Thursday, May 19, 2011

Theology Thursday


Any evil that comes about that cannot be attributed to a personal agent such as man or God. Natural evils included weather disasters, cancer, and starvation. They stand in direct contrast to “moral evils” which are attributed to the volition of man. Sometimes natural evils are known as “surd evils.” Surd is the Latin translation of the Greek alogos meaning “without reason” since they do not seem to have any apparent mitigating good.


Any evil that happens which can be attributed to the volition of a personal agent, whether God, angels, or man. Moral evils are those which have an intent or reason, often without benevolence, but sometimes with a benevolent “greater good” in mind. Murder and killing in a just war are both moral evils, but not to the same degree. Moral evils stand in contrast to natural evils which are those events, such as weather disasters, that come about without a personal agency and without any apparent reason.


A term used to distinguish between the types of representative laws in biblical and systematic theology as well as philosophy. In biblical theology, the moral law represents the laws of the Mosaic Law that transcend both cultural and temporal barriers such as murder, adultery, lying, and stealing. This is to be distinguished from both the civil and ceremonial laws which are relative to the theocratic government of Israel and dissolved when the theocracy ended. In systematic theology, the moral law applies broadly to the entire moral code of ethics which is inherently represented in all of humanity. These include but are not limited to the moral laws of the Old Testament. In philosophy, the moral law is associated with the “Categorical Imperative” of Immanuel Kant.


[rash‘-uh-nuh-liz’-um] (Latin rationalis, “reason”)
The theory of epistemology (the study of knowledge) which limits knowledge to that which is intuitively known without regard to experience (contra empiricism). Rene Descartes is often referred to as the father of rationalism, believing that all knowledge must be justified by innate intellectual deduction. John Locke and David Hume challenged the rationalistic assumption.


Open Theism, also referred to as “free will theism” and “openness theology,” is the belief that God does not exercise meticulous control of the universe but leaves it “open” for humans to make significant free will choices that impact their relationships with God and others. A corollary of this is that God has not predetermined the future. Open Theists further believe that this would imply that God does not know the future exhaustively.Among proponents of this view are Gregory Boyd, John Sanders, and Clark Pinnock.

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