The Problem of Theodicy (III): Evaluation


Evaluation: “The Problem of Pain” by CS Lewis &  “When Bad Things Happen to Good People” by Rabbi Harold Kushner


The preliminary observation on CS Lewis’ work does not pose one definite position on the problem of pain. He is careful enough not to draw a conclusion based on one proposition. He does not claim that suffering is directly connected, as a judgment from God, to one’s sin. Nor does he assert that God uses pain as a means to bring people to him.

Lewis introduces Divine Goodness before he enters the topic of pain and makes some comments to disclose the possible range of meanings of the word ‘goodness’. He does not simply jump into the conclusion by affirming that righteous suffers. He examines the divine nature of God and his entities. He builds his own world through analogs and set forth how a created being is different than Creator. Continue reading The Problem of Theodicy (III): Evaluation

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The Problem of Theodicy (II): Rabbi Harold Kushner


Summary on ‘Why do the Righteous Suffer?’ in the When Bad Things Happen to Good People’ by Harold Kushner:


Harold Kushner begins this particular chapter with a question: Why do bad things happen to good people? He argues that the pain and suffering caused by the untimely demise of the loved ones inevitably brings doubts about the goodness, kindness, and even more in the existence of God. But people throughout the history have been trying to justify the world’s suffering by holding themselves responsible for the punishment of their sins.

By doing so, people maintain the attributes of God as benevolent, omnipotence, and who is also in control. People are advised to avoid sin and be good. “It is tempting at one level to believe that bad things happen to people (especially other people), because God is a righteous judge who gives them what they deserve. By believing that, we keep the world orderly and understandable.” Nevertheless, their lives are already hurt by tragedy and no religious and pious explanation could comfort them. Continue reading The Problem of Theodicy (II): Rabbi Harold Kushner

The Problem of Theodicy (I): C.S. Lewis


Summary on ‘Divine Omnipotence and Divine Goodness’ in ‘the Problem of Pain’ by CS Lewis:
Clive Staples Lewis makes the main point for the Divine Omnipotence and Divine Goodness by addressing the atheistic objection that is solely centered on the noteworthy ineffectuality of the universe. The problem of pain in the simplest form is, “If God were good, He would wish to make His creatures perfectly happy, and if God were almighty He would be able to do what He wished. But the creatures are not happy. Therefore God lacks either goodness, or power, or both.” He proposes that the answer to the problem of pain depends on our understanding of the terms ‘good,’ ‘almighty’ and ‘happy.’

He examines what it really means to say that God is omnipotent. Omnipotence means “all-powerful to do everything.” However, the very nature of God is inherent to his character. So, he cannot revoke his own laws and act self-contradictory. For this reason, God cannot be both righteous and unrighteous (non-contradictory law) at the very same time.

There is a freedom of choice for human beings – a single naked choice, as Lewis says either to love God more than self or love self more than God. This choice certainly has a probability to pave the way to evil. God could have straightened the results of this abuse of free will every time by modifying the effect of the cause; but he did not, because it would violate whole natural order. Continue reading The Problem of Theodicy (I): C.S. Lewis

Why So Much Unbelief (I)?


Why so much Unbelief?

A. The Universal Knowability of God

We can see the unfathomable glory of God in his creation. He has revealed himself through his creation. The created things around us magnificently bear the distinct mark of the creativity of the Creator. These marks are the blueprint, by means God reveals himself. This is the testimony of General Revelation.

The testimony of the Special Revelation is the Word of God that he has given to us. He speaks to us particularly through the logos, the written word of God – the Bible.

Despite these revelations, we do not lack people who discredit the word of God as a myth or the historical Jesus as a legend. In this present age, Christian faith is under fire from the rigorous attack from atheism, whether it is a practical atheist or a theoretical atheist. Practical atheists are those who believe in God but simply live and act like an atheist. Contrarily, the theoretical atheists are those who reject God after examining the issue and find no reason to believe that God exists.

Why, then, so much unbelief in this world? Is it simply because they did not see God’s autograph ever found in anything, anywhere in this world? Is there not a single burden of proof in the world for believing in the existing of God? Continue reading Why So Much Unbelief (I)?

Why Apologetics?


Why Apologetics?

In harmony with the Great Commission in the Matthew 28:18-20, Your and my responsibility as a Christian is to make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to observe all that He (Jesus) commanded us. We are commissioned by the Living God to share the Good News of Kingdom of Heaven being come down to the earth. We are commanded to keep the heavenly law – Love God and love your neighbor – and make known Christ as our Savior.

You share the story of Passion of Christ to someone. You proclaim the truth from the Scripture, the inspired Word of God. He may or may not simply believe what you say. He may have cantankerous or belligerent disposition about Christian faith. He might want to know what you just shared with him could be verifiable or not. He may storm you with questions regarding the very existence of God and the authenticity of the Bible.

Now, you simply cannot avoid these legitimate questions when asked sincerely. Thus, your is the responsibility to present your concrete arguments and reasoning rationally what you believed is to be universally true by grounding your reasons solidly in the Scripture.

Apologetics is a discipline dedicated to the defense of something. The term “apologetics” is derived from the Greek word “apologia,” by which means “to defend” or “to make a defense“. In this sense, apologetics is the tool to give a reasoned defense for what you believe to be true, hence your faith can be attested and proved rationally.

“But sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts, always being ready to make a defense to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you, yet with gentleness and reverence” 1 Peter 3:15 NASB

What is Apologetics?

According to Christian philosopher Dick Sztanyo, “Apologetics is the proclamation and defense of the gospel of Christ regardless of whenever, wherever, and by whomever it is challenged.” For this very reason, the Apostle Paul writes,“2Preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort, with great patience and instruction. 3For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but wanting to have their ears tickled, they will accumulate for themselves teachers in accordance to their own desires, 4and will turn away their ears from the truth and will turn aside to myths.” 2 Timothy 4:2-4 NASB

The apostle Peter used apologetics to defend the empty tomb incident on the day of Pentecost. The apostle Paul used apologetics invasively and verbosely against the emerging and surging contemporary Gnosticism, mysticism, Stoicism, and whole host of mythologies of the first century BC. One of the Gospel writers, Luke wrote the gospel of Luke to defend what Christians believe and what they are all about. Jesus himself used apologetics during his earthly ministry in order to proposition who he was whom he claimed to be. Early church fathers like Ireaneus, Justin Martyr, Augustine of Hippo, and so on used apologetics. So, the term “apologetics” does not carry any negative connotations of “apologizing” for doing something wrong. In contrary, the term bears the heavy burden of intellectual vindication by defending the truth through pure rational argument with gentleness, grace, and love of Christ.

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