The problem of evil

Discussion in 'Reformed Theology' started by Errol, Nov 4, 2017.

  1. Mungo is a Verified MemberMungo Well-Known Member
    Mungo

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    I referred to the parable of the Good Samaritan not the Prodigal Son.

    Moreover you said "If a gift of love is not returned in kind, it damages the love."
     
  2. Errol Member
    Errol

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    OK, I'll yield :)

    In the end, I suppose that selfless love is a subjective thing. If a person thinks they are loving selflessly, then I guess that they are. But as for me, subjectively, all of our attempts at selfless love fall way short of God's selfless love. But here's a deep theological question for you. Do you think that God has a concept of 'self' like we do? Can one whose being encompasses everything look upon himself as a unitary, separate something?
     
  3. Mungo is a Verified MemberMungo Well-Known Member
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    I don't accept that God encompasses everything. I believe that God is distinct from that which he created.
     
  4. Errol Member
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    What is it that leads you to the belief that God is distinct from his creation? Is Jesus, born of woman, not of God's creation? Do you believe in the indwelling Holy Spirit?
     
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    What leads me to believe that God is distinct from his creation is that he created. God existed before he created anything he created. He could annihilate creation and he would still be God. That the second person of the Trinity assumed human nature or that God can interact with his creation does not make him one with it.
     
  6. Alter2Ego New Member
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    Errol:

    Where, within scripture, have you found evidence--based upon scriptural context--that God "pre-ordained. . . a person's life experiences?" Be sure and identify Bible book, chapter, and verses.

    Alter2Ego
     
  7. Alter2Ego New Member
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    Errol:

    What you believe and what scripture says are two entirely different matters. Scripture makes it clear that humans were endowed with free will--the ability to choose. Below is one such example, as was told to the ancient Israelites not too long after they left slavery in Egypt. Notice what God told them below:

    "I call heaven and earth as witnesses against you today that I have set before you life and death, blessing and curse. Choose life so that you and your descendants may live, (Deuteronomy 30:19 -- Holman Christian Standard Bible)

    Alter2Ego
     
  8. Errol Member
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    A bunch of references are listed on the site below. The fact that people's life experience shapes the people that they become is sort of self evident. Babies are more or less blank slates; the soul develops in accordance with life experience. That's why babies born into poverty are generally so different from babies born into a more privileged life, when they become adults. No serious person would deny this.

    https://www.openbible.info/topics/preordained
     
  9. Errol Member
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    I believe that every so called 'choice' is determined by the sum total life experience of the 'chooser'. We make choices based on experience. We choose in a manner that would seem to promote our well being, because our past experience has conditioned us to make that choice. This is a deterministic choice, not a chaotic one.

    Thank you.

    Errol
     
  10. Alter2Ego New Member
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    Errol:

    The ability to make choices, in and of itself, is evidence that one has been endowed by Jehovah with free will. So I frankly don't know what point you are now attempting to make in your above reply, in which you repeatedly use words that clearly refer to the ability to choose aka free will.

    Alter2Ego
     
  11. Errol Member
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    "The ability to make choices, in and of itself, is evidence that one has been endowed by Jehovah with free will."

    Thanks. Can you show how some scripture assures us that we have free will?
     
  12. Alter2Ego New Member
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    #44 Alter2Ego, Jan 15, 2018 at 4:34 AM
    Last edited: Jan 15, 2018 at 4:43 AM
    Errol:

    I already did that when I quoted the verse from Deuteronomy 30:19. Below is the verse again from another Bible.

    "Today I have given you the choice between life and death, between blessings and curses. Now I call on heaven and earth to witness the choice you make. Oh, that you would choose life, so that you and your descendants might live!," (Deuteronomy 30:19 -- New Living Translation)
     
  13. Errol Member
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    Thanks, Ego.

    In the popular view of things, free will is basic to Christianity. Per Christianity, one can not sin if one does not have the free will to sin. And Jesus became a sacrificial lamb to pay the price for these sins. So free will lies at the very foundation of Christianity. As such, I would suppose that the bible would be very explicit about how free will comes about.

    But Jesus never talks about it in the Gospels. There is no explanation of how free will comes about. And you even had to resort to the Old Testament to find where the Bible mentions choice. And choice is not free will. Choice is dictated by previous events. If you have only experienced wrong things, how would you even know what is the right thing to do? Choices are informed by experience, they are not free and random. What choice does an African child soldier have? How will a feral child know right from wrong if he has never experienced it? Deuteronomy says that a kid should not be boiled in its mother's milk and has various restrictions on menstrual women, and advises stoning folks to death for various offenses. I have trouble understanding those restrictions just like I do about understanding how your Deut quote explains free will. Free will has always been accepted as a given, but in light of modern science, it is not so clear that it is a given. It seems like we have free will, but try this exercise.

    1. Think of a choice you would make.
    2. Think of how you made this choice. We don't usually flip a coin to choose, but we have reasons that we choose as we do. Those reasons always involve past experience.
    So past experience always informs choice.
    3. Think of how you came to have these past experiences. What previous experiences informed the choices to have those experiences?
    4. Consider how much control you had over the past experiences which informed your choices?

    You will find that things over which you had no control provided you with the experiences upon which you base your present choices. So choices are not made by free will, but dictated by past experience.
     

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