.

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  4. 2 Corinthians 3:17
    Now the Lord is the Spirit; and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.

    Just as God is the source and author of love, wisdom, and holiness. He is also the source and author of spiritual liberty/freedom! One can't possibly attempt to define liberty or freedom without freedom of the will.

    As I was testing my arguments I came across a dilemma: If God was allowing the sorrow that is caused by giving us free will; then He is ultimately also allowing and even ordaining it for the purpose of having fellowship with us for eternity - a necessary cost of our love and fellowship, if you will. That is still problematic if our fellowship with Him is only for His pleasure and glory.

    The truth is...it isn't. It is for ours as well(and potentially all humanity), and the eternal love and joy CAN'T exist without the liberty/free will to receive it. Liberty can't be removed from the package any more than love or holiness.

    God Himself is the very essence of spiritual freedom....free will!

    I'm excited about this!

    It also explains a lot of counterfeits of liberty and freedom...Antichrist types in general have this profile.

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  5. Cindy,
    You should be excited, that's a great insight.

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  6. i would say this post is "good"...except that it is probably better to say the it's "okay".

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