There are countless sages who have contributed to the deep things of life, and whose works remain in libraries of the world. Philosophy, philo- lover of, and sophia- wisdom, hence lover of wisdom; it is very easy to be attracted to philosophy. Spiritual souls however, see philosophy as a stepping stone to One greater, One wiser.
Far too many philosophers unfortunately, have reasoned God out from his own creation, as if He is not welcome on His own dirt. They are a dime a dozen, but apart from God, we need only look at one, for they are all cut from the same tattered cloth.
In one of the most famous of ‘gotcha’ moments, the disciples of the wise ones state with an artificial certainty: God does not exist! By a subtle combination of twisted logic, and with one stroke of the pen, they cite ‘evil’ as the Goliath that has slain the mighty David.
For instance, Epicurus @ 341-270 BCE
“Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able?
Then he is not omnipotent.
Is he able, but not willing?
Then he is malevolent.
Is he both able and willing?
Then whence cometh evil?
Is he neither able nor willing?
Then why call him God?”
The so-called intellectuals of our day, the self-described elite who have imagined God out from His own creation with fair speeches, will no doubt applaud such a thought by the Greek high thinker.
Here you have petty man drawing an eternal conclusion because his answers of evil can not be met with satisfaction; ahem, HIS satisfaction.
The strength of philosophy is also its demise, for it presents lofty ideals, but also creates its own tragedies, and blames the results on God. Clever. The ideas ‘sound’ good, but when examined against an absolute, they are instantly shredded.
‘Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able?’
Not a bad question; but a wrong one. The better question is: WHY does man set his heart to do evil? But look at the conclusion Epicurus arrives at: He is not omnipotent! The sage creates his own dilemma, and tries to put God on trial. Wow, with a handful of words, the ‘thinker’ ripped God from His throne; surely there cannot be a God if He is overthrown with evil.
‘Is he able but not willing?’
Again, a fair question. However, Is not man culpable in the least? Shall God allow the ‘good’ that man does, but step in when the same man plies his evil craft? Is God the ultimate puppeteer?
Whence comes the evil, and is He neither able nor willing?
Well Mr. Philosopher sir, once more I notice you conveniently omitted the responsibility and decadence of man. I notice you mentioned nothing of the wages that man deserves for choosing a life apart from God.
And I notice you never addressed this: The heart is deceitful and desperately wicked above all things. A quick trip to Eden would explain everything.
So then, let’s put this in the proper context. For 120 years, God was patient with His creation in light of blatant evil. Man had gone sideways, seeking every conceivable vice, and committing egregious acts of sin and crime. As a matter of fact, the very thoughts of man were also evil ‘continually.’
What did this God do with the evil of men? Nothing. And what was His response? An offer of grace to the misfits who chose a life apart from God. For 120 years, the people on earth heard the message of grace by way of Noah while the ark was a preparing.
Now then Mr Philosopher: was not God both able and willing? Was He not willing to preserve people from their own destruction? Did He not provide a way that proved he was able? Of course, for man is on trial, not God. The Creator is always blameless.
Epicurus should have been humbled by such favor from God. You have men doing evil, God patiently waiting, God entreating, men ignore the pleading, men choosing the evil, and as the sands of grace are finally sifted through the years, judgment falls, and God is blamed. Really?
Do we not see where philosophy as it applies to God, fails at every turn. Man is the criminal, and God is perfect. Has anything changed today? Are there not just as many who worship the words of Epicurus, while looking away from the God of heaven and earth?
Has not philosophy become the golden calve of the elite?
John Lennon read the same book and wrote a song: ‘Imagine there’s no heaven,’ and of course the ancillary result: no God either. Guess what? Epicurus and Lennon are dead, and God is still God.
Perhaps the better question for the followers of Epicurus to consider: HOW can this God be so patient if the accounts of scripture are true? How can God be willing to NOT execute His wrath? Ah yes, grace supplies the answer, where He is WILLING and ABLE
is. was 270 Bce
God IS I AM