January 1, 2011

Evil & Suffering XV: A Divergence: Opinion of Irenaean Theodicy

As I have in previous sections I have added an opposing view for contrast. In this section I have add the Irenaean theodicy and its philosophical/theological offspring. The Irenaean theodicy comes in two parts. The first stems from Irenaeus (130-202 AD), an early Christian Church father that said mankind was not created perfect and needed growth spiritually to reach spiritual perfection. In Irenaeus' point of view, God does not intervene in human affairs to prevent evil because that would be to interfere with free will. Irenaean theodicy does not see the Creation as created all-good. Irenaeus’ theodicy is nearly opposite Augustine’s view. Irenaeus basically says that humans were initially created as immature and imperfect beings; they were created in the image of God, but not His likeness (Irenaen Theodicy).

Mankind's goal is to achieve that likeness. Such perfection and likeness of God cannot be created per se, it has to be developed through choices, and we can only become moral and develop through making moral judgments. Natural evil on the second hand has to be created in order to help man progress. In this philosophy suffering will be rewarded inevitably by heaven and heaven for all. This is pretty much where I depart from this theodicy as this is not Biblical in my worldview and in my mind and understanding, doesn’t adhere strictly to Scripture but rather relies on a human precept to explain the Bible. What I think I see here is half correct in that man does need to grow spiritually to become more like God. Where I believe this theodicy goes errant is in its presupposition of mankind’s original created state. According to the Bible I read, mankind was created immortal and in God’s image. When man sinned this condition changed and became distorted. We now have to work to attain that condition humanity had pre Genesis 3. This is contradictory to what I have understood as Irenaeus’ and Hicks position on the matter. I will continue to elaborate on it as an antithesis to the Augustinian philosophy but I will do so in its most current incarnation: The “soul-making” or “soul-building” ideas of John Hicks which are the logical fallout from Irenaeus’ philosophy. We can now jump topics to the possible reasons that evil and suffering exist in the realm of mankind.

No comments:

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...