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Home Special Topics Evil and the Providence of God Yuen Hoi Sing: Article Review
Yuen Hoi Sing: Article Review PDF Print E-mail
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Thursday, 19 December 2013 10:40

Article Review

Referee: Dr. Benedict Kwok

Anthor: Yuen Hoi Sing

Introduction

This submission contains the review of the following five articles / book:-

· Chapter 20 (20 pages) of Millard Erickson[1];

· Chapter 8 (48 pages) of Hans Schwarz[2];

· Article (25 pages) by Hwa Ying[3];

· The Consultation Statement (7 pages) in Scott Moreau[4]; and

· The book (171 Pages) authored by Stephen Tong[5]

In this review I acknowledge the citations and views under the subject matter given by the different authors / editors.  I have made attempts to examine and discuss about the respective arguments / theories.  To facilitate discussion, I have grouped the materials under six different sections in answering the following questions?

· Question #1: Why do evils live among humans?

· Question #2: Did God create evils in the midst of creation? Why not?

· Question #3: What is the nature of evil?

· Question #4: If God did not create evil, who created / conceived it?

· Question #5: To what extent should humans be responsible?

· Question #6: How long will evil exist and how can humans live with evil?

I conclude in this review that these articles have not fully answered the questions raised by many about evils; and there are some fundamental issues to be resolved.  These are highlighted in the Epilog section.

Question #1: Why do evils live among humans?

In his book Tong starts by asking about the origin of evil.  His initial answer is that the background behind human thinking about God during calamities is because deep in the soul of humans. Humans are religious beings, or cultural beings.  Humans have been given the seed of religion and the nature of cultural understanding.  Therefore humans build their own values system.  In doing so, humans tend to ask “Can God create a person who does not sin? Why did God put evil into human when He created men?”

In answering the “why” question, Erickson explains that the three elements that have caused the human dilemma are God’s greatness, God’s goodness, and the presence of evil.  Thus, the theodicy may attempt to show that the conception of God as omnipotent is inaccurate in some aspects.  Either God is not completely unlimited, or the prevention of certain evil is not a matter of his omnipotence[6].

The issue of creation is probably the good starting point to establish views on evil.  But without solid evidences to prove the causality, it would be unfair to challenge the concept of God as omnipotent.  It is inevitable that the issue of demonology as a source of sin or any wrong-doings will be touched on.  The issues include where demon stays and how it “disrupts” God’s creation.

To partly answer this, Hwa Ying points out that one should not consider whether demon is from above, or below.  There are indeed three issues involved: (a) How contrasting worldviews[7] shape our understanding of the demonic; (b) The study on Scripture that may allow us to transcend the biases of humans’ own limited worldview; and (c) The analysis of Christian experiences throughout history and from different cultures, in the light of Scripture.   Hwa Ying emphasizes, though I do not agree with, that Western world has a strong perception of dualistic worldview, i.e. the upper spiritual realm and the lower physical realm.  I do not fully agree with Hwa Ying that as the two realms are distinct, there is limited “space” to accommodate the beliefs in supernatural, miracles, angels, and demons.  Indeed in Chinese Philosophy, we also emphasize the harmonization of heaven and earth[8].  In Chinese culture we believe that the devils may probably come from both heaven and earth.

I am not quite agreeable to Hwa Ying’s notion that the emergence of dualism has led to a radical anthropocentrism which increasingly had little room for God. This perception contracts vastly from the holistic concept of the Bible[9].  I believe the problem that many non-Western beliefs have made evils as gods because it is proven that evils could exercise great power, especially in conquering the physical nature.

As quoted by Hwa Ying, Hiebert raises two concerns about the difference in the worldviews.  The first is that the Western pastors cannot answer the questions raised by non-Western converts.  The other is that the converted non-Western Christian might rely on their witch doctor or diviner for answers.  The solution might be to set aside the Western worldview in favour of the non-Western Christians[10].  In the local (especially Hong Kong) Chinese experience, I believe this is not necessary the case.  In Chinese churches we advocate the dismantling the idols (evils behind the belief of idols) and stick to the holistic Christian belief.

Question #2: Did God create evils in the midst of creation? Why not?

The answers to Question #1 have not given answers to the issues of how and when did evils start to exist?  Did they start to exist during the creation?

According to geological record, evil seems to have been present on earth before human beings.  More serious and more obvious, however, is the contribution of the fall to moral evil, i.e. evil that is related to humans’ intensions and acts.  For example, power may reside in the hands of a few who use it to exploit others.  Selfishness on a collective scale may keep a particular social class or racial group in painful or destitute conditions.

In relating evil to God’s creation, Tong considers that the creation theory of Plato would not give good explanation because he advocates the imperfect world created by the imperfect God.  He mentions that Leibniz[11] could not accept the “fact” that the impotent God has created the impotent world.  What Tong is saying is that there would not be a solution based on the subjective attitude to interpret the real meaning of the unlimited Bible.  This is because humans are limited (the interpretation in Reformed Theology[12] has a distance in accepting this).  I agree with Tong that humans must understand the absolute necessity of the qualitative difference between the creator and the created.

Tong asserts that God has nothing to do with evil.  The evidence is in James 1:13.  What James is saying is that God will not tempt us because He will never.  I endorse Tong’s assertion that according to this Bible verse, sin is conceived in humans.  But I am yet to be satisfied to know how “fertilization” (in terms of human birth) took place and developed for the conceiving of the baby (sin)[13].

Likewise, Erickson states that evil in general as the result of sin in general.  Death came upon humanity (Gen 2:17; 3:2-3, 19).  Paul in Rm 8 says that the whole creation has been affected by human sin, and is now in bondage to decay.  It appears that a whole host of natural evils may also have resulted from the wrongful acts (sin?) of humans.  I can understand the meaning of these Bible verses, but how could all these wrongful acts possibly happen with God overseeing His creation?

Erickson tries to answer this question.  In Gen 3 the serpent tempted Eve, the fall of Satan had occurred, i.e. an evil force was present within the creation.  But how could good angels became the devil?  This may be termed the “germ theory” of sin.  One has to “catch” or “be infected by” sin as if we are infected by the germs.  For humans to be genuinely free, there has to be an option, i.e. the choice to obey or to disobey God.  Therefore it is clear that God did not create sin.  He merely provides the options necessary for human freedom, options that could result in sin, if abused.  The Bible tells us that God was grieved by human sinfulness (Gen 6:6).  Indeed human sin is painful or hurtful to God too.

Based on the above views, it appears that God has little responsibility for the creation of evils.  But if so, my next question is: How did evil come into the world?  If God did not create evils, was He responsible for the continued existence?  If God is good, will did He not get rid of evils? Before answering these questions, let us understand more about the nature of evil.

Question #3: What is the nature of evil?

In discussing about the nature of evil Erickson presents the dilemma of two general types.  One is that the natural evil does not involve human willing and acting, but is merely an aspect of nature that seems to work against human welfare.  These include the destructive forces of nature: e.g. hurricanes, earthquakes, tornadoes, volcanic eruptions, and the like.  The other type is moral evil such as war, crime, cruelty, class struggles. Erickson has quoted John Feinberg’s argument that humans are dealing with a series of problems.  Occurrence of the religious form of the problem does not necessarily imply personal experience, but there will have been a specific situation at least vicariously encountered.

I agree with Erickson about the above observation, and indeed it seems that humans are quite listless in coping with the natural disasters.  But why there are more natural disasters in the under-developed countries than in the developed countries?  Will this be the result of certain ruthless (sinful) acts of human powers in controlling resources hence introducing less preventive measures to avoid human calamities (e.g. tsunami, floods)?

In moral aspects, Schwarz introduces Tillich’s “Estrangement and Self-Destruction” theory.  In this model, the symbol of Fall is a decisive part of the Christian tradition and its meaning goes beyond Adam’s fall and has universal, anthropological significance.  Before the Fall, humans had “dreamlike innocence” which then disappeared after the human “freedom” awoke within humans to seek self-actualization.  Tillich considers it “absurd” to speak of a moment in time human is transformed from good to evil because we cannot separate human beings from nature.  Creation and the Fall coincide in so far as there is no point in time and space in which created goodness was actualized and had existence.  I can see the argument of this theory.  But my next question is how did sin inherit through human as a result of the Fall?

Tillich characterizes estrangement as unbelief.  He distinguishes between original or hereditary sin and the subsequent “actual” sins.  Human has failed itself and God and is thus caught in the clutches of its own failure.  Evil is not rooted in God nor in any antigod but alone in humanity itself, which has misused and continues to misuse its freedom.

In alignment with other theologians, I accept that the abuses of freedom by humans may be the main source of evil or sin.  But is there an “antidivine” force behind us in compelling human to sin, or such force is created by the individual self? If so, what is God’s role in the creation of the human nature?

In answering these questions, it is necessary to establish first whether we should necessarily label or pre-empt that “evil” as bad.  If evil is not totally bad, what is wrong if God still “allows” it to exist?  Erickson says that the Bible seems to see things different from the traditional perception.  First, we must consider the divine dimension and the relationship between the will and the being of God.  Good means what glorifies him, fulfills his will and conforms to his nature.  Second, there is the consideration of time or duration[14].  Scripture encourages us to evaluate our temporary suffering “sub specie aeternitatis” (in the light of eternity).  Third, there is a consideration of the extent of the evil.  Part of what we are suffering is what appears to be evil may actually in some cases be the means to a greater good.  Note that what makes something good is that God has willed and planned it.  God’s plans are good and have good consequences.

That however does not answer the question of whether evil is triggered by an evil being, or demon, who apparently is acting against God?

To answer this, Hwa Ying says that Satan is real.  The name Satan in Hebrew means “adversary” or “opponent”.  It appears in Old Testament sometimes as neutral sense, but on other occasions a heavenly supernatural being.  However, Satan remains subordinated to God.  In the New Testament, it appeared as the primary enemy of God and human.  But the Bible provides no answers to the origins of Satan and other demonic spirits.  There is a list of ways[15] in which Satan and his demons work in the world.  While Paul has mentioned about the “principalities” and “authorities”, the details such as origin and nature are kept silent by Paul.

Schwarz introduces the most interesting and confusing proposal of Karl Barth’s Church Dogmatics.  Barth considers evil as the disruptive element which comes into being as a foreign body under the providence of God, but can never be considered in the same context as other objects of God’s providence.  This was pre-existent within the creation but as the shadow side of the creation.  This is considered by Barth as a “nothingness” (das Nichtige).  It is difficult to reconcile nothingness with the grace of God.  Despite the accountability of human for their behavior, sin as an action is continually described in the Bible as a succumbing to a foreign power.  Sin is, on one hand, human action, but on the other hand is a result of the nothingness.  God takes account of the nothingness, is occupied with it, struggles against it, bears it, and overcomes it.

Nothingness is not merely an accident, an oversight of God, but rather it is the object of his wrath and judgment.  It therefore is in connection with the activity of God.  Barth declines to ascribe to nothingness a self-sufficient existence independent from God.  He does not limit evil to the human realm, but rather sees the metaphysical realm included in the battle against the God-opposing powers.

Indeed I find Barth’s concept very difficult to understand.  The greatest problem is that while he considers evil is in pre-existence he also makes attempts to demonstrate that the God-opposing powers were not originated in God’s creation.  The difficult thing to understand is Barth’s notion that “Evil is not an accompanying apparition of the salvific activity of God, but rather a power that, from our human perspective”.  I would like to ask whose power will prevail in the end.

Schwarz also introduces the Process Theology which is advocated by Griffin et al that “Evil is an unavoidable phenomenon”.  This concept starts from a definition that God is a perfect reality, but they also have proved that there is sin in the world, the final conclusion from the deduction is that there is no God.  Griffin is not willing to accept this conclusion.  From him, the problem seems to be rooted in our traditional conception of God.  The logical conclusion was that nothing could happen in the world unless God either caused it or at least permitted it.

They[16] continue to argue that if God compels and always enforces His will is deemed to be a despotic God.  The Biblical testimony would have suggested the rejection of this thesis.  Therefore the Process Theologians maintained that God’s power is persuasive, not controlling.  However, Whitehead[17] claims that creation means “creation of order out of chaos”.  Evil can arise out of this potency without corresponding to divine intention.

I consider the difficult part of Process Theoloy is the notion that “genuine evil is described as disharmony; and the necessity of evil constitutes a fundamental assumption about the structure of reality”.  Furthermore, it is not easy to understand how God is “preceding” in his eternal aim as well as “following” in the power of his persuasion and in the process character of all genuine being.

Question #4: If God did not create evil, who created / conceived it?

In answering Questions #2 and #3 as above, we have been left with a crucial issue of the source or root of evils.

Erickson quotes the approach of Finistism of abandoning the idea of God’s omnipotence.  This was once taken as a form of a dualism[18] which proposes that there are not one but two ultimate principles in the universe, the power of God and the power of evil.  Therefore there are struggles between these two powers.  Likewise, Edgar Brightman developed the concept of a finite God as a solution.  It also consists of “equally eternal and uncreated processes of non-rational consciousness which exhibit all the ultimate quality of sense objects, disorderly impulses and desires e.g. pains and suffering”. They advocate that whatever in God there is the source of surd[19] evil which is characterized by two features: (a) they are eternal within the experience of God; and (b) they are not a product of will or creation activity.

I agree with Erickson that in some way, Brightman appears to have resolved the difficulty.  However, there is a high price to be paid.  What has been resolved is not the problem of evil, but the problem of the “problem of evil”.  The theory explains why there is an evil, but not offering real encouragement for believing that evil will be ultimately overcome.  Furthermore, Brightman casts a question mark on the goodness of God, as He needs to struggle with the being “given” by Him.

Another attempt that is quoted by Erickson is the modification of the concept of God’s goodness.  This falls into the category of Gordon Clark who set the term “determinism” to describe God’s casing of all things, including human acts.  He argued that human will is not free.  God’s decretive will dictate every event.  Clark considered that God is the sole ultimate cause of everything, including sin.  There is absolutely nothing independent of him as He is the eternal being.  What Clark has done is to reduce the goodness of God, and his solution to the problem of sin takes a form somewhat like the syllogism that: “Whatever happens is caused by God” and “Whatever caused by God is good”, therefore “Whatever happens is good”.  Similar to the views of Erickson, I strong argue against this logic.  Not only it “transforms” God’s goodness into something quite different from our understanding of God’s goodness, this modification cannot explain the original source of sin as God does not sin, and is not responsible for this sinful act

Tong asserts that God is never the cause of evil, nor is the source of evil.  The main problem is that human adopts his subconscious unrighteousness as an absolute righteous man to accuse God for His impotence.  Only when human is under the Holy Spirit that human could realize the truth (John 16:8). He asks “If Satan has not sinned, there will not be temptations from Satan.  Then what is the first cause of sin?” Why didn’t God create a “perfect” world so that there will be no evil on earth?  Tong criticizes the concept in “Process Theology” which advocates the idea that even God Himself is under the evolutional change; and God has an unknown quantity of His own future.  Under such notion, anything that is in the “process” would not be absolute, which deviates fundamental revelation in the Bible.

I agree with Tong that the Process Theology is refutable because the incarnation of Christ gives the evidence that God is absolute in the process.  Therefore God does not require a process.

Schwarz introduces the concept of Liberation Theory which advocates the existence of the “sinful social structures”.  A value must be available in abundance and spread throughout a population or society.  What is right and wrong, good and evil has a chance of being implemented only when a broad agreement exists as to what these concepts mean.  Sin is regarded as a social, historical fact, the absence of brotherhood and love in relationships among men and the breach of friendship with God and other men, and therefore an interior personal fracture.  Through Christ’s death and resurrection he has liberated humans from sin and from oppression and injustice.  The Church is important because evil has been sanctioned by society, its removal can only be achieved societally.  God himself in the fullness of time sent Christ into the world to liberate all people from bondage to which they had been subjected by sin.

I agree that sinful acts can be flared up and would become wide-spread through humans.  But are humans responsible for the root as well as the cascading of sin through the human race and heritage?

Question #5: To what extent should humans be responsible?

To throw light on this question, Schwarz highlights Pannenberg’s “Self-Centredness of Humanity[20].  Pannenberg says that humans are free outside themselves.  Sinful desire as designated by the Augustinian concept as superbia, or pride, the false self-glorification.  And the egocentricity of humanity produces a turning away from God and towards one’s own self.  While he accepts the traditional doctrine of original sin, he does not view Adam as the historical forebear of humanity through whom original sin is passed onto us.  However, I argue that it is important to demonstrate the empirical universality of sin.  One must agree with Pannenberg that sin is self-denial before the reality of God and is also a denial of the potential openness of humans to the world and to God.

Tong asks who should be blamed for the existence of evil.  This whole origin is from the human “self”.  The meaning of self-consciousness is: “I know I am here.  I am conscious of my existence.  I know I am a living person and I really realized that I am consciously of my own existence”.  In James 1:13-15, the Bible tells us that we know what we are doing.  Tong considers that salvation is the grace of God, sinning is the abuse of freedom.  There are two good examples in Bible.  In John 8:44, Satan deceived and he is the father of all deceit.  Therefore, Satan sinned because of himself.  Likewise, humans sinned because themselves.  Neither Satan nor human could say “I sinned because the world is created imperfect”. Self is therefore the original source of evil.  The second example is Judah who has been given plenty of opportunities by Jesus[21] since he was chosen.  But he failed because he abused his freedom based on his self.

In citing the treatment of evil outside the Christian context, Schwarz quoted Paul Ricoeur’s classification of myths about the origin and effects of evil into four general paradigm groups.  These are:- (a) The creation drama in which evil precedes humans; and already present and it lives further[22];  (b) The “fall” of humanity in which both humans and the gods participate in evil who has gained superiority will commit a serious mistake and cause the fall; (c) The “myth of the soul in exile” which is imprisoned in a foreign body, and making life to appear as punishment, perhaps as a result of an act committed in the previous life; and (d) The biblical “myth of Paradise lost” in which the creation is viewed as good and humans alone initiate evil, even when they succumb to a temptation.

Question #6: How long will evil exist and how can humans live with evil?

Erickson cited the solution of Denial of Evil, i.e. to reject the reality of evil advocated by Benedict Spinoza et al.  They maintain that there is just one substance and all distinguishable things are modes of attributes of the substance.  Everything is deterministically caused: God brings everything into being in the highest perfection[23].  The basic metaphysic is idealistic; the reality of matter is denied.  The only reality is God, the infinite mind.  Spirit is real and eternal; matter is unreal and temporal. Evil has no reality.  It is neither a person, a place, nor a thing, but is simply a belief, an illusion of the material sense.  One of the most serious evils, disease, is an illusion; and it has no reality.  The cure for sickness is not to be by medicine because pain is imaginary.

I must confess that this theory is grossly contradictory to human experience and I consider that it would not stand.   As expressed by Erickson, there are problems in this theory.  In essence, the treating of evil as not real does not prevent the evil, e.g. sickness, to exist; and that such illness might result in death which is real.

Tong considers the proper attitude to manage “self” is to align the personal self with God’s self.  Example of misalignment is Satan’s desire to overplay God as in Is 14:13-14. The proper example of alignment, on the other hand, is the prayer in Gethsemane (Matt 26:39).  Indeed God’s creation is perfect.  Before the Falling of Adam, the created was original and of “neutral perfection”.  In the second coming of Christ, the created world will be the consummated and “perfected perfection”.  Before that, we are subject to temptations, Jesus was no exception.  Temptations come from Satan and Jesus learned obedience from suffering (Heb 5:8) and therefore He has the right to command us to follow Him (Matt 11:28, John 8:12).  Tong says that the real meaning of freedom, as advocated by Kant, is not to do whatever we want to do, but to act in Christ (John 8:36) and not controlled by evil (John 8:34)

Hwa Ying suggests a list of Biblical worldview which includes God is the creator of all that exist, remains sovereign.  The world is good at creation, but through the Fall, sin entered the world; Christian has confidence given by the Creator to face the reality and assault of demonic powers; and that Christian’s hope of our final and total victory in Christ over all evils through the resurrection and second coming of Jesus.

I would then ask the next question: “Are the Biblical teachings on the demonic normative or culturally conditioned?”  Many scholars have been trying to demythologize the demonic power or at least to reinterpret the biblical material on the demonic – “principalities and powers” in different ways.  Increasingly it is recognized that this approach is deeply flawed.  We cannot simply dismiss the demonic as cultural hangover from New Testament times.  Whether demons are real or not must be judged by evidence available.  As God as creator and Lord of History remain sovereign over all creation, the second coming of Jesus will be the total defeat of Satan; but the war continues until His return.

Tong then turns to state “God is almighty v. God is all good”.  The question of why there is still evil if God is almighty still existed?  He says that Arnold Joseph Toynbee has raised the issues in philosophy and theology.  His analogy is that doctors know how to cure diseases but do not know where the bacteria or virus comes.  He then elaborate the dimensions related to God’s being “able”, “willing” and “timely” to explain about the sovereignty of God (Mk 1:40 about the healing of the leprosy).  I argue that this analogy is not relevant.  I would also ask a subsequent question:  Why is God NOT willing to help regardless of whether the source of evil is known by humans?  Tong’s argument lies in Matt 26:63-65 that if we judge God for His sovereignty, we are blasphemy against Him.  Tong then turns to discuss about the values of afflictions, or adversaries, and the responsibility of humans.  These can only be learned through “The Theology of Time”.  An example can be seen in the life of Moses.  In Matt 16:24, Jesus emphasized the importance of deny yourself.  Therefore “self” is the greatest enemy of humans.

As highlighted above, under the Process Theology, evil will be overcome either already before the end of time or at the very least in the eschaton.  On the triumph of grace, it is similar to Barth that evil is relatively faint and has lost its God-opposing and destructive dynamic.  In the light of its persistent wickedness evil will not enter into any kind of pact with good and is not ready for any transformation.

In Moreau, there is a list of “common ground” that can be established among the theologians after the consultation.  The states affirm that the incarnation, death, resurrection and ascension and return of Jesus are part of the process within God’s mission of fighting evil and the Evil One; and humans are called for participation.  The affirmations also include the following nature of evil:-

· Humans are called for intimate to Christ through the word, deed and sign empowered by the Holy Spirit;

· Satan is real, who has also tempted Jesus in wilderness;

· The powers and principalities are ontologically real beings;

· Satan works by taking what God has created for humans, and perverts it towards his purposes;

· Satan uses deception to redirect humans allegiances to anyone other than God;

· Satan and the related powers work though a series of human mischievous acts;

· The primary purpose of life and ministry of Jesus was to expose, confront and defeat Satan and destroys his works;

· God is in control of creation, but we may not understand with certainty the exact causes of illness or calamity;

· There are certain elements to be included in the Christian wordviews; and

· The person and work of Holy Spirit are central in spiritual conflicts.

Epilog: Questions Unanswered

Different authors have cited various theories, assumptions, proofs and evidences to argue that God is not the source of evils although He allows them to continue to exist.  Another notion is that humans are the ones to be blamed for the creation of evils, and that the final solution to conquer evils is when Jesus comes again.

Nevertheless, these answers have left further questions unanswered.  Some examples are:- Are demons, devils, Satan, spiritualities and principalities the same beings and why were they cited differently in the Scriptures?  Are physical evils (such as natural calamities) necessarily related to demons or human sin?  If not, why did God allow these happen?  The ultimate questions why is Satan so powerful that humans cannot totally evict it until the second coming of Jesus?

End -

 



[1] Erickson, Millard J. (1998), “Evil and God’s World: A Special Problem”, Christian Theology, 2nd Ed., Baker Academic, pp 436-456.

[2] Schwarz, Hans (1995), “Evil in Contemporary Theological Discussion”, Evil, A Historical and Theological Perspective, Mineapolis, Fortress Press, 1995, pp 163-211.

[3] Hwa Ying (2000), “A systematic theology that recognizes the demonic”, Deliver Us from Evil, How does God work in the world”, Moreau, A. Scott et al, Ed., Downess Grove, IVP, 2000, pp 3-27

[4] Moreau, A. Scott et al (2000), “Consultation Statement”, Deliver Us from Evil, How does God work in the world”, Ed., Downess Grove, IVP, 2000, Ibid, pp xvii - xxviii

[5] 唐崇榮(2012),罪惡源頭的探討Stemi Ltd, 2012

[6] According to Erickson, even Augustine and Thomas Aquinas could not put the problem to rest finally and completely

[7]Worldview is defined as the culturally structured assumptions, values and commitments under people’s perception of reality.

[8] In Chinese: 天人合一

[9] As described by Paul Hiebert, the modern Western mind is having a two-tier view of reality, that respectively deals with spiritual and worldly matters. In Hiebert’s study, most non-Westerners have a three-tier view of reality, wherein the world is perceived as an organic whole.

[10] However, the danger will be slipping back into tribal animistic worldview of adopting the New Age of post-modernity.  All these are considered as unchristian.

[11] One of the three masters after the Enlightenment, they were Benedict de Spinoza, Rene Decartes, and Gottfried Wilhelm von Leibniz.

[12] Advocating the interpretation of Bible based on the original meaning.

[13] As baby in mother’s womb

[14] For example, the pain of the dentist’s drill and suffering in postsurgical recovery may seem severe evils, but they are rather small in light of the long-range effects that flow from them.

[15] These includes sin and temptation, demonization, illness, disruption of nature, disorder in society and the state, the realm of the occult and astrology, non-Christian religions and cults, opposition to God’s work of salvation and mission of the church.

 

[16] The Process Theologians

[17] An advocate of Process Theoloy.

[18] Such as the Zoroastrianism or Manichaeism.

[19] Surd evil is like a surd number which is a quantity not expressible in rational numbers. Likewise, a surd evil is an evil that is not expressible in terms of good, no matter what operations are performed on it.

 

[20] which adopts a concept from Helmuth Plessner and speaks of the exocentricity of humans in contrast to a centered position with its dependence.

[21] Jesus could have given Peter of John the responsibility of the treasurer.

[22] This implies that Evil therefore belongs to the original of all things

[23] A more sophisticated version is found in Christian Science.

 
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