Paul Copan explains the high points of the problems of evil and suffering in just under 18 minutes.
- the question itself reveals that we are moral beings
- the problem of evil is the great interrupter of human well-being
- every philosophy of life has to address this question
- is God required to give us a life that is easy and comfortable?
- evil is a departure from good, i.e. – the way things ought to be
- a way things ought to be implies a plan for what ought to be
- human evil implies a plan for the way we ought to be
- free creatures have the ability to deviate from the plan
- where does this plan for the universe and us come from?
- how can there be a way we ought to be come from?
- evil is the flip side of good so where does good come from?
- God’s own moral nature is the standard of good and evil
- where does evil from natural disasters come from?
- how dangerous natural phenomena preserve Earth’s habitability
- there is a benefit from tectonic activity
- similarly, God lets humans freely choose knowing harm may result
- people are free to try to find meaning in something other than God
- God is able to use negative things to bring about positive results
- e.g. – when good people suffer, they can comfort and care for others
- can people be good enough on their own without God?
If you want to read two good books for beginners on Christian Apologetics that cover a wide range of issues in philosophy of religion, get “Passion Conviction” and the companion “Contending With Christianity’s Critics”. Awesome, awesome resources.
Bill Whittle has posted part 4 of his excellent series on what conservatives believe.
Today’s episode is on natural law and the rule of law.
Here are the previous parts:
This is wonderful for Christians to watch. When you watch them, think about how your life goals are much easier with these policies as opposed the policies in North Korea or Cuba. Your liberties, including your precious religious liberty, all hangs on these ideas. You cannot conduct a Christian life if you are taxed too much, or if the government indoctrinates your children in government-run schools, or if you cannot even afford books on apologetics and theology because you have no money left over after buying food. Think about your Christian life as an enterprise – what do you need from the government, the courts and the private sector in order to succeed?
Are miracles really possible? I’m not talking about how some describe a baby being born as “the miracle of life.” I’m talking about biblical reports of Jesus walking on water, healing the blind, and physically rising from the dead. Atheists sometimes say miracles overturn the laws of nature—and that’s not possible. Before considering the evidence, however, many skeptics have already decided that naturalism is true. But what about this? Do miracles—by definition—really overturn the laws of nature?
In the foreword to The God Conversation, Lee Strobel notes how J.P. Moreland responded to this challenge with a simple defense: ”The laws of nature are the way we describe how the world usually works. If someone drops an apple, it falls to the floor. That’s gravity. However, if someone were to drop an apple and I were to reach over and grab it before it hit the ground, I wouldn’t be overturning the law of gravity. I would simply be intervening. In a similar way, God is able to reach into the world that he created by performing a miracle. He isn’t contravening or overturning the laws of nature. He’s simply intervening” (7).
Human beings are non-material minds. We have bodies that our minds can control. We cause effects on our bodies by using our free will. And God is a non-material mind just like us. Only he doesn’t have a body, so he can intervene at any point in space and exercise his will. It’s not a violation of natural laws when we do it, and it’s not a violation of natural laws when he does it.