Theodicy Thoughts

I assume that God is good, loving and powerful. This leads to the thought that if that is God’s nature, then wouldn’t any universe he created be the best possible?

But if that’s the case, then why is there suffering?

A standard answer is that suffering is inevitable if God makes us free, rather than not, since freedom to choose means that it is possible for us to choose poorly. Which we have.

This implies then that God thinks freedom is more important than us being good, since all the evil and suffering of history is the consequence of the freedom to choose.

If we say that suffering and evil are a necessary consequence of freedom, and that God values freedom so much that all of human history was worth it, then how can we explain Heaven? That is, if freedom is precious to God, and this is the best of all possible worlds given the existence of free will, then what the hell is Heaven? Doesn’t Heaven, by its very nature, suggest that this world then actually isn’t the best of all worlds? It could be better. It could be Heaven. And since this current world isn’t Heaven, then what is God playing at? Why didn’t God make Heaven to begin with? Why this world as a trial run?

One possibility: Heaven is a consequence of this world and can only exist as an effect. That is, Heaven is not possible without the world as it is.

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About R.P. Nettelhorst

I'm married with three daughters. I live in southern California and I'm the interim pastor at Quartz Hill Community Church. I have written several books. I spent a couple of summers while I was in college working on a kibbutz in Israel. In 2004, I was a volunteer with the Ansari X-Prize at the winning launches of SpaceShipOne. Member of Society of Biblical Literature, American Academy of Religion, and The Authors Guild
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