LISTEN: The Problem of Evil, Part 9 (The Reasons to Believe #112 with Daniel Whyte III)

Daniel Whyte III
Daniel Whyte III

Our Reasons to Believe Scripture verse for today is Psalm 90:2. It reads, “Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever thou hadst formed the earth and the world, even from everlasting to everlasting, thou art God.”

Our Reasons to Believe quote for today is from William Lane Craig. He said, “The Christian faith does not call for us to put our minds on the shelf, to fly in the face of common sense and history, or to make a leap of faith into the dark. The rational person, fully apprised of the evidence, can confidently believe.”

Our Reason to Believe powerpoint today is titled “The Problem of Evil” part 9 from “The Handbook of Christian Apologetics” by Peter Kreeft and Ronald K. Tacelli.

Peter Kreeft and Ronald K. Tacelli go on to discuss the topic of “Connecting Suffering with Sin: The Fall”

This is not as fanciful as most people think, if we remember the prinnciple of psychosomatic unity. This principle, affirmed by just about every one of the hundreds of schools of psychology, affirms that we are not ghosts in machines, souls imprisoned in bodies, or angels in disguise, but soul-body (“psycho-somatic”) unities. Our souls or psyches or personalities are our form and our bodies are our matter, much as in a poem the meaning is the form and the sounds or syllables are the matter.

Once we grant this principle, it makes sense that if the soul becomes alienated from God by sin, the body will become alienated, too, and experience pain and death as sin’s inevitable consequences. These are not external, arbitrary punishments added on. Spiritual death (sin) and physical death go together because our spirits (souls, consciousness) and bodies go together. This is not original. We learned it from Genesis 3.

But it makes a difference how we interpret this story. There are three ways, and our solution is available only within two of the three ways. First, there is what we may call the fundamentalist interpretation: historical and literal. Second, there is the traditional interpretation: historical but symbolic rather than literal. Third, there is the modernist or liberal interpretation: nonhistorical and nonliteral.

According to the traditional interpretation, which we espouse here, the crucial question is whether the Fall actually happened in human history, not how literally you interpret the garden, the snake, the trees or the fruit. For if the modernist is right and Genesis 3 is only a fable that teaches that each of us sins, and that Adam and Eve are only symbols for Joe and Mary, then we have two terrible consequences.

First, if there never was a real time of innocence, then God did not make us good, as Genesis 1 says he did. If from the beginning we were sinners, then we can trace sin back to our beginning; and “in the beginning, God.” Thus God is to blame for creating sinners.

Second, if the Fall is only what each one of us does, why have none of us ever resisted the forbidden fruit? If out of ten billion people, ten billion choose A and no one chooses B, we can hardly believe we have unfettered freedom to choose between A and B. If the drama in Eden is only the drama of today in symbol, why isn’t it dramatic today, why isn’t it “iffy,” why doesn’t anyone ever choose innocence?

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 Follow Daniel Whyte III on Twitter @prophetdaniel3 or on Facebook.

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