Tuesday, April 9, 2013

"H" is for Heat

Here's what I think, humbly.  Disclaimer: I am not a physicist nor a theologian.

Hot (adjective) and cold (adjective) are opposites. They describe relative amounts of heat energy.

Heat (noun) and cold (noun) aren't opposites.  Heat is a form of energy. Although we use it as a noun ("Come in from the cold"), cold isn't really a thing; it doesn't exist except as the absence of heat. You can generate heat, but you can't generate cold. You can build a heat ray, but you can't build a cold ray. Your freezer doesn't generate cold; its mechanism continually removes heat from its interior.

Light is electromagnetic radiation. Darkness isn't the opposite of light, it's the absence of it.  There are light rays.  There are not dark rays.  You can't turn on the dark with a switch.  Light dispels darkness; darkness cannot dispel light.

There is good and there is evil. God is good, therefore, whatever is good has its source in Him and is an imperfect reflection of His person and character.

Evil is the opposite of good, and evil is a thing, it has "substance," it can be palpable.  But God did not create evil. God created man in His image; that is, in a finite way, he imparted his attibutes to man. One of these attributes is moral agency. God made man a free moral agent. Man, in exercising his free moral agency, rebelled against God. Evil comes not from God but from man. All evil has its source in the corruption caused by man's rebellion. Evil is man falling short, sometimes tragically so, of the good created by God.

By my reckoning, if you are asking how a good God could allow evil, you're asking the wrong question. What you should be asking is why God created man with free moral agency.


  1. Smart post. Left me thinking. Especially about your last question!

    Blessings and Bear hugs!
    Bears Noting

  2. Thought provoking look at good and evil - I don't think I saw those parallels before.

  3. Thanks, both of you, and great blogging with you.

  4. I personal would delete the last four words, thats what I would like to know.Thanks, good post.
    maggie winter

    1. My one-word answer to that would be "Love."

  5. Wow, so many thought-provoking statements in just a short post. I feel like I need to go back and really ponder every sentence separately. Each one could inspire an entire post.

  6. Wow, that is high praise. I'm glad it's a little bit of food-for-thought.

  7. I admire you for taking on such heady topics. More than I am up to dealing with this morning. As Joan observed, each idea in your post could inspire a separate essay.

  8. Thanks, Dennis. It's something I've thought about for a long time, so I figured "What the heck?"


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