LISTEN: The Problem of Evil, Part 7 (The Reasons to Believe #109 with Daniel Whyte III)


Daniel Whyte III
Daniel Whyte III

God has been under attack in the world almost since the beginning of time, but He and those who believe in Him are under attack more now than ever before. Atheism is increasing and atheists are becoming more vocal. This podcast is an ongoing debate response to such people as Richard Dawkins, Bill Maher, Stephen Hawking and others who don’t believe in God and who preach atheism to the world. This podcast is also designed to equip Christians to do what the Holy Scriptures command, and that is to, “earnestly contend for the faith” and to “be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh us a reason of the hope that is in us”. But more importantly, this broadcast/podcast is designed to give you a reason to believe in God and His Son Jesus Christ.

Our Reasons to Believe passage from the Word of God today is 1 John 5:13. It reads, “These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God.”

Our Reasons to Believe quote for today is from Greg Koukl. He said, “Some say Christianity is just a crutch. But let’s turn the question on its edge for a moment. Is atheism an emotional crutch, wishful thinking? The ax cuts both ways. Perhaps atheists are rejecting God because they’ve had a bad relationship with their father. Instead of inventing God, have atheists invented non-God? Have they invented atheism to escape some of the frightening implications of God’s existence? Think about it.”

Our Reason to Believe powerpoint today is titled “The Problem of Evil” part 7 from “The Handbook of Christian Apologetics” by Peter Kreeft and Ronald K. Tacelli.

Dr. Peter Kreeft and Dr. Ronald K. Tacelli go on to write about “Five Possible Solutions for the Problem of Evil”:

Six Methodological Principles

2. We should not minimize, compromise or water down the data. Pantheism and naturalism do just that. They reduce the all-good and all-powerful God which our data deliver to either a pantheistic pudding equally inclusive of good and evil like lumps in the tapioca, or to a “Force” in nature, or the cosmos, which is unable to create the cosmos out of nothing and unable miraculously and supernaturally to turn the forces of evil in the cosmos to good.

When Augustine faced the apparent contradiction between divine grace and human free will, his most important move was his first, his methodology. He did not minimize either half of his apparently contradictory data. Instead, he reflected deeply on, and explored both halves of, his data, so that after this double journey he could emerge from these two deep caves, these two great mysteries, into the light of day with the insight that grace and free will are really two sides of the same coin. This insight was not available on shallower levels of looking at the data. His solution came from looking into his data more deeply.

Specifically, it worked like this. On the shallow level, it looks like a question of whether God pulls my strings or I pull my own strings. But by going more deeply into the double data, Augustine came to realize two thing, one about grace and the other about free will. First, grace is an “interior master” rather than an exterior one; grace deals with nature according to its nature, “grace perfects nature.” And “nature” for humans means human nature, which includes free will as part of its essence. Second, true freedom is not just indetermination, freedom from all influence, but self-determination, self-realization, self-perfection; freedom for the realization of our end and destiny. And this comes only from God, our Author and Designer, our Savior from the sin that blocks this self-realization. Thus, the two parts of the problem become the two parts of the solution.

But this coming-together could not have happened if Augustine had been impatient with paradox and minimized or compromised his paradoxical data. Augustine’s method seems to us paradigmatic and archetypical for the Christian theologian. In fact, all great Christian thinkers have used it — in modern times, especially Pascal, Kierkegaard, Dostoyevsky, Chesterton and C.S. Lewis.

Daniel Whyte III has spoken in meetings across the United States and in over twenty-five foreign countries. He is the author of over forty books. He is also the president of Gospel Light Society International, a worldwide evangelistic ministry that reaches thousands with the Gospel each week, as well as president of Torch Ministries International, a Christian literature ministry which publishes a monthly magazine called The Torch Leader. He is heard by thousands each week on his radio broadcasts/podcasts, which include: The Prayer Motivator Devotional, The Prayer Motivator Minute, as well as Gospel Light Minute X, the Gospel Light Minute, the Sunday Evening Evangelistic Message, the Prophet Daniel’s Report, the Second Coming Watch Update and the Soul-Winning Motivator, among others. He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Theology from Bethany Divinity College, a Bachelor’s degree in Religion from Texas Wesleyan University, a Master’s degree in Religion, a Master of Divinity degree, and a Master of Theology degree from Liberty University School of Divinity. He has been married to the former Meriqua Althea Dixon, of Christiana, Jamaica for over twenty-seven years. God has blessed their union with seven children. Find out more at www.danielwhyte3.com. Follow Daniel Whyte III on Twitter @prophetdaniel3 or on Facebook.

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