Intractable Theological Problems

• How could Adam and Eve ever have sinned if God had actually created them perfect, even if they did have free will? If God created them imperfect, how could a perfect just being blame them then for being imperfect?

• How can evil exist in the world if God is simultaneously good, omnipotent, and loving? Why is it that no theodicy (explanation of God's creation of evil) stands up under rational scrutiny?

• Why does the church say God did not create evil, when he himself claims that he did in Isaiah 45:7, Lamentations 3:38, and Amos 3:6? Despite the renderings in the modern translations, the Hebrew word is the same as that translated "evil" in numerous other passages. Even in the modern renderings, how can the Christian explain God causing "calamity" (NASB) or "woe" (NRSV) or "disaster" (NIV)?)?

• Why does God expressly take credit for creating disabilities (Exodus 4:11)? If these are God's doing, then why does the evangelical church insist that disabilities are the result of the fall, or of Satan's work?

• Why would a loving, omnipotent, benevolent god cause people to believe falsehoods so that he can condemn them (2 Thessalonians 2:11-12)?

• Why is the Bible inconsistent on major theological issues such as the nature and existence of an afterlife, the efficacy of works of the Law with regard to salvation, and the distinction between soul and spirit?

• Why does the evangelical church speak of absolute values when the Bible teaches situational ethics (David's eating the showbread, and Jesus's Golden Rule)?

• Why is it not possible to formulate a systematic theology that agrees with the Bible in all points? Roman Catholic theology introduces unbiblical and irrational ideas; Calvinistic reformed theology stumbles at the existence of evil; covenantal theology muddles the biblical distinctions between Israel and the church; dispensational theology is too hopelessly complex to be credible because every major inconsistency is explained away by spuriously introducing a new "dispensation;" and Arminianism destroys the sovereignty of God.

• Why doesn't the Bible itself present its own "revealed" systematic theology. Doesn't God want us to have a consistent and complete framework of theology to support right decision making and teaching others?

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