Friday, March 16, 2007

Contending for the Truth Pt 2.3 - John MacArthur

Ok - its gotta be better than learning about faith and science at 830 am! More singing.
Yes, John MacArthur is tall.

Apologetics and Evil

How can the God portrayed in the Bible allow evil - massive evil in the world - dominant evil in the world? How can God be loving and tolerate or allow all the results that inflict people with so much pain and suffering? The biblical God is loving, good, holy, all-knowing, all-powerful, yet...evil exists in the world. Therefore, the biblical God doesn't exist. (good summary).
Theological liberalism needs to rescue the good God from the bad caricature portrayed in Scripture. We need to come up with a new God? (yeah, like we would create one that is better).
Ask Larry King - how can it be? This is what backs Christians into an impossible position. 4th and 40 on the 10 yard line. We need to punt. Dt 29.29 (popular verse) because we don't allow our minds to think beyond that. Why do we stick with that verse? We don't need to rely on that verse - God gave us brains. We don't need to let academia win and make us punt.
We need more than a temporary escape - or field goal range.
Why does God allow evil and pain? It is in the Bible; we can know it. We can embrace and enjoy it.
Where did it start? Sin started in heaven (Satan before his fall). He created the fallen angels and the humans that would fall. God created these things. You have to build your answer on God.
Theodacy - a defense of God's righteousness in the face of evil and pain.
What we know to be true:
1. Evil exists. Natural evil (impersonal, temporal). Moral evil (personal, inside, internal, spiritual).. How do we let one effect the other? Unceasing lust for sin and evil - gives birth to it (James 1). Both of these impact all relationships. Eternal evil (anihilationism is not truth - hell is eternal suffering)
2. God exists - the God of the Bible. He is the God the Scripture says He is because the Bible is His self-disclosure - He is under no law but himself. He is a law unto Himself. We see this even from Sproul's talk last night about Moses and God's conversation in Exodus.
1 chron 29.11-12: Yours, O Lord, is the greatness and the power and the glory and the victory and the majesty, for all that is in the heavens and in the earth is yours. Yours is the kingdom, O Lord, and you are exalted as head above all. Both riches and honor come from you, and you rule over all. In your hand are power and might, and in your hand it is to make great and to give strength to all
Ps 115.3 - he does all that He pleases.
Dt 32.39: See now that I, even I, am he,and there is no god beside me; I kill and I make alive; I wound and I heal; and there is none that can deliver out of my hand
Ps 105.16 - When he summoned a famine on the land and broke all supply of bread
Lam 3.37-38: Who has spoken and it came to pass,unless the Lord has commanded it? Is it not from the mouth of the Most High that good and bad come.
God doesn't distance Himself from calamity - the Bible says He even causes it. Liberal theology would say that we need to rescue the true God from this biblical character. God is quite content to be unhesitatingly the God of the Bible - He doesn't need to be rescued or delivered. Why do we think we can do better at defining God then God Himself. He is the only Potentate. Rev 4.11 is what the World needs to get now. That is how our world should live - at least Christians should live in this underlying reality that God is supremely in charge and doesn't need apology.
Job 23.13: But he is unchangeable, and who can turn him back? What he desires, that he does. Don't you think the Creator would have our best at His heart - our best is Him (in the words of JP).
God does not rely on Plan B. He has all the power. That is the God who exists.
3. God wills evil to exist. There is no other possible conclusion
Is 45.7: I form light and create darkness, I make well-being and create calamity,I am the Lord, who does all these things - WITHOUT BEING EVIL. There is no darkness in HIM - He is light.

Yet we try to rescue God. We are on the rescue warpath. God can't possibly be responsible for evil. (He can't have the responsibility for not saving people).
How do they do it? You have to reinvent God. Revisionist interpreter of Scripture. "Off the hook". Limited knowledge falls in this same boat. God is in process - open theism. He is a deity in progress. We need to get God off the hook for being responsible for evil. "God doesn't know the future"

Why can't we let go of ourselves and let God be God? Our we bigger and better than God?

So, the cross was Plan B?
These are people who lack a God-centered, dominated, exalting, view of the way things are - reality. They sit in the man centered perch and make sure God doesn't violate their sensibilities. God can't have full power - and be God.
Harold Kushner - (I had to read this book in college for a Religion class for Dr. Tkacik. I did disagree with the book. (Tkacik moved from Providence to St. Leo - that was news to me).

1. Metaphysical Theodacy - Good exists therefore evil exists. (ying/yang)
2. Autonomous Theodacy - good use of free will. It is the highest good - it trumps evil on God's value scale. Yeah - this makes coherent sense.

The problem of evil is the BIG ISSUE - in all realms of Christianity.

Where does our relationship with evil (how we respond to it) convey to a lost world our belief in God? God designs to use evil of all kinds for His own purposes. I saw that in Indo when I was over there after the tsunami. That whole country was closed to the gospel till the day after the tsunami hit. If that isn't God who is it. I know it isn't Satan working the earth's core like that to bring Himself glory! I see it in girls' lives who have had abortions and God has used that killing of that baby to bring that mother to saving faith of the power of God. Seen it recently in the death of John Piper's dad - the life that He lived that brought so much attention to the holiness of God - and many people were at that funeral and heard the power of the gospel preached. Satan doesn't like to bring attention to the gospel.

4. God willed it for His own glory! Westminster Confession.

Rom 3.5 - It makes God's righteousness all the more glorious. We would never understand God fully if we weren't so familiar with unrighteousness. "serves to show"
Rom 5.8 - the presence of sin allows God to demonstrate (show) his love for mankind. He shows the character of love if there weren't any.
Rom 9.22 - He demonstrates His wrath - determined to demonstrate His own wrath - put it on display. Demonstrate (aorist middle) - Greek grammar - God determined to demonstrate for HIMSELF - for His own glory. He has endured our wickedness (assault on His holiness) to show HIS GLORY. Thick stuff - right before lunch.
Jude 4 - long ago designated.
Rom 9.23 - God willed to make known - on those vessels of mercy which were beforehand known.

What is our response?
Rom 9.14, 16 - Is there any injustice - by no means! There is no holiness without judgment.

To demonstrate my power in you that my Glory may be displayed upon the earth!


1 comment:

Bro. Henry said...

Actually there is some truth in that. I am currently doing a topical study on Sunday nights at our church. We will be dealing with the issue, "If God is love, then why is there pain and suffering in the world" I appreicate your insight and help!!!

God bless you my friend and remember to keep on keeping on


In Christ,

Bro. Henry
Mt. Zion Baptist of Prairieville, Louisiana