Let me remind you of it.
Why Does Evil Dominate the World?
Thou art exalted as head above all Thou reignest over all; and in Thine hand is power and might; and in Thine hand is to make great, to give strength unto all. When we say that God is sovereign, we simply mean He has a right to be in charge of absolutely everything, because He, in fact, is in charge of absolutely everything. I have wounded Or who makes him mute or deaf, or seeing, or blind? Is it not I, the Lord? He called for a famine upon the land God created out of His own free choice, uninfluenced. He spoke, and it was done; He commanded, and it stood fast.
The Lord brings the counsel of the heathen to naught: He makes the devices of the people of no effect. The counsel of the Lord stands forever, the thoughts of His heart to all generations. His Kingdom rules over all. His hand is stretched out, I will do all My pleasure There is no evil outside His plan; there is no evil outside His purpose.
He knows everything that can be known, that is knowable, He has comprehensive power to do everything that can be done, that is possible; that is what the Bible says about God. And in that perfect knowledge, and in that perfect power, and with perfect holiness, and expressing His perfect love, God ordains everything. That leads us to a third conclusion. Evil exists; God exists and this is the only God who exists; thirdly: God wills evil to exist; God wills evil to exist. It is inescapable. I am the Lord, Now, at this point panic strikes the heart of Arminians -not Armenians, but Arminians - big difference - panic strikes the heart of Arminians.
They become short of breath here. They start to have heart palpitations, sweaty palms, their eyes roll back, they launch into rapid heart rate. God has ordained evil? But the panic attack hits them because they cannot let God be held responsible for evil. I really think that Arminian theology, for the most part, is a device to get God off the hook.
And how do they do it? Well, the bottom line is, God is not responsible for evil; you are. Just backs the responsibility back to Him. Now, those are the kinds of things you have to deal with in this argument. These kinds of criticisms are supposed to get God off the hook, but what they do is reinvent God. This would fit into the system called process theology. Process theology is a group that have reinvented God as a deity in progress. This is also what openness theism believes, that God is in process; He is not now what He used to be.
Well, you get the picture.
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These are people who lack a true and biblical view of God. They also lack a God-focused, God-exalting, God-dominated view of the universe. If He had the full knowledge of it, and the full power to deal with it and it exists, then He ordained it. How did it get introduced to Adam and Eve? And how did Satan get to be Satan in which he was tempting people to do evil? Evil originated where? In heaven? Yes, evil originated in heaven, in an angelic rebellion right under the nose of God. You think that was a shock? Then you have a God who is not all-powerful.
No matter how you deal with it, if you sustain the biblical doctrine of God, God becomes ultimately responsible for the existence of evil. A lot of things wrong with that book. What he does is reinvent God; He reinvents God. Zoroastrianism, Manichaeism, other sort of ancient philosophies, said God had to deal with two co-eternal and independent realities, good and evil - co-eternal, independent, that is, always existing. Well, none of these answers is adequate.
All these answers come from people who lack a fixed God-centered view of reality, and they have to abandon a biblical view of God. But many of the people who offer these kind of answers declare their faith in the Bible and the God of the Bible, but they expect the God of the Bible to be dragged into a human court, a court of human reason, to be judged by a moral law lower than Himself. Somehow God is a higher being, but we have a higher law. Now, when you boil all this down, there are a number of categories in which theodicies can be created.
Let me just give them to you. This is a little seminary class, folks, and hang on. The first category is metaphysical; metaphysical. That is to say, evil is inevitable. It is not that God created evil, it is not that God ordained evil; it is that evil is because good is. It is simply a negation, it is simply a privation. It is the absence of, the opposite of. If you have an infinity, you have a finitude. If you have a good, you have an evil. There is also the more theological approach to that metaphysical idea, and it is this: that because God created humanity good, the potential for evil existed within that creation and man exercising his will chose the evil.
That was strongly the argument of Augustine and Aquinas in ancient times, and there is truth in that. There is the holiness of God, and there is the sinfulness of the creature. But it leaves too much to metaphysical inevitability, and it asks the question: if because good exists, then evil then must exist, is that perpetually true?
A number of people come into this category to develop their theodicies. This is the abuse of free will, and this basically says the highest good to God is free will. God could have prevented evil, but He wanted free will to exist; and when He allowed free will to exist, therefore evil exists, because those free and autonomous creatures choose evil.
LET US DO EVIL
And because free will was more important as a reality than eliminating evil, evil exists. Evil exists because God exalts free will. Angels have a free will. At least initially, humans have a free will. They make choices.
Humans must have the self-determined freedom to act. This gets God off the hook again - at least it appears to on a shallow level - but again, it requires reinventing a God - listen to this - who values your will over His own. And anyway, if God knew people would choose sin and hell, why did He go ahead and create them anyway?
And why did He design free will?
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So, you can see that an autonomous theodicy as a category has to deny the direct involvement of God, as He is revealed to be in the Old Testament. Does He not know what people are going to do? Or is giving them the freedom to do it more important than the presence of evil? If God has both knowledge and power, then He had to give men the free will to start with; and He knew exactly what they would do with it, and He went ahead and gave it to them; and therefore, in the end, He had to ordain evil. To design a God with limited knowledge, to design a God with limited power, to design a God who is more concerned about the will of every single human being than His own will, is to design a God that is not the biblical God.
If God is not in total control of evil, if He has not ordained it — listen - and if He does not have it under complete control at every millisecond of history, then this universe is out of control at the most crucial point. If God is not in control of this completely, then how and when will He get the knowledge and the power to get it under control? And I would ask you this: would you rather have a God trying to get control of evil, or a God completely in control of it?
Take your choice. But the God of the Bible is in complete control of evil for His own purposes.
It is really heresy to say that the world is full of evil apart from a predetermined plan and purpose by God that is far above the willy-nilly choices of people.
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