- The Problem of Evil
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It's gorgeous! So much so I'm afraid he'll ruin it. I paid to have his name inscribed on it. He and his wife, Patricia, have four married children and fifteen grandchildren. Bidang tersembunyi. Koleksiku Bantuan Penelusuran Buku Lanjutan. Lihat eBuku. Thomas Nelson Inc Amazon. The first three examples are similar in that there was no human agent involved — in each case it was God, or an angel of God, who carried out the mass killings directly. For this reason, this case will be the focus of this study. The problem many people have with these stories of mass killings is that they do not seem to fit the popular conception of the Christian God.
In particular, the question is asked how a God of love could allow or even command such brutality. Furthermore, it is suggested that the God described in these Old Testament books is a different character from the God described in the New Testament. The former is supposedly angry, vindictive and ruthless, the latter loving, patient and forgiving.
The Problem of Evil
One way in which biblical scholars have attempted to resolve the problem of the mass killing of the Canaanites is to suggest that God never commanded it. This argument is advanced in one of two ways:. This argument suggests that the mass killings were a carryover from a pagan way of understanding God.
It was not uncommon for kings in the Near East of Old Testament times to annihilate the populations of whole cities as an offering to their gods. For example, the 9 th Century BC Moabite Stone records King Mesha's boast that he had destroyed all the inhabitants of Ataroth as a sacrifice to his god.
The suggestion is made that Israel at the time of Joshua had a limited understanding of God and that they wrongly thought that their God, Yahweh, expected the same kind of sacrifice. This line of reasoning raises serious questions about the nature of God, in particular whether or not He is able to make Himself clearly understood and whether or not He would allow such blatant disobedience to go unchallenged. One attempt to overcome this difficulty is the suggestion that God allowed His name to be associated with these mass killings because His love for Israel was so great that He was willing to have His reputation tarnished for the sake of His relationship with them.
This view, however, does not find any support in the relevant Old Testament texts, which clearly state that God commanded the mass killings Joshua , 21; Deuteronomy Later texts even criticise the Israelites for their failure to obey the command Psalm Proponents of this view suggest that the accounts of mass killings are not contemporaneous to the events themselves but were written later in the history of Israel, during the period of the kings, by scribes who were witnessing the ill effects on the nation of idolatry involving Canaanite deities. This view also necessitates an understanding of Scripture as the opinion of human beings rather than the true word of God or even an accurate record of historical events.
Therefore, the issue boils down to our view of the authority of Scripture.
We cannot examine here the different views of Scripture among professing Christians or the arguments for the view of this author, which is that Scripture is the authoritative word of God, free from error as originally written and useful in its entirety to teach and challenge us. The only way to explain away the problem of the Old Testament mass killings is to have a low view of Scriptural authority, whereas this study assumes a high view. This article, therefore, will attempt to take Scripture at face value and consider exactly how the mass killing of the Canaanites fits with our understanding of God as love.
The wrath of God against sin and His righteous judgement of sinners are important biblical principles. Ananias and Sapphira in Acts 5 , groups of people e. Korah and his followers in Numbers 16 and even, as in the case of the Canaanites, against entire nations. Scripture consistently maintains that God is fair in His judgements, as Paul explains in Romans The culture of the Canaanites was deeply sinful, to a degree that God decided to act in judgement against them. The extreme sin of the Canaanites was connected with their religious practices.
Leviticus 18 gives details of many of the sinful religious practices of the Canaanites, which included child sacrifice to the god Molech, incest, bestiality, homosexuality and cultic prostitution. This is why it was so vital to God that Israel start off their life in the Land without the influence of false religions that would lead them away from Him. This involvement in Canaanite religions is already evident in the book of Judges, but reaches its peak in the period of the kings. Because of their lack of faithfulness to God, which meant that they lost their distinctiveness b.
Because they developed a nationalistic sense of their own superiority, which led them to be disinterested in bringing truth about God to other cultures on the basis that God and His blessings should belong only to them. The book of Jonah provides a classic example of this. Perhaps the church today can learn a lesson from these twin dangers that may lead to a failure to be effective in mission.
Effective mission depends both on distinctiveness and cultural engagement. An obvious objection to the idea that God was judging the Canaanites is that it would be unfair for Him to do so if they had no opportunity to repent and be saved. Based on the Biblical evidence, however, this objection dissolves away for two reasons:. At the time of Abraham there is evidence that the Canaanites had some knowledge of the true God:.
His faith in God should have been a witness to the Canaanites. He must surely have taught his people about the true Creator God Genesis It seems that over the period from Abraham to Joshua, the Canaanites had gradually rejected what they knew about God and moved deeper into sin. It was only when their sin reached a certain level of severity that God decided to use the Israelites to bring judgement on them.
Gods Love Murder
However, even at the time of Joshua, the Canaanites had heard about what God had done for the Israelites in delivering them from Egypt and giving them victory over the Amorite kings east of the Jordan Joshua , yet they did not repent and turn to God. She even became an ancestor of king David and, eventually, Jesus Christ!
Sadly, she is the only Canaanite we read of coming to faith in God, although surely others had the opportunity.
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This question comes to the heart of the matter by asking exactly what God commanded. The Biblical accounts are quite different. God gave the Israelites strict rules about proper conduct in war against other enemies who did not live in Canaan, including:. Using television and the Internet, CBN is proclaiming the Good News in countries and territories, with programs and content in 67 languages. If you have an immediate prayer need, please call our hour prayer line at Where is my life headed? No answer seems to completely satisfy when it comes to why God allows pain. Paradoxically, love is the greater reason, and God will allow His creation to go through anything in the name of love.
What Does the Bible Say About Abortion? | American Right to Life
Anything at all. For God, love is a higher priority than comfort, enjoyment, and even happiness. Love, on the other hand, was. God knew that in order for love to exist, free will would also have to exist. In a world where He gave humans the choice to love or hate, He knew some would choose the latter and pain would inevitably be the price.
But, He is about taking the wrongs and making something beautiful of them. And so He constantly offers opportunities for His children to exercise that free will in love towards one another so that some of what has been broken can be remade. Pain offers opportunity for growth in love. Pain is a unique opportunity for humanity to choose whether it will love God for who He is, rather than for the gifts that He bestows upon His creation. Granted, God loves to give to His children. God wants to be loved for who He is -- for His mercy, grace, kindness, compassion, and other attributes -- and not because He makes life easy for us.
God allows pain to remind us that our home is not in this world, that our real life begins in the afterlife, in heaven. He wishes for us to long for that place.