This kind of evil doesn’t come from someone acting against the good, but an absence of a good that is natural and due to a thing. The thrice-holy God (Isaiah 6:3) has no pleasure in wickedness (Psalm 5:4), does not tempt any man with evil (James 1:13), and loves righteousness and hates wickedness (Psalm 45:7). Evil stems from the rebellious hearts of man. Evil is real, but it only exists as an absence or corruption of a good—the way rust only exists as a corruption of metal and has no real existence on its own. Let’s begin with Isaiah 45:7, which reads in some English translations, “I make peace and create evil,” or, with the Hebrew words substituted, “I make shalom and create ra.”, The word shalom is a greeting that means “peace” and is used as an informal way of wishing someone well (similar to “Peace be with you”). 1 The Westminster Confession of Faith . Dr. Mohler also stated that this is because God shows His love and glory more comprehensively than if evil had never existed. 1:13 To accuse Almighty God of evil is the same as stating that He sins or breaks His own law and commandments. This also explains Amos 3:6, which the RSVCE renders, “Does evil befall a city, unless the Lord has done it?”. The second chapter of Amos indicts Israel for oppressing the poor (“they trample the head of the poor into the dust of the earth, and turn aside the way of the afflicted”) and sexual immorality (“a man and his father go in to the same maiden, so that my holy name is profaned”) (Amos 2:7). James 1: 14 (the very context of one of the disputed verses) shows that, when man sins, it is the result of his own lust. According to the Catholic Commentary on Holy Scripture. God is in no way, directly or indirectly, the cause of moral evil. So is … God is not evil and does not do evil, but He does “work around” the evil in this world to further His plans for human redemption. Just as the opposite of light is darkness, the opposite of peace is unrest or calamity, not necessarily moral evil (though moral evil could cause calamities). The author uses poetic language to help the reader understand why a good God would allow something so terrible to happen. Moral evil originated with the creature, not the Creator. The third chapter of Amos describes God delivering his judgment against Israel in the form of the invading Assyrian army. Permit me to start by saying that God is a God of love and not the author of evil. An extensive series of South American Ice Age artwork may be of interest to biblical creationists. “Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man: But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed.” (James 1:13-14). It is rarely defined, but it seems to mean both that God is the efficient cause of evil and that by causing evil he actually does something wrong. One wonders why God has afflicted us in this way? Is it not from the mouth of the Most High that good and evil come? Even though this is blasphemy, it will nonetheless be addressed in this study. Irenaeus, Theodicy, and the Problem of Evil: His Lost Work “That God is Not the Author of Evil” and Evangelism Today Mako A. Nagasawa Last modified: September 3, 2019 Original Proposal for the Pappas Patristics Institute, Feb 2019 The second century bishop Irenaeus of Lyons wrote more works than we currently have. “Does evil befall a city, unless the Lord has done it” (Amos 3:6)? The author says, “The Lord is good to those who wait for him” (Lam. As 3:32–33). God can, however, directly or indirectly cause physical evils like pain or suffering. Your voice is missing! The whole point is simply that God’s character, as described in the Bible, can be interpreted as either good or evil depending on the book, author, time, and mood. However, this contradicts the biblical notion of God’s sovereignty, or his complete control of the universe. As a federally recognized 501(c)(3) nonprofit ministry of the USA, all gifts to ICR are completely tax deductible to the fullest extent allowed by U.S. law. Evolutionary scientists have recently claimed that pterosaurs had feathers. That’s because these bad things can serve God’s ultimately good ends (CCC 310). It comes from men, to whom evil may assume the form of good, betraying them into a wrong choice. 30 If any thing be revealed to another that sitteth by, let the first hold his peace. Jeremiah makes that clear by saying God “does not willingly afflict or grieve” us (Lam. God created moral beings with a free choice, and this is the origin of moral evil in the universe. The text says. When we attempt to harmonize these statements we begin to invade the realms of divine mystery. Affirms that God is the Author of Evil: “It is easy to conclude how foolish and frail is the support of divine justice by the suggestion that evils come to be not by His will, but merely by His permission. Evil does not come, and cannot come, from Him, because it has no existence in Him. The Fossils Still Say No: The Origin of Vertebrates. The first is to say there are events that happen outside of God’s control, such as the suffering of morally upright people. God sent him. Many Christians grow uncomfortable when their pastor teaches about money. So ultimately, God made evil possible by creating free moral creatures who are responsible for moral evil. God is light; in him there is no darkness at all (John 1:5b). Isaiah 45:7 says God is the creator of evil and darkness I enjoy unpacking these scriptures and proving, from scripture, that God is not the villainous Dr. That is our record and that is our delight. 3:38). The Catechism of the Catholic Church teaches. Dear Dr. Graham: Who is to blame for all the evil in the world — God or the devil? The term authors is almost universally condemned in the theological literature. For example, in Genesis 2:9 it refers to “the tree of the knowledge of good [tov] and evil [wa-ra].” “But this does not mean, as Dan Barker suggests, “The Hebrew word ra clearly [or only] means ‘moral evil.’”. He permits it, however, because he respects the freedom of his creatures and, mysteriously, knows how to derive good from it” (311). Content © 2020 Institute for Creation Research. One example of this would be the absence of sight a blind person should possess. Evil is instead a privation or absence of good. 33 For God is not the author of confusion, but of peace, as in all churches of the saints. It’s a lesson that’s as true for us today as it was for God’s faithful who have wrestled with evil and suffering for thousands of years before us. Both good and evil exist by God’s will, and it is not our right to question him. There is an indirect sense in which God is the author of moral evil. Moral evil refers to a rational being acting against the good, and natural evil (also called “physical evil”) refers to suffering or pain that have nothing to do with making evil choices. God is certainly causing a disaster in this case, and using the moral evil of others to bring it upon the Israelites, but he is not engaging in an act of moral evil by allowing these events to take place. Many Scriptures affirm that God is not the author of evil: "God cannot be tempted by evil, and He Himself does not tempt anyone" (James 1:13). Jeremiah avoids detracting from God’s sovereignty by admitting that the Lord causes grief. 3:25), but he also candidly admits, “though [the Lord] causes grief, he will have compassion according to the abundance of his steadfast love; for he does not willingly afflict or grieve the sons of men” (Lam. But God doesn’t just stand by and helplessly watch it happen or delight in our suffering for its own sake. There also different kinds of evil: moral and natural. . Nevertheless, note that the word author is being used in two different senses. 13 When tempted, no one should say, “ God is tempting me.” For God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does He tempt anyone. . Therefore, God does bring judgment and calamity (either directly or through human authorities) on those who rebel. The Israelites were satisfied that Yahweh was the ultimate cause of every event and did not ask how precisely he was the cause both of good and evil. World English Bible for God is not a God of confusion, but of peace. Why all this evil, poverty, failure, injustice, persecution, shame, pain, cruelty and wickedness? Any disaster must fall within the sovereign will of God, even though God is not the sponsor or author of that evil. Isaiah 45:7 simply describes how God is the ultimate cause of both what we enjoy and what we suffer. Prior to this verse, Isaiah describes how God is in complete control of the universe. Why should a living man complain, a man, about the punishment of his sins? What is the significance of fossil bone collagen discoveries? In 2017 and 2018, scientists discovered a nearly eight-mile-long... You’re never too young to be a creation scientist! Who has commanded and it came to pass, unless the Lord has ordained it? 14 But each one is tempted when by his own evil desires he is lured away and enticed.… 45:7, KJV). "God is light, and in Him there is no darkness at all" (1 John 1:5). God Does Not Author Evil. The Israelites’ suffering is not the result of God being unable to fend off other gods, but is part of God’s providential plan for Creation. Good and Perfect Gifts 12 Blessed is the man who perseveres under trial, because when he has stood the test, he will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love Him. The 1646 Westminster Confession of Faith is highly esteemed among Calvinists. Evil is not a thing God created, because everything God made is good (Gen. 1:31). One of the greatest problems for evolutionists is the sudden appearance of complex animal life with no evolutionary precursors, as seen in the Cambrian... Science, Scripture, & Salvation Vol 3, Disc 1. What about Lamentations 3:38? Parasites are a unique form of life in today’s world. The Israelites, along with everyone else in the ancient world, believed that every event was the act of deity – that every plant that grew, every baby born, every drop of rain and every climactic disaster was an act of God. These invertebrates come in all shapes and sizes, from single-cell animals (e.g., Plasmodium... False Hypotheticals—Beyond Darwin's Imagination. This doesn’t mean that evil is “nothing” or that it is illusory in nature. I answer that, As appears from what was said , the evil which consists in the defect of action is always caused by the defect of the agent. Admittedly God hasn’t told us everything we’d like to know about evil and why it exists — but one thing is clear: God is not the author of evil, nor does He give in to its allure. So, when the Christian points to the beauty of the world, while certainly compelling, he/she does not take the whole story into account. for Him. God may hate a thing as it is in itself, and considered simply as evil, and yet . The author of Lamentations, traditionally thought to be Jeremiah, is walking a fine line between two unorthodox views of God. "God is light, and in Him there is no darkness at all" (1 John 1:5). He further explains how God authors evil. 8 However, God does reward and punish on the basis of good and bad behavior. According to biblical scholar John Walton. The context of this passage concerns God’s sovereignty over natural disasters. God doesn’t will sin as sin or for the sake of anything evil; though it be his pleasure so to order things, that he permitting, sin will come to pass; for the sake of the great good that by his disposal shall be the consequence. It is an integral supporting document in the explanation of their doctrines. 31 For ye may all prophesy one by one, that all may learn, and all may be comforted. Evil that some people think he is. God did not find him there owing to evil choices, and then try to make something good come of it. 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