God: Responsible for the Good but Not the Bad

God: Responsible for the Good but Not the Bad October 19, 2020

Here is a problem that is ubiquitous in the world of theism: God is responsible for the good things we do or that exist in the world but we are responsible for the bad.

Whether we look at butterflies and mountains, or someone doing charity in the world or preaching to the huddled masses, the Christian praises the Lord and thanks him for his grace, in some capacity. When an eight-hour hospital operation involving twelve staff members ends in a child saved, then thank God for this miracle.

It is God’s fault that Joe Bloggs did good or that the world is beautiful. Gid is responsible for all that is good in the world.

But when we see someone do something terrible, when we see something bad, it is our fault. It is the fault of the human. It is somehow out of the purview of God.

God, as designer and creator of the whole universe, is ultimately responsible for everything (see God’s Divine Foreknowledge, His Culpability and the Problem of Evil), and so to cherry-pick only the good stuff to see God in is, well, to pick cherries.

This question was asked to a bunch of different thinkers – check out their answers here. The question:

It is generally claimed that everything good comes from God. Then where do the following come from: abuse, accidents, betrayal, blindness, corruption, cyclones, death, disappointments, diseases, divorces, earthquakes, famines, greed, heartaches, heat waves, homelessness, hurricanes, infidelity, injuries, jealousy, lying, massacres, murder, pain, poverty, racism, riots, shipwrecks, storms, suicide, tornadoes, tragedies, typhoons, wars, wildfires, etc.

We asked our panel of distinguished religious leaders of the region the following question: If everything good comes from God, where “bad” things come from?


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