100% Solved in 10 Seconds
By Jeff Grupp
PraiseandLove.net, April 22, 2019
Article is below, here is a video about the article:
Part 1: Introduction
The two huge problems that remain unsolved in Christian theology are (1) why is there pain?, and (2) why is there evil? In other words, why is this world so dreadful, with so many hurting people, and how could there be evil, in a universe created by an all-loving God? I believe it’s safe to say that these two problems remain completely unsolved in Christian theology. Consider what RC Sproul, one of the most famous Calvinist/Reformed theologians of the past 50 years, says about this issue:
Before I go any further to answer the question of where evil came from, I have to give my short answer to the question, my down-and-dirty answer to the question, Where did evil come from? And my answer is this: I don’t know. So maybe it’s time for me to just sit down…
I don’t know how to explain the origin of evil, and what else I can tell you is that I am sure that in this world I will never be able to answer that question. I don’t know of any philosopher or theologian who has answered it adequately, at least to satisfy my mind, and I am sure that I’m not going to go beyond the insights of Augustine, Aquinas, Calvin, Luther, Edwards and the rest, who had wrestled with this…
What is evil… is the easy part of the two questions, the second part,… How evil could intrude into a universe created by a God who is all-together holy, all-together righteous, and not only is this universe created by such a God, but it is also governed and ruled by such a God, and if this God is holy, and if this God is righteous, how in-the-world can He tolerate so much evil in it. The origin of evil has been called the Achilles heel of Christianity… the supreme point of vulnerability. If God is all-powerful, and has the power to create a universe without evil, or has the power to rid the universe of evil and… He doesn’t do it then He’s not good. (from this link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5Ir6pKEV0RQ)
So the specific question we are interested in, is: If there is a perfect Creator, made of perfect love, who is infinite and can do anything—nothing is impossible with God—why couldn’t He simply have the capacity to create us as free beings, who genuinely love Him, and who can exist in absolute joy of God without all the pain and suffering and misery of this universe, when a perfect and infinite God has created this physical reality, and continues to sustain it, and keep it in existence?
And the apparently hitherto unknown, simple solution to this matter, reveals that any creation of an all-powerful creator-God—anything that He creates—just like the reality that we see now, which exists in one of three states:
- Pre-fallen and not absolutely perfect,
- Redeemed and not absolutely perfect.
The simple explanation, for why reality can only be in these phases, will reveal that by the specific logic of any reality, any reality can only be in this way—according to a, b, and c—including step b, with the amount of pain that this physical reality has, and with the amount of darkness and evil that this physicality reality contains. And the answers are part of an inescapable logic that any reality will involve, and the reasoning in the argument that I will give below for this can be stated, in about ten to fifteen seconds, to any believer that is struggling with some of the questions Sproul presented above, or to any non-Christian and/or atheist who opposes Christianity for similar reasons.
I want to be specific that I will not discuss how evil stems from human free-will. This widely claimed view is, strictly speaking, absolutely correct, and an answer to the problem of evil—however, it is not in any way related to the solution I present in this article, and using free-will as an explanation is problematical in ministry, and in theological work—at least to the current level of development in understanding of the nature of free-will among Christians (which, it is fair to say, is insufficient). Using free-will alone, and no other concepts from Scripture to explain the origin of evil and consequent pain, leaves one open to the following questions:
- Why couldn’t God create reality in a way where our free-will did not lead to such pervasive and gut-wrenching evil, pain, and suffering world-wide?
- Can’t we humans be free without the horror of the pain of reality?
- Free-will is mysterious, how does it work? Especially in a universe with seemingly so much determinism?
- If God is infinitely wise and powerful, couldn’t He have created a reality that accomplished what He wanted without being such a horrific and painful reality, pervaded by so much evil, and which contains creatures that genuinely love Him with true free-willed love?
These are good questions, and they lead to problems in using free-will to explain the origin of evil and the pervasive existence of pain.
A new argument is needed to show why reality created by a perfect and good God has evil and pain—an argument that really gets the job done, by showing that this is how reality has to be, how God had to create it.
That is what I will reveal in this article, which is a discovery about our physical reality that is desperately needed by the people of this lost world that is fading away (1 John 2:17). Specifically, the findings of this article uncover the following:
It is built into reality—into anything created by an absolutely perfect monotheistic creator-God—that by the logic of the Creator-created relationship, the only way anything can exist, can be created, is to be just like things are now: filled with evil and pain.
The Creator cannot create the evil and pain, but as we will see in a moment, the only way any reality can exist is if the Creator-God creates a reality that will fall into what humans now experience in this fallen, pain-filled, evil-influenced physical reality. To have the Creator-God create anything other than this is a logical contradiction, as we will see, and thus any reality can only be roughly like what ours like, as far as pain and misery are concerned.
To my knowledge, this argument has, surprisingly, not been presented before this time, despite its simplicity and rudimentary nature, and even though it comes from the Bible. This argument can be a tremendous, even miraculous asset in ministry, which has been the sole objective in developing the argument, since the argument will quickly, definitively, and authoritatively address the following reasonable and justified question so often asked by atheists, non-believers, skeptics of Christianity, and people genuinely just curious (including Christians) as to why
Of all the things a loving and perfectly good God could do, why would He create this particular physical reality we humans live in, that now contains pain, suffering, confusion, darkness, evil, and sin? Why would God create a reality like that?
In my experience in ministry, nothing turns away believers more than this particular legitimate question. People are genuinely confused, and the question is a more-than-reasonable one. This argument should only be presented to people, by soldiers of Christ, in love and joy, for it is truly good news.
Part 2: The Argument
I will first spell the argument out in detail, and then present the 10 second version that can be used quickly, on-the-spot, during storm of gritty ministry.
Argument Stipulation: An absolutely perfect monotheistic creator-God exists, He is the only absolute perfection. Nothing can be added to Him to improve-upon the perfect creator God, no higher being can be conceived.
- If God creates anything at all, what He creates will be distinct from Himself, different from Himself, so that what is created will not be identical to God.
- What God creates, in being distinct from Himself, in not being absolutely perfect, will be lower-than God (not absolutely perfect).
- That which is lower-than God is not-God, and that which is not-God is imperfect, incomplete, having defect of some sort, corrupted.
- That which is imperfect, incomplete, having defect of some sort, and corrupt, will involve blemish.
- That which is imperfect and involves corruption and blemish will develop elements that are not Godly (unGodly).
- What is unGodly and distinct from God has separation from God (Isa. 59:1-2).
- What is separate from God will contain fallenness and sinfulness.
- God cannot create fallenness and sinfulness, so the reality created, being different form God, separated from God, will be prone to internally-generated unGodliness.
- Argument Conclusion. Therefore, if God ever creates anything at all, it can only be distinct from God, less-than absolutely perfect, and prone to fallenness and sin until it is redeemed.
So, just by God creating anything at all, just by that act of creation, what is created, by God, can only be not absolutely perfect (where I have above defined “not absolutely perfect” as imperfect), and by that fact anything created will be prone to succumb to having aspects that are internally caused as being against God, and thus of fallenness and sin.
Presumably there could be realities that God creates that remain in stage a, unlike ours which went from stage a to stage b (and which will soon fully and completely go to c), but this is very unlikely, since (i) what is not-God should spontaneously originate internally and self-caused fallenness, and since (ii) God is a redeemer, and His love needs to serve as a sacrifice of grace to any reality that is created, wherein reality would need to be fallen to do so maximally.
Note that this argument above does not, necessarily, mean all of creation is unGodly or not good. The above argument does not infer that, and we know that creation is good, and remained good after the fall (1 Tim. 4:4), but rather only specific areas contain sin (namely inside human minds, see Grupp 2018) and creation was thus scarred.
And this argument can be presented in the following extremely terse manner, for purposes of ministry, as follows:
If God creates anything it has to be separate from Him,
And can only be imperfect.
What is imperfect will contain qualities of imperfection (like sin and pain).
And for that reason, anything God creates will develop inside of itself, pain and sin, and will need to be redeemed.
But an even quicker version of the argument, if needed in ministry, is as follows:
What a perfect God creates is different from Him and is thus not perfect, and thus will contain imperfection and ultimately corruption.
That can be presented in about 10 seconds, if not 5 or 6 seconds, to any person during the ministry setting, a short-enough time interval to prevent interruptions, and the argument is simple enough that it will likely not be derailed by questions before the 5-10 seconds is over. And the simplicity of the argument, and the Biblical adherence, will likely not lead to many further questions, if any at all, and ministry can merely move on to the good news of the free gift of the grace of Jesus Christ.
-Jeff Grupp, Kalamazoo, MI. Praise
and Love .net, April 22, 2019
PDF available: Why Would God Create THIS World of Pain and Sin? 100% Solved in 10 Seconds
Grupp, Jeff, 2018, “Sin, Nothingness, the Liar Paradox, and the Contamination of Creation,” in Theologic: Revelation, Calvinism, Surrender, Nothingness, Kalamazoo: Praise and Love Church, pages 32-54 print copy available at Lulu.com, free online copy at