The world is not perfect so it seems that God must not be all-loving or He must not be all-powerful. Rejecting the existence of evil, immediately rejects too much of the Judeo-Christian tradition to be considered, though some philosophers have considered it. The traditional Christian answer to why God allowed the death of Christ is for the absolution of humanity’s sin. However, this begs the question, as an omnipotent God why was it necess... ... middle of paper ... ...owardice or evil (2) must then work to minimize good (1) and maximize evil (1). This process can continue ad infinitum It also follows that God, not as benevolent as could be hoped, prefers the maximization of good (2) as opposed to the minimization of evil (1).
Gnosticism, which was viewed as a threat to early Christian beliefs can be defined as the “thought and practice especially of various cults of late pre Christian and early Christian centuries distinguished by the conviction that matter is evil and that emancipation comes through gnosis (King, p.5).” Besides the dictionary’s condensed definition summarizing Gnosticism, “Gnosticism” is a much more complex belief composed of numerous myths defining humans and God and viewed as an ancient Christian heresy. Gnosticism is rather a term invented in the early modern period to aid in defining the boundaries of normative Christianity. Yet, it has been mistakenly come to be thought of as a distinctive Christian heresy or seen as a religion in its own right (King, p.1) The term “knowledge” is translated from the Greek word gnosis, but Gnosticism has become to be known as false knowledge also known as heresy. Gnosticism can be used to refer to certain types of ancient Christian heresy but also takes a role in area of Philosophy, literary studies, politics, and psychology. Other areas that are connected with Gnosticism is Buddhism, nihilism, and modern movements such as progressivism, positivism, Hegelianism, and Marxism.
An antichrist might be an individual who completely follows God all the time, but does not accept Jesus as Christ because they have been misled. When a soul has been misled the Christian community should not fear and treat the person as if they were the devil, but instead the Christian community as suggested by David Jackman, needs to hear God’s truth. “Historically this has provided the Christian church with motivation for mission” (70). This passage tells us the belief systems that have been crafted through the schism, may have some truth in their teachings. Christians do not even need to reintroduce “the appalling horrors of the Crusaders” (Jackman, 70) by trying to abolish anyone who goes against God.
What sets Paul apart from Jesus, is also the massive interest in the Holy Spirit and the Gentle mission, his negative attitude toward the Old Testament, and teachings on the church as a ‘body’. In my opinion, Paul taught a doctrine that opposed teachings attributed to Jesus. He replaced Jesus’ selfless actions with a selfish desire to gain the gift of salvation. Despite the widespread, uncritical adulation of Paul by those who listen to others instead of thinking for themselves, Thomas Jefferson, wrote in a letter to James Smith, that “Paul was the first corrupter of the doctrines of Jesus.” (Works, 1829 edition, vol.4, p.327.) And finally, English playwright quoted “it would be a better world if Paul had never been born.”
In it he wrote: "Jesus Christ is the one word of God. We repudiate the false teaching that the church can and must recognize other happenings and powers, images and truths as divine revelation. We repudiate the false teachings that there are areas of our life in which we belong not to Jesus Christ but to another lord. We repudiate the false teaching that the church can turn over the form of her message and ordinances will or according to some dominant ideological and political convictions." (HCT: 294) Barth also wrote the well publicized Church Dogmatics, a thirteen volume, unfinished work of church writings where he attacked all "natural theology," and all human efforts to understand God.
In addition, he defends his position by citing patterns of descriptions that characterize God throughout the Old Testament. “Our image of God will directly affect how we either pursue or avoid God. If we believe that the God of the Old Testament is really harsh, unfair and cruel, we won’t want anything to do with him” (Lamb 22). Clearly, they way Christians choose to see God will shape their relationship with Him. One of the main dangers in the way we chose to interpret God in both testaments, is our tendency to see the Bible as containing two different gods: the God of the
Predestination causes great debates among Christian scholars. Calvin bought the idea that all human beings are elected by God to be placed in heaven or hell. Those who believe predestination state that God’s offer of salvation is not up for man’s free will (“Predestination”). It is not humans’ choice to decide salvation because they are faulty in nature and have fleshly desires. God has a perfect plan to get those that deserve Heaven into Heaven.
Later he was to create Lutheranism. Those who create and follow new forms of Christianity have betrayed their true religion. Believing in the Christ is bad enough, betraying Christianity and still believing in a new type is even worse. Throughout history and to the present day, the belief in Christianity has been the cause of many evil scams and tragedies. A perfect example would be the indulgences and fake relics sold during the Catholic Reformation.
The Epistle to Diognetus and To Scapula were texts written to defend Christianity against accusers of Greece and Persecutors of Rome. Even though the two texts are discussing about the same matter, both authors approaches the problem with a different attitude and method. While the author of epistle talks more about the Christian ways and how God is truly the creator and ruler of heaven and earth, the author of To Scapula talks about how the Christians don’t want any trouble and that killing them will anger God. After looking at the two sources, The Epistle to Diognetus provides more insight to the Christian life and is more persuading to defend against accusers. The author of The Epistle To Diognetus intended this text to defend Christianity against its accusers.
The God and Evil Problem A strong argument against the existence of a Christian God is contained in the theodicy problem. The existence of suffering is not compatible with an omniscient, omnipotent, omni benevolent superior being. An all-knowing being would be aware that suffering is and always will be in existence; an all-powerful being would be able to prevent suffering; and a perfectly good being would desire to end suffering. Many Christian thinkers have sought to justify this contradiction, and one of the most common counterarguments to the theodicy problem is contained in the free-will defense. Through interpretations of St. Augustine, J.L.