Felix Culpa and the Problem of Evil

Felix culpa: fortunate fault — used especially of original sin, which is redeemed by the coming of Christ (Merriam Webster)

It would seem that if it weren’t for the fall, Jesus would have never become a man to save humanity. If Jesus never became a man, the connection thus created between God and man would never have happened. Jesus, being both fully God and fully man, is a bridge between God and man which connects the Creator with the created and the Infinite with the finite. If Jesus never became a man, that connection would never have been made, and forever there would be an infinite separation between God and His creation. The theodicy here is that evil was necessary as it caused the man Jesus to come and save humanity.

Of course, there was nothing stopping the second person of the Trinity from becoming a man if there never was a fall. It’s perfectly reasonable to believe that it was always God’s intention to unite with His creation by entering that creation as a man. The fall is not necessary for that to happen. So, the theodicy breaks down, as all theodicies do.

Was evil necessary for God to get what He wants out of His creation? The Calvinist would say yes, as God created the universe to display the full range of His perfections, which includes wrath, mercy, and justice (a la John Piper). If there were no evil, how could God display His wrath? Who was God displaying His wrath onto before creation? No one of course. Therefore God had to create the universe in order to fulfill that unmet desire. Here is where the Calvinist theodicy breaks down since it insists that God had to create the universe in order to complete Himself, which cannot be true for a perfectly complete God. God did not create the universe to complete Himself or to fulfill some unmet desire. The universe is an outpouring of God’s perfect completeness–ex nihilo, or better ex deo.

Some believe evil is necessary for the act of “soul building”. The evil we experience builds our character, builds our humanity, and shapes us into the beings God ultimately wants us to be. But this theodicy confuses hardship with evil. If you wanted to run a marathon, and I were your trainer, I would tell you to get up at 5 am each morning to run for an hour. This would be hard for you, but it would not be evil. If I decided that your family was distracting you too much from your training, and thus killed your family to keep you focused, that would be evil. The hardship builds you up, but the evil tears you down. Evil never creates, it only destroys.

Others would say that evil is necessary in order for us to have free will, which is necessary for true love. They argue that love can’t be real unless it is chosen. People have to have the option of rejecting God in order for their acceptance of God to be real. It’s a bad argument. Think of all those you love. Did you have to choose to love them? (Don’t confuse loyalty or obedience with love here.) Does a mother have to choose to love her newly born child? Does a child choose to love his parents? Jesus said, “If you love Me, you will keep My commandments.” I don’t think Jesus is suggesting we prove our love by obeying, but rather, we obey because we love Him first. (Obedience might lead to stronger love, but it is love which initiates obedience.) At any time in eternity past, did Jesus have to choose to love the Father? Is it even an option for Jesus to reject the Father? Think about what that would mean. God is not suicidal. There is no darkness in God. Could God create a universe in which we had free will and yet there would be no evil? Yes, this is exactly what will happen in the next age, post-resurrection.

Evil creates nothing, it only destroys. Evil is not a positive force, it is a negative parasite. Evil is the privation of good and it has no substance of its own. Evil is not non-being, but rather anti-being — it seeks to kill and destroy. There is no good reason why evil exists in our universe, but yet it is here. Why? God did not need evil to get what He wants out of His creation, but yet He allowed evil to happen. Why?

Perhaps we are asking the wrong question: “What does God want?” Maybe we should be asking the question: “What do we want?” Perhaps the solution to the problem of evil is to stop asking what God wants and start asking what we want. God did create the universe wholly apart from Himself after all. Christians are not pantheists or panentheists, or we shouldn’t be. The terrifying truth is that God created us to rule this creation. The responsibility of doing that is immense. Are we going to kill the evil infecting our universe? Or will we join ourselves with the evil?

So, what is evil? Evil is not non-being, but anti-being. Evil is a side effect of the supremacy of Freedom in Becoming (Being), and it is Being turned against itself. Evil has no substance of its own, but it is parasitic on the very substance which it is intent to destroy. If Creation is Good, then Evil is destruction, both the refusal of the acceptance of the Gift of Being, and the active opposition to Being-itself and Becoming. Evil is freedom, but it is freedom misused. Not as some Gnostic ignorance (As David B. Hart seems to suggest), but indeed a genuine hatred. Since human nature is founded on freedom, humanity can choose evil and oppose the inherent Goodness of his/her nature. Evil is a very real psychological and spiritual reality, and cannot be brushed away by a magic wave of the metaphysical finger. It may not be a substance, but it is very tangible. Evil is not cured by knowledge alone, but by Love.

Some guy online called Oskar

Thankfully we have Jesus, God as man, and the Holy Spirit to guide us in this great responsibility God has given to us.

Immediately He made His disciples get into the boat and go before Him to the other side, to Bethsaida, while He sent the multitude away. And when He had sent them away, He departed to the mountain to pray. Now when evening came, the boat was in the middle of the sea; and He was alone on the land. Then He saw them straining at rowing, for the wind was against them. Now about the fourth watch of the night He came to them, walking on the sea, and would have passed them by. And when they saw Him walking on the sea, they supposed it was a ghost, and cried out; for they all saw Him and were troubled. But immediately He talked with them and said to them, “Be of good cheer! It is I; do not be afraid.” Then He went up into the boat to them, and the wind ceased. And they were greatly amazed in themselves beyond measure, and marveled.

Mark 6:45-51 NKJV

A Pre-Christian Prophet

Jordan Peterson is very popular these days. He has a lot of wise things to say. I particularity like his opinions on helping people get their lives in order, and on politics. I don’t much like his take on the bible and Christianity. Peterson is heavily influenced by Carl Jung, and he uses those Jungian ideas when interpreting scripture.

I call Peterson a pre-Christian prophet. Pre-Christian because I believe he is on his way to becoming a genuine believer (which he is not yet), and prophet because he does speak truth to the masses and warns of a future which we are headed toward if we ignore that truth.

Unfortunately, there aren’t a lot (if any) Christian men who are recognized and listened to like Peterson. Christian leaders are often preoccupied with their own fame and egos. Christian leaders are caught up in childish fantasy doom and gloom visions of the future in which the Church falls under the power of some comic book villain. Christian leaders offer no real solutions for the future’s problems, other than waiting to escape this world. Why would anybody listen to men like that?

There are no Christian prophets left, only pre-Christian ones.

Related… The Wrath of Man

Earth’s Final Hours?

Is the world in its last days? Probably not, but the western world might very well be, and that’s okay. Before anything can be reborn into something better and more glorious, it has to die first.

I watched the following video and was inspired to write this article.

Many western Christians are convinced we are in the last days before Christ returns. They mostly believe this because of what they see going on in the world today. They believe that current events are fulfilling biblical prophecy before our very eyes. This is called newspaper eisegesis, and it works very well if you want it to, at any point in Christian history too. If you go outside on a cloudy day, and are predetermined to see the likeness of human faces in the clouds, it’s not if you’ll see those faces, rather how quickly you’ll see them (about 30 seconds). This is newspaper eisegesis: If I have a predetermined eschatological narrative, I can take the events of any point in Christian history and plug them into that narrative easily.

I couldn’t resist making my own Smith/Rock meme

Need an antichrist figure? Need a war? Need a pestilence? An economic crisis? Just read a history book. You’ll find an abundance of everything you need. Do you think those living in Constantinople thought they were in the last days as the Muslim armies grew closer? Or perhaps those living in Europe as Hitler expanded his power? Who is the expected antichrist now? Is it still the leader of the EU? No, that doesn’t work anymore. Bush or Obama? Nope. The leader of ISIS? Oh, they’re gone now. Carl Schwab? Almost ten years ago I wrote an article revealing who the antichrist was, and I still agree with what I wrote, and I’m still correct.

Western Christians are probably right to be worried about the end coming though. There are rough times ahead. But let’s not get all doom and gloom about it. Jesus intends on building His kingdom.

The best eschatological passage to be found in the bible is 1 Corinthians 15:20-28…

But now Christ is risen from the dead, and has become the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. For since by man came death, by Man also came the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ all shall be made alive. But each one in his own order: Christ the firstfruits, afterward those who are Christ’s at His coming. Then comes the end, when He [Jesus] delivers the kingdom to God the Father, when He [the Father] puts an end to all rule and all authority and power. For He [Jesus] must reign till He [the Father] has put all enemies under His [Jesus’] feet. The last enemy that will be destroyed is death. For “He [the Father] has put all things under His [Jesus’] feet.” But when He [the Father] says “all things are put under Him [Jesus],” it is evident that He [the Father] who put all things under Him [Jesus] is excepted. Now when all things are made subject to Him [Jesus], then the Son Himself will also be subject to Him [the Father] who put all things under Him [Jesus], that God may be all in all.

NKJV

The “he’s” and “hims” can get confusing, so I put what I think are the correct names behind each one.

Notice, Jesus must reign until all His enemies are put under His feet, with the last enemy being death. The resurrection occurs just before the end, when Jesus hands the kingdom over to His Father. So, we know that Jesus will not reign after the resurrection (sorry premillennials), only before. This means Jesus is reigning now. He will continue to reign until all His enemies are put under His feet. Who are His enemies? All those who oppose Him.

The number one sign that we are near the end is when we see that Jesus’s enemies are nearly all put under His feet. Are we seeing this now? I don’t think so. As Christianity is stalling in the west, it is growing in the east and the south. There are far more people living in these areas than in the west. God desires to save all mankind. Why would He stop now?

Recommended books: Millennium: The End of the World and the Forging of Christendom by Tom Holland; Surprised by Hope by N.T. Wright

Related articles: The Pessimistic Paradigm; Take Over the World for the Glory of God; The Three Part Great Commission; Daniel, Olivet, Revelation Notes

Nobody Cares About Your Passion – Visionaries Vs. Masters Part Eight

There is no “I” in team. Yes, but there is a “me”. If you’re leading a team, no one cares about your passion except you. What does everyone else care about? Their own passions of course. Why would you expect anything different? Now, this isn’t a bad thing — in fact, just the opposite — if everyone is passionate about the same thing. You’d expect everyone on the same team to be passionate about the same thing. If everyone is passionate about different things, then that’s no team. If all the team has the same passion except one person, then that one person is in the wrong place. If you, as the team leader, are constantly struggling to get people to do their part, then you are in the wrong place.

On any sports team, every player is passionate about the game. Also, every player wants to be the star player. Every player is passionate about his own success. Sure, the coach has to be passionate too if he wants the players to listen to him, but each player will put his own passion before the coach’s passion. If the coach sees a player with no passion, that player is booted off the team.

I’m mostly repeating myself from what I’ve written in my other Visionaries vs Masters articles, but that’s okay. Nobody is reading this anyway.

If you want to lead, give your team what they want: the ability to satisfy their own passions. You don’t like their passions? Then why are they on your team?

Hopefully I’ve now used the word “passion” enough times to make you sick of it, as you should be.

The West, Ukraine, and Russia

Here’s an interesting article…

The West’s Hands in Ukraine are as Bloody as Putin’s

ANALYSIS – There is a discursive nervous tic all over social media at the moment, including from prominent journalists such as Guardian columnist George Monbiot. The demand is that everyone not only “condemn” Russian president Vladimir Putin for invading Ukraine, but do so without qualification.

Any reluctance to submit is considered certain proof that the person is a Putin apologist or a Kremlin bot, and that their views on everything under the sun – especially their criticisms of equivalent Western war crimes – can be safely ignored.

Full article: https://www.mintpressnews.com/wests-hands-ukraine-bloody-putins/279897/

Archived link: https://archive.ph/ypKee