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God's Love and Limits

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God's love and ability to create a universe from nothing does not imply that God can completely control the universe.

My forthcoming paper "Theodicy, Supreme Providence, and Semiclassical Theism" presents a natural theology based on modern physics which describes creation from nothing and what I call "supreme providence." Supreme providence implies that the Supreme Being governs the universe with inexhaustible love, perception and power. However, God's perception and power created the universe with amazing particles that are beyond complete control. This helps to explain the coexistence of God and extensive, horrific evil in the universe.

I describe the philosophical problem of evil:

"Extensive horrific suffering caused by diseases, accidents, and natural disasters could be prevented by God as defined by traditional divine attributes. Also, theists believe that God wants them to protect and help people who suffer from these horrors of nature. The protection and help includes prayers and practical support. So why does God not prevent these horrors of nature or do more to fix the consequences of the horrors? Furthermore, most theists support the moral rightness of protecting society by incarcerating perpetrators of serial rape, serial killing, mass murder, terrorism, human trafficking, and all crimes against humanity. So why does God not do more to protect society from the horrors caused by horrific perpetrators?"

Traditional theism says that God is all-loving, all-knowing and all-powerful. This means that God can single-handedly and immediately prevent any and all evil, while God has nonetheless permitted the existence of all evil events experienced in history.

Typical justification for the coexistence of God and extensive, horrific evil says the following: God gave humans free will and humans abused the divine gift of free will; the existence of horrific evil is temporary; humans can develop moral excellence while resisting evil; faithful believers will eventually enjoy everlasting love and happiness without evil; and humans cannot always understand the divine reason for the existence of various horrific evil.

Many believers are content with the above reasons for extensive, horrific evil. However, I explain that creation from nothing and God's qualities of everlasting love, perception and power do not imply that God can completely control creation. Also, God always lovingly perceives everything and prayer sometimes results in divine intervention because of synergy between God and humans.

This post begins a new direction for my blogging while I focus on explaining my research on God's love and limits to the general public. Stay tuned for more.

Source: James Goetz, "Theodicy, Supreme Providence, and Semiclassical Theism," Theology and Science (forthcoming) .
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James Goetz is a philosopher, theologian, and member of the National Coalition of Independent Scholars. His published conjectures include the universal wormhole, semiclassical theism, semiclassical Christianity, Relative-Social Trinitarianism, (more...)

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