Answering Objections about the Problem of Evil & Suffering (Part 3)

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Non-Christian Answers to the Problem of Evil & Suffering

Several other attempts have been made to address evil and suffering in our world.

1. Non-Reality of Evil View

Some Eastern religions, such as Hinduism and Buddhism, deny that evil and suffering are any more than an illusion. By denying that evil and suffering are real, they attempt to avoid any dilemma between the deities in charge of the world and the way the world is. The problem for this view, however, is that the experience of suffering is universal and undeniable. Additionally, these same Eastern religions seek to end oppression and alleviate the very suffering that they deny exists. This is clearly self-refuting. Read more about Answering Objections about the Problem of Evil & Suffering (Part 3)

Homeschool Success Means Recognizing Your Limitations

You are one step closer to homeschool success when you recognize your limitations.

Words mean things, and I realize the word “limitations” has negative connotations. We think of a limitation as a restriction, a drawback. Our culture places enormous value on ignoring and overcoming limitations; an attitude that has resulted in some amazing discoveries and astonishing progress.

However, this mindset isn’t applicable across the board. Limits are often natural and helpful; they keep us safe from harm, morally, physically, and spiritually. 

We are limited by the 24-hour day, our income, the available resources where we live. God is aware of these limits, and beating the air because we are not content with our state is fruitless.

So why do we so often set expectations for ourselves that would render Martha Stewart catatonic? Read more about Homeschool Success Means Recognizing Your Limitations

Concluding Thoughts

From Dispensational Publishing House; used by permission. Read the series.

Dispensationalism & the Literal Interpretation of the Bible, Part 7

We have been considering four essential principles that are necessary to holding a proper understanding of literal interpretation. These are the univocal nature of language, the jurisdiction of authorial intent, the unitary authorship of Scripture and the textually-based locus of meaning.

Here are some concluding thoughts about the entire subject we have been studying.

Conclusion

What do these factors of literal interpretation mean for certain aspects of current dispensational interpretation? They rule out double fulfillment, near and far fulfillment, some prophecies that are considered “generic,”* “typological-prophetical” interpretation, “patterns” of fulfillment and certain forms of indirect “linkage” (including “complementary fulfillment”) between Old Testament prophecies and the present age. Despite the denials and nuances to the contrary, this all comes perilously near to simple resignification of a text. These all violate one or more of the above principles of literal interpretation, and result in the confusion of Israel and the church and other distinctions to one degree or another. Read more about Concluding Thoughts

Empty Suits & Unholy Rage – ISIS vs. the Secular West (Part 1)

The Problem

Recently, a French political scientist was interviewed on National Public Radio. The terrorist attack in Nice had just taken place. France had been on heightened security alert since November 2015, when 130 people were slaughtered in a series of coordinated attacks involving suicide bombers, assault weapons and hostage taking. Now, just this past month, a Tunisian madman who had lived in France for 11 years deliberately ran a 19-ton cargo truck into a crowd along the Nice waterfront on Bastille Day. 84 people died. The 31-yr old terrorist, a man who by all accounts was a drug addict, alcoholic, and all-around petty villain, was surrounded by police and shot dead in the cab of his truck. The media was engaged in the usual post-mortem analysis. What can be done? What should be done? What isn’t working? What would drive somebody to do such a thing? This was the context for Myriam Benraad’s interview with NPR. What should France be doing differently? Her answer was remarkable: Read more about Empty Suits & Unholy Rage – ISIS vs. the Secular West (Part 1)

When Followers Don’t Follow: The Limits of Persuasion

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Parents, spouses, teachers, team leaders, ministry leaders, and others are often not content with gaining short-term outward compliance from those in their care. They understand that a deeper and more enduring understanding is better, whenever that’s achievable. It follows that they should reach early and often for the tool of persuasion.

But persuasion is sometimes ill suited for the task at hand. At least four situations call for a different approach, either foregoing a persuasive effort to begin with or setting it aside for another day—or possibly tabling it indefinitely for a particular audience. Read more about When Followers Don’t Follow: The Limits of Persuasion

Answering Objections about the Problem of Evil & Suffering (Part 2)

Read Part 1.

The Problem Stated

Those who see an irreconcilable conflict between an all-powerful, all-loving God and evil and suffering in the world do so with several arguments. Some ask the thought-provoking question, “Couldn’t God have made a world in which evil and suffering don’t exist?” This is a troubling question, because the answer is certainly, “Yes.” As we will see later, this doesn’t mean that God is unjust, but this question does have a strong emotional impact.

Others argue, “I would never hurt my children needlessly, so why does God? If God is not even better than me, why should I worship Him?” This is an argument by analogy. By comparing human parenting to the Creator God’s relation to the world, these people use a well-known experience to evaluate a deeply spiritual and philosophical problem. Certainly, a parent-child relationship ought to be marked by gentleness, kindness, and protection from harm. If God cannot even live up to basic human expectations, how can He be worshiped? Read more about Answering Objections about the Problem of Evil & Suffering (Part 2)

Answering Objections about the Problem of Evil & Suffering (Part 1)

One of the most difficult objections to the Christian faith to answer is the question of how there can be a good, loving, powerful God when there is so much evil and suffering in the world. The challenge with this objection is that unbelievers borrow Christian views of the brokenness of the world and deep, human depravity, while simultaneously rejecting the God who tells us how those things came to be and acted so that these two things would be overcome. The sense of justice and desire for mercy and restoration that so many unbelievers long for shows that intuitively we know the world is not as it should be. Only Christianity can provide an answer for these deep questions that keep so many from believing.

In Fyodor Dostoyevsky’s novel, The Brothers Karamazov, Ivan is asking his brother Alyosha how he can believe in a good God when he has seen and heard of so much suffering in 19th century Russia. The description of human suffering is realistic and should cause us grief just to read it. Read more about Answering Objections about the Problem of Evil & Suffering (Part 1)

Review: Allen Ross on the Psalms (Vol.3)

Image of A Commentary on the Psalms: 90-150 (Kregel Exegetical Library)
by Allen Ross
Kregel Academic 2016
Hardcover 1024

Finally we have the third and final volume of the Kregel Exegetical Commentary on the Book of Psalms by Allen P. Ross, Professor of Divinity at Beeson Divinity School. This one covers Psalms 90 through 150 and brings the complete set to three thousand pages. The first two volumes were outstanding. I have found that I turn to them first for exegetical and even homiletical material (alongside VanGemeren in the EBC).

Although this review is on Volume 3, I want to say something about the other volumes. Ross’s introduction in Volume 1 is a very helpful orientation to the Psalter, its forms, its themes, and its theology. As with his outstanding book on worship, Recalling the Hope of Glory, he concerns himself in these books with the Divine-human encounter. Take a look, for instance at Ross’s comments on Psalm 8 and Psalm 23 in the first volume, and Psalm 42 in the second, and see how Ross brings you into the context of the human author. The author is a Bible conservative. He is not interested in winning friends in the critical academy, although he is a first rate Old Testament scholar. Read more about Review: Allen Ross on the Psalms (Vol.3)