Obscene Theodicy

The fluttering of a butterflies wings can start a chain of events leading to a tsunami, this is a parable used in Chaos theory called the butterfly effect. It’s also a parable used in theology, specifically theodicy, to explain how we can never know all the factors of, and effects of, evil. It’s used especially by Calvinists who appeal to the principle found Genesis 50:20, the idea being that God pre-ordains evil because he intends to use it to bring good out of it. The same goes for non-calvinists, arminians and modalists; they will often point to the finitude of human understanding to make the point that God created a world with evil but that it is justified because there is ultimately good that will come out of it, even to the point of saying it would be logically impossible to create a world without evil.

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Obscene Theodicy

Jesus’ prayer at Gethsemane and Open Theism

Matthew 26:

39 Καὶ προελθὼν μικρὸν ἔπεσεν ἐπὶ πρόσωπον αὐτοῦ προσευχόμενος καὶ λέγων· πάτερ μου, εἰ δυνατόν ἐστιν, παρελθάτω ἀπ’ ἐμοῦ τὸ ποτήριον τοῦτο· πλὴν οὐχ ὡς ἐγὼ θέλω ἀλλ’ ὡς σύ

42 Πάλιν ἐκ δευτέρου ἀπελθὼν προσηύξατο λέγων· πάτερ μου, εἰ οὐ δύναται τοῦτο παρελθεῖν ἐὰν μὴ αὐτὸ πίω, γενηθήτω τὸ θέλημά σου.

In Matthew 26, right before the passion of Christ he appeals to God to let this cup pass from him εἰ δυνατόν ἐστιν, if it is possible. When we think of the question of pre-destination against open theism, what we are also asking is whether or not Jesus was making a real request in this scripture or not.

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Jesus’ prayer at Gethsemane and Open Theism

David Bently Hart’s Universalism Challenged

I would like to return to a paper I mentioned in a previous post, the article is one by David Bently Hart (in the previous post, I was working from a reading of his paper, but here is the actual paper itself). In the previous post, my focus was on Hart’s critique of the Calvinist doctrine of Reprobation, and the pre-ordination of the damned. His solution is universalism, or apocatastasis, in this post I want to examine and challenge his solution. David Bently Hart Lays out his position thus:

If God is the good creator of all, he is the savior of all, without fail, who brings to himself all he has made, including all rational wills, and only thus returns to himself in all that goes forth from him. If he is not the savior of all, the Kingdom is only a dream, and creation something considerably worse than a nightmare. But, again, it is not so. God saw that it was good; and, in the ages, so shall we.

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David Bently Hart’s Universalism Challenged