NO! I am saying the precise opposite. That “God” is defined by good, that I refuse to call something which is not good by the name/word “God.” I am not saying that something is good just because God did it or that the creator of the universe is necessarily good. I do believe that the creator is good and I think I have good reasons for believing so, but I could be wrong. Power does not define “God” either. After all do we not refer to the devil as “the god of this world.” Evil may have the power in this world but it does not and never will have my regard.
Yes and I do not. I call that divine relativism. I insist that morality, ethics, or the good can only be absolute if there are reasons why it is good. Or to put it in terms of Euthyphro’s dilemma, God does/chooses it because it is good, and not the fact that He does/chooses is what it makes it good.
Agreed. I would further take this to mean what I say above, that for God what is good is more important that His own identity. His word is about what is good, and this is more important than his name. If you do evil then doing so in the name of “God” does not make it good and God will not see it as something done for Him, but for the other guy.
But I do not believe this. I believe this is the whole point of His creation of the mankind and the universe – to be something which He does not control. God created the universe to support life (a phenomenon of self-organization) precisely so that He would not know what we will do before we make our choice. That He exists outside of time means He is not bound by our pace, but the whole point of the phenomenon of life and the laws of nature is that He can only involve Himself in the events of our life before He reads the next page. The world is not a book already written but a book that is being written by both our choices and His.
God is all-powerful by nature. But if that means God cannot take risks, cannot give privacy, cannot sacrifice His control over events, cannot limit Himself by making a rock so heavy even He cannot lift it, or cannot become a helpless human infant, then I do not call that omnipotence – I would call that being a slave to human theology instead. Thus I believe, in the creation of life and free will, God made a choice between power/control and life/freedom, and His choice is most vividly demonstrated for us in the incarnation as Jesus. He can and does put love and freedom first which means that the evil in the world is not His doing but ours. Indeed our acceptance of this is the whole point of His coming and accepting the fact that we killed Him is essential to the redemption He offers us. He is the innocent who died because our evil knows no bounds. And God would rather die murdered at our hands than acquiesce to the evil we do.
To be sure, by the resurrection we also learn that evil and death is not the end of the story. Good can triumph because the spirit is eternal and life awaits for those who reject the evil which destroys life.
Power goes hand in hand with responsibility. By Adam blaming God and Eve, and by Eve blaming the snake, Adam and Eve refused responsibility for what they had done – refused the challenge of life to learn what is good. So God removed Himself from their life and assigned the archangel Lucifer the role of adversary so we would learn that the goodness of life must come by our own effort and nothing is gained by passing responsibility on to others.
The memetic inheritance by which we have our humanity from God through Adam and Eve is contaminated by the self-destructive habits they chose in opposition to life. So Christ came as a second Adam with a fresh inheritance of the breath of life from God so that our humanity can have a new foundation apart from the choices of Adam and Eve.
It is clear from scripture that NONE of this was forseen by God. God saw the evil of mankind and He was sorry that he made us at all. Genesis 6:6.
It is true that the self-destructive habits of sin does make us highly predictable (so Jesus could see both His death and the destruction of the temple coming as well as Peter’s denials), and when this is the case, God feels free to manipulate us as He did with Pharoah for the greater good. But this does not mean that God reads ahead so that He can control us and prevent our bad choices. He is pleasantly surprised when we break from our bad habits, such as when Ninevah repented in the book of Jonah, and He made it clear that if He knew of our decent into evil He would not have created us in first place.
Is love worth the risk when we sacrifice control over our lives to another?
But when we see our love rejected and our lives turned to garbage because of the risk we took, do we then say that it was worth it?
No, we do not. We wished that we hadn’t taken that risk after all. But this is the nature of love. Love requires a surrender of control. Love and control are mutually exclusive.
When the other is a child, then this dilemma is of catastrophic proportions. In that case it is not just our lives and happiness on the line but theirs. If they reject our love and efforts to steer them to what is good, then we get to watch as they they throw their life away and create a hell for themselves (and possibly many others). This is the unavoidable risk that a parent takes when they create life. Becoming a parent is indeed the most arrogant thing we will ever do and the result is one of the most humbling experiences we shall ever have.