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Episode 199: Conclusion: Toward a Christian Hypothesis on Theodicy

Course video 227 of 229

The final section of the course deals with the problem of evil. If God is all-loving, all-knowing, and all-powerful, then why are there horrid natural realities like cancers and earthquakes, as well as moral evils like rape, murder, and genocides? Four basic approaches to theodicy (justifications for evil in the world) are presented—Augustinian, Irenaean, Hick’s Irenaean-Evolutionary, and Process Theology. In particular, we examine Greater Good and Pedagogical Arguments in theodicies. In light of the two foundation principles of this course, we conclude that it is possible for Science and Religion to be a peaceful and fruitful relationship. The Metaphysics-Physics Principle cautions us not to conflate our metaphysical beliefs with science. In particular, the belief that biological evolution is necessarily atheistic is a misguided conflation. It is perfectly logical, through a step of faith, to believe evolution has been ordained and sustained by a Creator. The Message-Incident Principle underlines that the Bible is not a book of science offering facts of nature ahead of their discovery by scientists. It is quite reasonable for religious people to embrace a non-concordist hermeneutic and to believe that God accommodated to the intellectual level of the ancient biblical writers by employing their ancient science to deliver inerrant spiritual truths.

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