Evil

Ontos

Active member
please don’t comment with a thousand Bible verses, I am not interested in cut and paste answers, I really want someone’s biblical perspective and thoughts as to a perfect God who decrees all things but yet evils very existence. It seems to be a logical incoherency that a perfect God created evil. My husband gives the pat answer that it comes from our hearts but if God decrees all things, down to the smallest degree, how can it be? Did he decree evil?

I have not read all the pages so I'm not sure if "evil" has been defined.

That being said, I take the classical approach of evil - as evil is a privation of good.
That is to say - evil is the absence of some due good, but is not a thing-in-itself like say a tree is - a tree is "there", but evil is whats not there...

Take blindness as an example. Normally humans have sight and so not having sight would be an evil, but when you say that blindness is evil - while you're making a positive claim - your claim is about what is not there, namely; sight. Blindness, like evil is not a thing-in-itself, it's not a positive reality - it's the recognition of a reality that should be there but is not there.

So it makes no sense to posit God as "creating" evil, because you don't create whats not there....
 

civic

Well-known member
Here is BDAG's definition:

νεκρός, ά, όν
A.
as adj. (perh. as early as Hom., certainly Pind.; in Ath. only R. title)
1. pert. to being in a state of loss of life, dead, of pers.:
2. pert. to being so morally or spirtually deficient as to be in effect dead, dead, fig. ext. of 1
a. of pers. [...] Eph 2:1, 5; Col 2:13.
b. of things ν. ἔργα dead works that cannot bring eternal life
3. pert. to having never been alive and lacking capacity for life, dead, lifeless
B.
as subst.
1. one who is no longer physically alive, dead person, a dead body, a corpse, lit.
2. one who is so spiritually obtuse as to be in effect dead, dead
Thanks !!
 

ReverendRV

Well-known member
I have not read all the pages so I'm not sure if "evil" has been defined.

That being said, I take the classical approach of evil - as evil is a privation of good.
That is to say - evil is the absence of some due good, but is not a thing-in-itself like say a tree is - a tree is "there", but evil is whats not there...

Take blindness as an example. Normally humans have sight and so not having sight would be an evil, but when you say that blindness is evil - while you're making a positive claim - your claim is about what is not there, namely; sight. Blindness, like evil is not a thing-in-itself, it's not a positive reality - it's the recognition of a reality that should be there but is not there.

So it makes no sense to posit God as "creating" evil, because you don't create whats not there....
That was good...
 

Grayecxm

Member
You refer to the Greek.
Are you fluent in Koine Greek, or simply trying to impress people?
Theo, go back and take a quick gander at your last post with all your Greek definitions - should we say the same about you?

I’ve been pretty forward that I am working this through in real time on this forum.. not an expert on anything- never even eluded to that.

why do you keep coming and insinuating things about me? Like I’m here to “impress people”

hold yourself to the same standards that you hold others.

It's funny.... Non-Calvinists always tell us what "dead in sin" DOESN'T mean, but they can never tell us what it actually DOES mean.
“They can never” —-really Theo? I’m sure there are plenty of folks here on this very site who may disagree

Dead in sin is spiritual separation from God.

Like the dead man in Luke 16:24 - he not only could speak to Abraham, but he also had the spiritual capacity to understand why he was in torment and even begged that someone be sent to his brothers to tell them of the truth so that the same wouldn’t happen to them…
According to what I’ve read in Calvinism- dead man can do nothing, which would have to include that they cannot sin or reject the gospel, right?
 

Theo1689

Well-known member
Theo, go back and take a quick gander at your last post with all your Greek definitions - should we say the same about you?

Not sure what you're referring to, but it sounds like you're trying to personally attack me, as usual. Are you capable of posting without insults and personal attacks?

I’ve been pretty forward that I am working this through in real time on this forum.. not an expert on anything- never even eluded to that.

why do you keep coming and insinuating things about me? Like I’m here to “impress people”

Well, I guess I'm just confused at the inconsistency you show when you go to "Webster's" to define the word "free", but suddenly you appeal to the Greek "nekros" when referring to the meaning of "dead".

If Webster's was good enough for "free", then why isn't it good enough for "dead"?
It just seems inconsistent, is all, especially since it doesn't seem to have added anything fo you to specifically quote the Greek word, "nekros".

hold yourself to the same standards that you hold others.

I assure you that I do.
But again, it seems that all you want to do is engage in personal attacks.
That's okay, I'll forgive you.

“They can never” —-really Theo? I’m sure there are plenty of folks here on this very site who may disagree

Yes, really.
I've been here for literally decades, and literally NOBODY has been able to do so.
If you disagree, then tell us a POSITIVE meaning that it does have, or show me someone who will. Because I've been trying for 30 years, and nobody has been willing to do it.

Are you calling me a liar?
Is this another attempt at personally attacking me?
You should be ashamed of yourself.

Dead in sin is spiritual separation from God.

Excellent!
And can someone who is "separated from God" able of doing any good works?
Anything better than a disgusting, used, bloody menstrual rag (Isa. 64:6)?
See also Rom. 3:10-18.

According to what I’ve read in Calvinism- dead man can do nothing, which would have to include that they cannot sin or reject the gospel, right?

Why do you feel the need to constantly LIE about Calvinism?
You should be ashamed of yourself.
 

Grayecxm

Member
Prove it from any Bible lexicon of your choice.
Civic, are you suggesting that every time the term “dead” or “nekros” is found in scripture that it is the literal definition of the word and that it doesn’t use that word in figurative senses as well?
 

Grayecxm

Member
Fair enough; this is highly Theological...

The footnotes in the 2nd LBCF Ch 3, included...

Acts 4:27-28; Indeed Herod and Pontius Pilate met together with the Gentiles and the people of Israel in this city to conspire against your holy servant Jesus, whom you anointed. They did what your power and will had decided beforehand should happen.

John 19:11; Jesus answered, "You would have no power over me if it were not given to you from above. Therefore the one who handed me over to you is guilty of a greater sin."


Thanks for chewing on this. Are you interested in talking to your husband about these things?
We talk about everything- just this specific topic is hard for both of us… we are each still thinking and talking about it and chewing on all the different intricacies.

I’m still reading on your posts- we are going out of town tomorrow so I should be packing- won’t be posting much for a while but I’m sure we will discuss this on our trip 😜🙏
 

Theo1689

Well-known member
Civic, are you suggesting that every time the term “dead” or “nekros” is found in scripture that it is the literal definition of the word and that it doesn’t use that word in figurative senses as well?

Where did he ever claim that?
Please quote him.
 

civic

Well-known member
Civic, are you suggesting that every time the term “dead” or “nekros” is found in scripture that it is the literal definition of the word and that it doesn’t use that word in figurative senses as well?
I gave you both the literal and figurative meaning and it opposes your view. I provided 2 lexicons as did another poster provide a third lexicon that all agree with me, not you.
 

Theo1689

Well-known member
why do you keep coming and insinuating things about me? Like I’m here to “impress people”

Why do you keep lying that I was allegedly "angry"?
Why do you keep lying that I allegedly "put words in [your] mouth" (which I never did)?
Why do you keep lying that I "only want a sound board and not an honest discussion"?
Why do you keep lying that I'm allegedly "taking this discussion so hard"?

Give it a rest, Simone.
You'll never win this.
You simply look like a hypocrite when you make all these personal attacks, and then throw a hissy-fit if you think someone is doing the same thing to you.

Stop the personal attacks, and stick to the issues, okay?
 

Grayecxm

Member
Nekros figuratively means not able to respond to any impulses or stimuli .


nekros: dead

Original Word:
νεκρός, ά, όν
Part of Speech: Adjective
Transliteration: nekros
Phonetic Spelling: (nek-ros')
Definition: dead
Usage: (a) adj: dead, lifeless, subject to death, mortal, (b) noun: a dead body, a corpse.



3498 nekrós (an adjective, derived from nekys, "a corpse, a dead body") – dead; literally, "what lacks life"; dead; (figuratively) not able to respond to impulses, or perform functions ("unable, ineffective, dead, powerless," L & N, 1, 74.28); unresponsive to life-giving influences (opportunities); inoperative to the things of God.

next……
The term “death” is used as a figurative element in speech- just as we use it today
Example : “that party is dead”

how did the dead man in Luke understand why he was in torment? He was “dead”
How did he have the capacity to understand?

I think there’s plenty of scriptural examples that show this- the prodigal son was dead but then was alive again. What did Jesus mean by the term “dead” in that parable?
The question is does the term dead mean “unable” to respond to God? Or does it imply spiritual separation and death before God.
Another example to consider is how Adam became “dead” in trespasses and sin" after the Fall, but at the same time he was able to converse with God. (Genesis 3)
His dead condition did not make him totally incapable of understanding the things of God, however it did separate him from God.

Anyway, I have much to ponder as I sign off- thank you civic for some good food for thought! Have a blessed weekend
 

civic

Well-known member
The term “death” is used as a figurative element in speech- just as we use it today
Example : “that party is dead”

how did the dead man in Luke understand why he was in torment? He was “dead”
How did he have the capacity to understand?

I think there’s plenty of scriptural examples that show this- the prodigal son was dead but then was alive again. What did Jesus mean by the term “dead” in that parable?
The question is does the term dead mean “unable” to respond to God? Or does it imply spiritual separation and death before God.
Another example to consider is how Adam became “dead” in trespasses and sin" after the Fall, but at the same time he was able to converse with God. (Genesis 3)
His dead condition did not make him totally incapable of understanding the things of God, however it did separate him from God.

Anyway, I have much to ponder as I sign off- thank you civic for some good food for thought! Have a blessed weekend
You are using human reasoning and rationalizing your own thoughts into the text before defining the word. We call that method in theology eisegesis . Reading ones own thoughts and ideas into the text. Ask your husband if I’m right if you do not believe me.

hope this helps !!!
 

Theo1689

Well-known member
The term “death” is used as a figurative element in speech- just as we use it today

Yes, both civic and I already told you that, so I'm at a loss as to why you wanted to pretend that civic didn't already know that.

how did the dead man in Luke understand why he was in torment? He was “dead”
How did he have the capacity to understand?

Now, you are all over the place in the Bible, even though earlier YOU were the one who threw a hissy-fit when I listed multiple citations to demonstrate ONE concept. But that's okay, I can address them all.

I think there’s plenty of scriptural examples that show this- the prodigal son was dead but then was alive again. What did Jesus mean by the term “dead” in that parable?

Well, since you earlier accused someone (was it me?) of taking passages "out of context", I would suggest that it is not inappropriate to point out that YOU are taking passages way out of context here.

You want to talk about the "Prodigal Son" (more accurately called the "parable of the lost coin"). Jesus didn't tell the parable by itself, is the third in a group of three parables, which all need to be addressed so that the entire group can be correctly understood:

Luke 15:4-7 - parable of the lost sheep - A shepherd has a certain number of sheep under his charge, and one of them strays. He's not searching for any sheep he might find, only the one that refers to his master.
Luke 15:8-10 - parable of the lost coin - A woman has a number of coins, and lost one. She's not a homeless person who is searching for any coin she might happen to find, she's only searching for the own she already owned, that rightly belongs to her.
Luke 15:11-32 - parable of the lost son - A Father has two sons, and one leaves (ie. "wanders off"). He comes to his senses and comes back to the man who is ALREADY his father. Not everyone is the Prodigal Son. The Father wouldn't have received the guys who worked alongside his son feeding slop to the pigs, the Father received only the one who was ALREADY his son. And this isn't even the main point of the parable. The point of the parable was to rebuke the Pharisees (represented by the other son, who complained about the fatted calf) who objected to Gentiles (represented by the prodigal) being received by the Father.

The question is does the term dead mean “unable” to respond to God? Or does it imply spiritual separation and death before God.

It means both, IMO. Because of their spiritual separation and death before God, unregenerated man is unable to respond to God (John 6:44, Rom. 8:7-8, 1 Cor. 2:14, etc.)

Another example to consider is how Adam became “dead” in trespasses and sin" after the Fall, but at the same time he was able to converse with God. (Genesis 3)

The issue is not whether he was able to "converse with God".
The issue is whether he was able to respond positively to God (eg. doing righteous works, not sinning, etc.)

His dead condition did not make him totally incapable of understanding the things of God, however it did separate him from God.

Again, the issue is not "capability of understanding the things of God".
The issue is about whether someone is "capable of responding positively to God".

John 6:44 No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him. And I will raise him up on the last day.

1Cor. 2:14 The natural person does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are folly to him, and he is not able to understand them because they are spiritually discerned.

Rom. 8:7 For the mind that is set on the flesh is hostile to God, for it does not submit to God’s law; indeed, it cannot. 8 Those who are in the flesh cannot please God.
 

civic

Well-known member
Hey everyone, I’m new here. I was looking in the forums last night trying to find this topic addressed and discussed with rationality and respect. Please forgive me if I missed it…
My husband and I are divided on Calvinism vs non Calvinism and the question of the origin of evil has come up.

please don’t comment with a thousand Bible verses, I am not interested in cut and paste answers, I really want someone’s biblical perspective and thoughts as to a perfect God who decrees all things but yet evils very existence. It seems to be a logical incoherency that a perfect God created evil. My husband gives the pat answer that it comes from our hearts but if God decrees all things, down to the smallest degree, how can it be? Did he decree evil?

if you believe that evil comes from our own hearts desire, does that not mean that God created something less than good?

for my understanding, Gods “sovereignty” isn’t challenged or impugned by gifting us the free will to serve him or not.

And if you say that we were given the capacity for evil but not for the choice to have faith, what would the point be?
I hope you can follow my thoughts and would love to hear different perspectives

Thank you, I look forward to reading both sides if anyone feels so inclined!
Did God create evil ?

At first it might seem that if God created all things, then evil must have been created by God. However, evil is not a “thing” like a rock or electricity. You cannot have a jar of evil. Evil has no existence of its own; it is really the absence of good. For example, holes are real but they only exist in something else. We call the absence of dirt a hole, but it cannot be separated from the dirt. So when God created, it is true that all He created was good. One of the good things God made was creatures who had the freedom to choose good. In order to have a real choice, God had to allow there to be something besides good to choose. So, God allowed these free angels and humans to choose good or reject good (evil). When a bad relationship exists between two good things we call that evil, but it does not become a “thing” that required God to create it.

Perhaps a further illustration will help. If a person is asked, “Does cold exist?” the answer would likely be “yes.” However, this is incorrect. Cold does not exist. Cold is the absence of heat. Similarly, darkness does not exist; it is the absence of light. Evil is the absence of good, or better, evil is the absence of God. God did not have to create evil, but rather only allow for the absence of good.

God did not create evil, but He does allow evil. If God had not allowed for the possibility of evil, both mankind and angels would be serving God out of obligation, not choice. He did not want “robots” that simply did what He wanted them to do because of their “programming.” God allowed for the possibility of evil so that we could genuinely have a free will and choose whether or not we wanted to serve Him.

As finite human beings, we can never fully understand an infinite God (Romans 11:33-34). Sometimes we think we understand why God is doing something, only to find out later that it was for a different purpose than we originally thought. God looks at things from a holy, eternal perspective. We look at things from a sinful, earthly, and temporal perspective. Why did God put man on earth knowing that Adam and Eve would sin and therefore bring evil, death, and suffering on all mankind? Why didn’t He just create us all and leave us in heaven where we would be perfect and without suffering? These questions cannot be adequately answered this side of eternity. What we can know is whatever God does is holy and perfect and ultimately will glorify Him. God allowed for the possibility of evil in order to give us a true choice in regards to whether we worship Him. God did not create evil, but He allowed it. If He had not allowed evil, we would be worshiping Him out of obligation, not by a choice of our own will.got?

hope this helps !!!
 

ReverendRV

Well-known member
Did God create evil ?

At first it might seem that if God created all things, then evil must have been created by God. However, evil is not a “thing” like a rock or electricity. You cannot have a jar of evil. Evil has no existence of its own; it is really the absence of good. For example, holes are real but they only exist in something else. We call the absence of dirt a hole, but it cannot be separated from the dirt. So when God created, it is true that all He created was good. One of the good things God made was creatures who had the freedom to choose good. In order to have a real choice, God had to allow there to be something besides good to choose. So, God allowed these free angels and humans to choose good or reject good (evil). When a bad relationship exists between two good things we call that evil, but it does not become a “thing” that required God to create it.

Perhaps a further illustration will help. If a person is asked, “Does cold exist?” the answer would likely be “yes.” However, this is incorrect. Cold does not exist. Cold is the absence of heat. Similarly, darkness does not exist; it is the absence of light. Evil is the absence of good, or better, evil is the absence of God. God did not have to create evil, but rather only allow for the absence of good.

God did not create evil, but He does allow evil. If God had not allowed for the possibility of evil, both mankind and angels would be serving God out of obligation, not choice. He did not want “robots” that simply did what He wanted them to do because of their “programming.” God allowed for the possibility of evil so that we could genuinely have a free will and choose whether or not we wanted to serve Him.

As finite human beings, we can never fully understand an infinite God (Romans 11:33-34). Sometimes we think we understand why God is doing something, only to find out later that it was for a different purpose than we originally thought. God looks at things from a holy, eternal perspective. We look at things from a sinful, earthly, and temporal perspective. Why did God put man on earth knowing that Adam and Eve would sin and therefore bring evil, death, and suffering on all mankind? Why didn’t He just create us all and leave us in heaven where we would be perfect and without suffering? These questions cannot be adequately answered this side of eternity. What we can know is whatever God does is holy and perfect and ultimately will glorify Him. God allowed for the possibility of evil in order to give us a true choice in regards to whether we worship Him. God did not create evil, but He allowed it. If He had not allowed evil, we would be worshiping Him out of obligation, not by a choice of our own will.got?

hope this helps !!!
Well said...
 

Grayecxm

Member
Did God create evil ?

At first it might seem that if God created all things, then evil must have been created by God. However, evil is not a “thing” like a rock or electricity. You cannot have a jar of evil. Evil has no existence of its own; it is really the absence of good. For example, holes are real but they only exist in something else. We call the absence of dirt a hole, but it cannot be separated from the dirt. So when God created, it is true that all He created was good. One of the good things God made was creatures who had the freedom to choose good. In order to have a real choice, God had to allow there to be something besides good to choose. So, God allowed these free angels and humans to choose good or reject good (evil). When a bad relationship exists between two good things we call that evil, but it does not become a “thing” that required God to create it.

Perhaps a further illustration will help. If a person is asked, “Does cold exist?” the answer would likely be “yes.” However, this is incorrect. Cold does not exist. Cold is the absence of heat. Similarly, darkness does not exist; it is the absence of light. Evil is the absence of good, or better, evil is the absence of God. God did not have to create evil, but rather only allow for the absence of good.

God did not create evil, but He does allow evil. If God had not allowed for the possibility of evil, both mankind and angels would be serving God out of obligation, not choice. He did not want “robots” that simply did what He wanted them to do because of their “programming.” God allowed for the possibility of evil so that we could genuinely have a free will and choose whether or not we wanted to serve Him.

As finite human beings, we can never fully understand an infinite God (Romans 11:33-34). Sometimes we think we understand why God is doing something, only to find out later that it was for a different purpose than we originally thought. God looks at things from a holy, eternal perspective. We look at things from a sinful, earthly, and temporal perspective. Why did God put man on earth knowing that Adam and Eve would sin and therefore bring evil, death, and suffering on all mankind? Why didn’t He just create us all and leave us in heaven where we would be perfect and without suffering? These questions cannot be adequately answered this side of eternity. What we can know is whatever God does is holy and perfect and ultimately will glorify Him. God allowed for the possibility of evil in order to give us a true choice in regards to whether we worship Him. God did not create evil, but He allowed it. If He had not allowed evil, we would be worshiping Him out of obligation, not by a choice of our own will.got?

hope this helps !!!
Civic, just quickly reading that, I think I agree with most (If not all) of it, thank you!


but where do the decrees of God come in in relation to the free will and choices you spoke about? That’s confusing to me

and what about nothing happening that God doesn’t “will” to happen including sin?
 

Beloved Daughter

Super Member
Civic, just quickly reading that, I think I agree with most (If not all) of it, thank you!


but where do the decrees of God come in in relation to the free will and choices you spoke about? That’s confusing to me

and what about nothing happening that God doesn’t “will” to happen including sin?

I'm late to the discussion, but have read most of this thread.

Martin Luther summed up 'free will' in this way: “It is, then, fundamentally necessary and wholesome for Christians to know that God foreknows nothing contingently, but that He foresees, purposes, and does all things according to His immutable, eternal and infallible will. This bombshell knocks ‘free will’ flat,"


The scriptures teach us that salvation is completely of the Lord.


Ephesians 2:8-10English Standard Version (ESV)

8 For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, 9 not a result of works, so that no one may boast. 10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.

There it is. "And this is not your own doing, it is the gift of God.


Our salvation doesn't depend upon what we do, but rather what God will do on our behalf. If you think about it, one realizes that God isn't hoping we make a correct decision. He has chosen you for salvation.

God speed.
 

Carbon

Well-known member
This according to my understanding would be the T- total depravity and I’m not sure I truly believe that we have an inability to love or understand the gospel message- can you give me that scripture?
God warned Adam not to eat of tree of knowledge of good and evil on the threat of spiritual death. And as we know, he ate.
16 And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, “You may surely eat of every tree of the garden, 17 but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.” Gen 2.

12 Therefore, just as sin came into the world through one man, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men because all sinned— Romans 5.
All have sinned - original sin.
Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity,
and in sin did my mother conceive me.
Psalm 51:5.

Since we are born spiritually dead, we are totally depraved and we must be born anew.
5 Jesus answered, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. 6 That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. 7 Do not marvel that I said to you, ‘You must be born again.’ John 3.


Being born anew is regeneration by the Holy Spirit. No one escapes this. This is an evil in all that is done under the sun, that the same event happens to all. Also, the hearts of the children of man are full of evil, and madness is in their hearts while they live, and after that they go to the dead. Ecc 9.

21 For from within, out of the heart of man, come evil thoughts, sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, 22 coveting, wickedness, deceit, sensuality, envy, slander, pride, foolishness. 23 All these evil things come from within, and they defile a person.” Mark 7.


Since man is born totally depraved, he is not able to do anything for himself, we cannot even understand the things of God.
14 The natural person does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are folly to him, and he is not able to understand them because they are spiritually discerned. 1 Cor 2.

Man's will is free according to his nature. 44 You are of your father the devil, and your will is to do your father's desires. John 8.
 

Sethproton

Well-known member
God didn't create evil. I think what you're looking for is something that rationally makes sense and Jesus DID speak on that level as well. (seeing you don't want many Bible verses)

It is. And he didn't.

So why do you think God decrees are things. Is God's pleasure always done? I think a Calvinist would say YES. When he says I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked well that would have to mean God decreed that his pleasure wouldn't be done. So I think we can see the decreeing of things must be understood in a certain context not the way a Calvinist would have it.


But you're setting aside.....the freedom to choose IS GOOD. God stands by that because FREEDOM is connected to LOVE they go hand in hand.
excellent response. I imagine as I go forward I will see her saying the same thing
 
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