Why Do Bad Things Happen to Good
Comments on Debate
between Dr. Geisler vs Rabbi Kushner - Part 2
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1. God has sovereign control over the world - -
He is all powerful and all loving...... Kushner believes
God is on our side, He loves us but He does not have the power to change
things......(this is absolutely unbiblical!)
- Geisler - God loves me and He has the power to
fulfill that love...... He disagrees with Kushner by
stating that God has the power and is sovereign over all things........
- Geisler - If I didn't have a God that was all
loving and all powerful there would be no reason to be assured from this love
because he would be impotent to fulfill the love......
- Kushner asks - so why is there
all the evil?
- Geisler - there's 2 aspects to
that - --
- 1. we're free - - and we're free
to choose good...... and/or to choose evil
- 2. this world is not the whole
story - - because if it is the whole story than Kushner's right - - it is
unjust....But, God is not finished with us yet - - there will be a resurrection
of the dead - - - there will be a day of reckoning/reward/punishment..... The
Bible says Jesus Christ brought life and immortality to light thru the
Gospel........Jesus reversed the course of death, He suffered for us and
brought eternal life .......
2. Kushner - the danger with taking comfort with
the eternal life, is that we will not take the injustices of this world
seriously.....It's unacceptable with the evil in this world.....and a focus on
the eternal will not focus or be outraged on the injustices of this day
- Geisler shot Kushner down once
again and totally destroys Kushner's argument by stating - - - - - you can take
this life seriously and believe in the eternal life....... the Day of Judgement
proves that the evil in this day is serious and someone is outraged by it - -
because it is punished on that Day......and that's why it has to be judged and
good must be rewarded....To Geisler, the after life accentuates the reality of
evil today because God hates it so much He's going to take care of it on
Judgement Day - - - proving He is all powerful and able to take care of it,
defeat it and assures victory over it......
3. Why is it necessary to have an after
- The issue is whether the after-life is true or
false - - not why is it necessary...... but the Scriptures state there is an
afterlife - - - the OT and NT both......
- There's alot of evidence
in the OT for an after-life - - - Daniel 12, Ezekiel 37:38, a portion of Job,
and Jesus used the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob to silence the Saducees in
proving there's a resurrection........
4. Is this the best of all possible worlds that
we're living in?
- Geisler - this is not the best
possible world, but it is the best of all possible ways to get to the best of
all possible worlds (Voltaire's satire - Candide)
- Why ? - - - Because a true
believer is like tea - - their real strength comes out of them when they get
into hot water...
- God permits difficulties - - to
produce the greatest virtues in us - - - which even Job admitted to this in the
OT - -
- There's a kind of sanctifying
influence of suffering that perfects us - - Romans 5 - - tribulation produces
- Kushner - not everyone is
strengthened by difficulties - - you haven't seen this?
- Geisler - it was His plan to give us freedom - -
the freedom to choose whether trials and suffering will be a stumbling stone or
a stepping stone - - we can be better or bitter...Just because God's purposes
weren't fulfilled because we rejected His desires - - doesn't mean his purposes
- Kushner - so the girl who's
raped is a sinner by not following God's purposes?
- Geisler - I'm not saying that at
all --- - - that would be unfair - - - but she lives in a world of sin - -
brought on by man - and we all suffer the consequences - - - but in spite of
this - - God has taken this suffering on Himself and done something about it in
the death and resurrection of Christ - - and that is the hope of the eternal
- Kushner - what do you say to the
person? You're doing it wrong?
- Geisler says - I love you,
I feel for you, God loves you and feels for you, and God has done something
about it and God can make you a better person through this - - or you can be
bitter if you choose not to accept his good purpose in it - - your choice is
what will be fulfilled in your life.....
- Kushner - But I don't understand
why a loving God would put me in this situation ?
- Geisler - Join the club - - no
one can understand the infinite purposes of God.....
5. If God is limited - - why should we love him -
- if His love may not win out in the end - - since He's not all powerful -
there must be a bigger power? Where's the assurance in the end that God will
- Kushner - You can't be sure that
God is going to win - - that's why we have to help God out ... Also, Love is
the acceptance of imperfection - that imperfection is not having an all
- Ankerberg - So, we choose to
follow someone who might not win? So, we define love and not God?
- Kushner - you're talking about faith - -
- Ankerberg - So, why believe in
God? Was Hitler right?
- Kushner - people do what's right because its
right.......Hitler's punishment was that he never tasted what its like to be
human - - that's a worse punishment than hell......
- Kushner - We should follow God
because He offers what we need - - God's standards of good and bad are built
into the universe - as solid as the law of gravity - - in the same way that
Congress cant repeal gravity - - - no one can vote that the 10 commandments are
not better than the opposite...... The presence of God in us is manifested in
us when we respond with compassion, when we're angry with injustice....
- Geisler - the only addition is that God is all
perfect and now He's not? If He's perfect, I have no
problem except that he must add that God has the power to fulfill that love for
me......... If he could say God is all loving and all powerful - - and he has a
good purpose that he will bring about - - - in the next life - - - the
injustices in this world will fade .....
- Kushner - I will renounce my book when I see
people no longer being killed etc.
- Geisler - If someday there is a resurrection,
and the just are rewarded, the evil is punished and there is a reunion with
loved ones - - -you would renounce.......
- Geisler - There's historical
evidence of the fulfillment of OT prophecy in the life resurrection of Christ -
- and that it will happen one day - - and its not a leap for me - - - and I
have that hope and we'll look back at the suffering in our life and say it was
- Kushner - I'm not converting
- Kushner - I want to be outraged
by suffering on this earth - I don't want to focus on the eternal and the
meeting on the other side - - I want to be outraged...... When well meaning
people want to take that outrage from me - I protest
- Geisler - I'm outraged with you
- that's what makes it and evil so desperate, discouraging and
- Geisler - You can have your
outrage and still have a purpose for it......I'm outraged at the evils of the
Jewish people as slaves in Egypt - - but I still see a divine purpose thru it
all - - God's purpose was clear.....
- Kushner - I don't believe
the suffering come upon us for any purpose - - - God give us the ability
to transform and strength to redeem these tragedies...... They happens becasue
of laws of nature - - - and human stupidity - - - but God gives us the stimulus
to growth and stimulation
- Geisler - If I do not see a
purpose for it, doesn't mean God has no purpose for it......That's the ultimate
act of arrogance on my part.......
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