Thursday, July 9, 2009

Epicurus' Maxim

There is more irony in to this graphic than we may realize. It is at the cross with the subsequent resurrection that God both uses evil and defeats evil displaying both his omnipotence and sovereign in using evil and granting Christ indestructible life at the same time showing His immeasurable goodness since the benefits of the death and resurrection flow to us. (Romans 4:25; Acts 2 & 4; Romans 8:28-39). The cross of Christ was hardly a defeat, of course, since the first days both Jew and Greek have scoffed at the cross. Christ was cursed the Jew could saw. According to Cicero 'cross' was not a term for polite conversation. Moreover, Greeks scoffed resurrection. N.T. Wright has shown if there is one thing about the afterlife that Greeks believed it was the dead people don't come back to life.

The problem with Epicurus' thought is it only allows to options: (1) a good God who can't all evil (since we obviously find it in existence today) and (2) or a malevolent God capriciously allowing all evil. The third and Biblical option is a sovereign God who both allows evil and uses evil. In short, we have an omnipotent God who reverses evil by seemingly allowing His Son to defeat it by being overcome by it.

It is almost like the scene in the end of the first Matrix film when Neo is shot by Agent Smith. He dies and we are done. But then he awakens and suddenly has the power to jump into Agent Smith and explode him from the inside out. So Christ comes under death but it raised up with indestructible life. "Oh Death where is your victory? Oh death where is your sting?"*

AD 33 is hardly the victory of Epicurus' maxim; it is it's defeat.

*The analogy doesn't really hold for the last Matrix movie primarily because there is 'sacrificial death' with no resurrection. There is an 'ascension' of sorts where Neo's goes into the bright light of the the computer world but it is a dead Neo. Hence it is glorification without resurrection which in the realm of theology is decidedly anti-Christian.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I don't want to enter a religious debate, but logically, your confutation does not hold.

You fail to explain how a God that uses evil and thus causes unnecessary pain is not evil.

There are, of course, a few roads to be taken from there, for example: God is good in that he gives people what they need instead of what they want.

This might need further reasoning, though, since it is at odds with Occam's razor.

"The Voyages..." Forays into Biblical studies, Biblical exegesis, theology, exposition, life, and occasionally some Star Trek...