What caused the perfect creation of God to choose evil
By: The John Ankerberg Show
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|If God exists, why is there evil in the world? What is evil? Where did evil come from? Why doesn’t God intervene and stop all evil? How can physical evils such as earthquakes, tornadoes and cancer be explained? Is there a good reason for the existence of hell on which even some atheists would agree? What about those who have never heard the Gospel?
Copyright: 2003, Number of Programs: 8, Cat. No. EVL
Keywords: Free Choice, Source of evil, First cause, free will
- Ankerberg: Alright, there’s a couple of questions right there. But let’s start with the statement you made in your book: “God made evil possible via free will,” which is good, okay? “But free creatures made evil actual.” Alright, the question is, if a free creature is perfect, what’s even motivating him to choose evil, because there’s nothing in him to start with that is evil because he was made perfect?
- Geisler: That’s a good question. It’s like asking who made God. No one made God. He was always there. What caused Lucifer to sin? No one caused him to sin. He was the cause of it. So you can’t ask, “What’s the cause of God,” since He’s the first cause; and you can’t ask, “What caused Lucifer to sin” because he was the first cause. So it’s what we call a category mistake. It’s like asking, “Where was the man when he jumped off the bridge?” You say, “He was in the air.” No. That was after he jumped. You say, “He was on the bridge.” No, that was before he jumped. Where was he when he jumped off the bridge? See, it’s a category mistake because jumping is a process. You see, you can’t ask a pinpoint location of a process activity, and you can’t ask, “Who made the one who made it,” because the one who made it is the one who caused it. And Lucifer caused the first sin; Adam caused the first sin among human beings, and so their free will was the first cause of sin, and there is no cause of the first cause.
- Ankerberg: Yeah. I think that the hairy aspect of this, the important aspect, if I could put it that way, is that freedom all of a sudden comes with a ton of responsibility. Because what we’re saying is that God gave us freedom, which is a good thing. But boy, I’ll tell you, if you misuse that freedom – which we have done – the consequences are off the charts. Talk about some of the consequences that came, and maybe run through the choices. In other words, in Adam, the first man – how did this free creature who was perfect,… You know, Augustine had a kind of neat way of talking about it. Run through that for the people. Keep it slow so we can understand here.
- Geisler: Well, basically, they had two choices: they could either go their way or God’s way. God freely created them and He gave them freedom. Now, if they really have freedom, they can love Him or hate Him. They can worship Him or blaspheme Him. So, what was the first sin? The first sin was the choice to choose the lesser good of my will over the greater good of God’s will. So, it wasn’t a choice of evil, it was an evil choice. There was no evil to choose because there was God and all His perfect creatures. There was no evil in the environment. There was no evil around them. There was no evil within them. So what their choice was was the choice to go their way rather than God’s way, to will the lesser good of the creature over the greater good of the Creator. That’s how evil entered the world: when a good creature, using a good thing called free will, willed a lesser good over the greater good. It’s called pride.