Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Good, Evil, Satan, and God

Have been trying to keep up with all that Richard Beck has written on his blog about the theodicy of Satan. Satan and the problem of evil are intimately tied together. I'd like to add that some of the gnostics moved in other directions to handle the problem of evil. In Philip, verse 9 it says:

"The light with the darkness, life with death, the right with the left are brothers one to another. It is not possible for them to be separated from one another."

This seems to indicate that one can't have the good without a bad. Isn't it true that to a certain extent we cannot experience pleasure without having a knowledge of what pain is? Perhaps Philip may be a wild eyed gnostic text but consider also Isa 45:7

"I form the light and create darkness,I bring prosperity and create disaster; I, the LORD, do all these things."

And Lamentations 3:38 "Is it not from the mouth of the Most High that both calamities and good things come?

But our story has a happy ending, for it also says just a few verses earlier (and this squares with Richard's earlier posts about the apocatastasis, the eventual restoration of all things and salvation for all):

31 For men are not cast off
by the Lord forever.

32 Though he brings grief, he will show compassion, so great is his unfailing love.

1 comment:

Matt said...

Good post. Scripture is certainly hard to grasp in some places regarding Satan and also theodicy. It is hard linguistically to seperate out all that is going on at times. The angel who opposes Balaam and his donkey was said in the Hebrew to be a "satan" to him. The point here is that he was in opposition to Balaam. Job is another toughie. There are certainly things that God himself brings on us but in the end he always proves himself just and right. I am very humbled by God's words to Job in the later chapters.

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