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Monday, May 30, 2016

Point of Information

There's a difference between God's ordaining will and God's permissive will.

God does not ordain evil, but He DOES permit evil.
God does not ordain death come into the world, but He DOES permit it.

So, when we say "God wills X", that doesn't necessarily mean God wanted it to turn out that way. It's just that He permitted it to turn out that way because WE apparently wanted it.


John said...

So, how would you reconcile the following with the idea that "God is love?" And, with Pope Benedict's Regensburg address, in which he says that Allah might be so all-powerful that he can act contrary to himself, that he can act unreasonably, but the Judeo-Christian God, while all-powerful, being the Logos — Truth — cannot act contrary to Himself, God cannot be both God and Not-God.

“Only in the cities of these peoples that the Lord your God is giving you as an inheritance, you shall not leave alive anything that breathes. But you shall utterly destroy them: the Hittite and the Amorite, the Canaanite and the Perizzite, the Hivite and the Jebusite, as the Lord your God has commanded you, so that they may not teach you to do according to all their detestable things which they have done for their gods, so that you would sin against the Lord your God”(Deuteronomy 20:16–18, NASB).

Steve Kellmeyer said...

God is love.
God chastises the sons whom He loves (God isn't nice).

When God ordains something, HE acts.
When God permits something, HE does NOT act, other persons do.

As for why this command appears in the OT, we don't know.
What God does is not necessarily always understandable to the human intellect, nor is there any reason to think it would be understandable. Just as an ape might not understand why a vet causes him pain by injecting the ape with an antibiotic, so I don't know why that passage appears in Scripture.

What I *DO* know, because the Catholic Church tells me, is that even if I suffer, it is not because God is evil, or permits evil, or is incapable of conquering evil, but rather God knows what I do not, and He is establishing something good for me.

Sean W. said...

Nothing lives except by the grace of God -- God need not even strike me down to end my life, he need only cease willing that I exist.

This life is a gift, not just one that began so many years ago at birth or conception, but every single continuous moment, and like any gift it is utterly gratuitous: we do not merit it, cannot possibly merit it, and can never possibly pay God back for it. He doesn't owe it or anything else to us.

If it isn't unjust for God to order the end of my life by his creatures, the blood clot or the tumor or the tornado, why is it unjust for God to end the life of Canaanites by his creatures, the Israelites?

Fr PJM said...

The Ebola virus has nature, being and operation. It derives these, receives these from the Creator. "Is there disaster in the city, and the Lord has not done it?" asks the prophet Amos.
I think it is only theologically accurate to say that God permits sin and in no way causes it.
Death is a substantial change. God is the First Cause. When we die, it is the Lord who has brought it about.
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