Do not deceive yourselves. If any one of you thinks he is wise by the standards of this age, he should become a "fool" so that he may become wise. 1 Corinthians 3:18

Philosophy and Christian Belief

There is no need to fear that non-believers can confound our faith with philosophy as long as we do not accept their assumptions along with their "facts".

People raising philosophical objections to our faith will often stop us with clever questions and infer that no intelligent person could believe in Jesus, God and the Bible.  The following might be helpful - the source is unknown.

A university professor challenged his students with this question. "Did God create everything that exists? A student bravely replied, "Yes, He did!"   "God created everything?' the professor asked. "Yes, sir," the student replied.  The professor answered, "If God created everything, then God created evil, since evil exists. And according to the principal that our works define who we are. then God is evil."  

The student became quiet before such an answer. The professor was quite pleased with himself, and boasted to the students that he had proven once more that the faith in God is a myth.
Another student raised his hand and said, "Can I ask you a question, professor?"  "Of course," replied the professor. The student stood up and asked,' Professor.  does cold exist?" "What kind of question is this? Of course it exists. Have you never been cold?" The students snickered at the young man's question. The
young man replied, "In fact, sir, cold does not exist. According to the laws of physics, what we consider cold is, in reality, the absence of heat.  Every body or object is susceptible to study when it has or transmits energy. Absolute zero (-2730C) is the total absence of heat.  All matter becomes inert and incapable of reaction at that temperature.  Cold does not exist.  We have created this word to describe how we feel if we have no heat.
The student continued. "Professor, does darkness exist?"  The professor responded," Of course it does."  The student replied, "Once again you are wrong, sir  Darkness does not exist either.  Darkness is, in reality, the absence of light.  We can study light, but not darkness.  In fact, we can use Newton's prism to break white light into many colours and study the various wavelengths of each colour.   You cannot measure darkness.  A simple ray of light can break into a world of darkness and illuminate it.  How can you know how dark a certain space is?  You measure the amount of light present.  Isn't this correct?  Darkness is a term used by man to describe what happens when there is no light present."
Finally, the young man asked the professor, "Sir, does evil exist?"  Now uncertain, the professor responded, "Of course, as I have already said.  We see it everyday.   It  is  in  the  daily  example of man's  inhumanity  to  man.  It is in the multitude of crime and violence everywhere in the world.  These manifestations are nothing else but evil."   To this the student replied, "Evil does not exist, sir, or at least it does not exist unto itself.  Evil is simply the absence of God.  It is just like darkness and cold - a word that man has created to describe the absence of
God.   God did not create evil.   Evil is not like faith, or love, that exist just as does light and heat.  Evil is the result of what happens when man does not have God's love present in his heart.   Its like the cold that comes when there is no heat, or the darkness that comes when there is no light."
The professor sat down. 

The young student's name - Albert Einstein

Other objectors say they can not accept the idea of God when the world is so full of evil - "Why doesn't God stop those evil people - where is Justice?"

The Gospel answer, clearly, is that, while God gave us freedom of choice, He will judge the wicked and the sinners, including you and me and everyone else, but in His mercy He is delaying this as long as possible.  (See the parable of the wheat and the tares in Matthew 13 v24)   David Stern's "Jewish New Testament Commentary" provides a fascinating light on this in the commentary on Romans 1 v18a

It is not popular these days to point out that God is a God of wrath.   People would rather quote 1 John 4:8 ("God is love") and look no further.  

But it is in the context of God's holiness, meaning his hatred for sin, and his justice, meaning his dispensing the punishment that sin brings on itself, that his love, mercy, and grace become so precious. The paradox of how God can be both just and merciful has been a theme in Jewish writing.

"If you want the world to endure there can be no absolute justice, while if you want absolute justice the world cannot endure (Genesis Rabbah 39:6).
The solution to the paradox is Yeshua's atoning death, as summed up in Ro 3:19-26 and John 3:16.

Another argument which falls between Science and Philosophy is the chances of everything in the universe just happening by chance if we allow enough time.  

If you were to consider the number of factors which have to be just right for life to have become possible, such as the angle of inclination of our earth's axis, its distance from the sun, the strength of the force of gravity, etc, etc, etc, the chances of 100 dice all coming up at a 6 seem quite reasonable.  However, if everybody who has ever lived was given a bucket of 100 dice and threw them every second of their lives, nobody would have come up with all sixes yet.

 

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