Saturday, August 8, 2015

Text Treatise: Epicurus and the Problem of Error

The Problem of Evil is often easily explained by reference to the ancient Greek philosopher (mentioned by way of identification in the Bible, in Acts, where there were Epicureans and Stoics who wanted to debate with Paul) Epicurus, whose pithy presentation is presented below:

The problem with the Problem as stated is that it does not take into account time. Perhaps God does want to destroy evil, and will, but for the time being has a sound rationale for allowing it to persist. This is, in fact, justified by the Bible:
"The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance." 2 Peter 3:9

There is also the question of evil being a necessary side effect of the free moral agency of mankind -- Love is given freely by an act of will, so making perfectly functioning automatons which lack any aspect of generosity, grace, compassion, or desire is inferior to a creation that includes beings which have the capacity to love others -- and with it the requisite capacity to choose not to.

But moving on from that, here is "The Problem of Error." It is something worth considering for anyone who claims to be Christian but does not regard the Bible as the inerrant, word for word Word of God.

Did God author the Bible, or men?

If God is not the author, then there is no guarantee of its truth.

Moreover, can God lie?

If there are untruths in the Bible, either God lied, or God is not the author. In the first case, such a being is not to be worshiped or obeyed. In the second case, who knows whether the Bible accurately depicts God or His moral Law truthfully? There is no way of knowing, so there is no reason to give it any greater weight than any other human document.

In conclusion, either God is the author of all Scripture, or it has no authority over the activities of men. And if it has no authority, why heed it?

Either the Bible is inerrant, or you have ZERO justification for the authenticity and veracity of the Christian faith. Which is akin to saying that a Christian has no reason to believe Christianity if they don't also believe the Bible. They are like all the false religious adherents in that their "feet are firmly planted in mid-air." They may be saved, but they're still being foolish.

And in many cases, they're not saved. If you believe God exists, how hard is it to believe that God can make sure that His will is known with 100% accuracy and reliability? It really isn't. So non-belief in Biblical inerrancy, while it doesn't force the conclusion that a person is a false convert (i.e. they claim to be a Christian but they aren't saved), but it is certainly strong and worrisome evidence in favor of that conclusion.

'Which is why it's so important for people to think through this issue and get with the program.

~ Rak Chazak

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