Darwin's theories have compelled people to have faith rather than look for "special effects" to confirm the existence of God.
~Rev. Mitchell Brown, Evanston, IL (one of 10,000 ministers nationwide to sign a statement of support for evolution in a divine context).
Science is always evolving, so it certainly should be taught in the schools that while science is the pursuit of truth, it is subject to continuous revisions as our understanding improves.
The Newtonian physics model was very helpful to us for a long time, and it is still valuable for solving daily problems, including in video production.
Quantum physics then came along and showed us that the world wasn't quite as simple as previously thought.
Today it is still helpful to use Newton's findings at home, even though they are "incomplete."
I was surprised by Jay's suggestion that the Creator is made of flesh and bone.
Flesh and bone have a limited lifespan (by design!). Does this mean you think the Creator will die?
I have never heard anybody who was able to truly communicate what God is in words.
It's like explaining music. Either you get it or you don't, there is nothing inbetween.
You may hear other people saying "music is really worthwhile," so you're willing to give it the benefit of the doubt (i.e. "to have faith"). Then you pursue it to see what happens. If you're successful, there is much to gain.
I sing once a month with a small group of people. One of them tries to be helpful by playing one or the other from his collection of flutes, but he always plays out of time and out of tune (we have other instruments too, and agreed keys to follow), so I have to focus to the maximum of my ability to disregard his playing. I cringe everytime, and can't help wondering if he will ever understand music.
Still, I can't explain it to him in words, and I feel exactly the same way about God.
No use arguing about it, because words can't offer a direct personal experience.
I personally believe that God created the Universe somewhere in the recent past. I also beleive that scientific inquiry into evolution is absolutely biologically valid.
Bob, I understand and respect your beliefs, and everyone else's here--or where ever they may be.
However, I have found that when we come to a greater, deeper understanding of who God is and how He works, it becomes easier to understand the fallacy that all life is from the same pedigree.
The truth is, many flaws in the theory of evolution are recognized by its own adherents. One especially notable is the theory of evolution fails completely to explain the emotional, reasoning, and religious nature of man which distinguishes him so completely from the lower animals. One defender of the theory declares that the brains of man and monkey are identical anatomically, but that the larger size of the human brain accounts for the higher intelligence of man. This suggestion falls to the ground in face of well-known facts such as that the ant shows greater intelligence than the cow. Many notable advocates of the theory, such as Darwin and Huxley, have stood helpless before the mental emotional, and moral supremacy of man over the ape, the animal most like man in body. Conscience is peculiar to man. Evil, sin, goodness, truth, love, sacrifice, hope, and religion separate man from the highest animal by a gulf not yet bridged by any scientific theory. So where did these human traits come from?
Again, there are many other supporting evidences from a religious prespective to support this, but I'm not sure this is the forum (no pun intended) for such detailed discussions.
You know, as Bob pointed out, "fighting" about such topics never achieved anything. You said you were interested in learning, but I am left with the impression that you only want to argue.<<
No, these are valid questions ( or arguments, whatever you prefer ).
God has not come down or proven anything. I haven't seen him and neither have most of the other people. What you refer to as "he has come down here" is just a theory. So you are trying to offer proof of one theory ( religion ) via another theory ( god coming down to earth ), which is actually the same theory.
It would be like me saying I have proof of evolution, and it didn't matter whether the rest of the world saw it.
We all need to see it , clearly, otherwise it's a no go. I'm not just trying to argue or fight. This is the way proof works.
Religion and science are both based on theories. The difference is, science tries to explain/prove its theories, religion doesn't. ( like FCP fans saying FCP is better than Vegas )
The difference is, science tries to explain/prove its theories, religion doesn't.
Be kinder, there are some who at least offer to show the way to what they themselves have found to be good.
St. Francis of Assisi was a major party animal and playboy, until he saw from personal experience that there was something else in life, something available to anyone who wanted to check it out, but not really explainable in the language of his day or our day.
It was experiential, and he was OK with that seeming limitation.
It reminds me of my university freshman year. I went through an engineering path, and noticed that there were students in the building across the street who were studying the same subjects but without such a specific goal.
I asked a senior what the difference was between the scientists they were educating across the street and the engineera coming out of our part of the same university system.
The answer? "Well, imagine you have a room with a woman in the center of the room. The woman has a repelling force field of F=1/r2 (inversely proportional to the square of the distance, something that is often found in nature).
The scientist takes a look at this formula and realizes that as he approaches the woman, the repelling force will become infinitely strong. So he gives up and goes off to drink a cup of coffee instead.
The engineer on the other hand takes a look at the same formula, and quickly realizes that he can get close enough...
>>>St. Francis of Assisi was a major party animal and playboy, until he saw from personal experience that there was something else in life,<<<
I don't need that example because I know 2 people exactly like that, and they changed completely. Still, their explanation doesn't work. I have no problem with them, and they don't have a problem with me.
We simply disagree.
Your second example ids pretty good:
>>>The scientist takes a look at this formula and realizes that as he approaches the woman, the repelling force will become infinitely strong. So he gives up and goes off to drink a cup of coffee instead.
The engineer on the other hand takes a look at the same formula, and quickly realizes that he can get close enough<<<<
But it actually proves my point. Both scientist and engineer fail to see that the woman is irrelevant. What's relevant is : why was the woman there in the first place and nobody is even trying to answer that question.
I promised myself I would not get involved in a religious discussion but... Doh! You’ve been warned.
> Darwin was just speculating.
What if Moses was just speculating? He obviously wasn’t there in the beginning. What if the 5 books of Moses were written so far after the fact that things got a little “embellished” as time went on? The same could be said for the New Testament. It was written at least 40-60 years after the events happened.
In order for any quote from the Bible to hold water you first have to believe that the Bible, which is written by the hands of man, is the “Word of God” divinely inspired. But the Bible was assembled by committee. A committee that rejected some books and accepted others. Why? Again, divine inspiration or it just kinda happened that way?
We can prove that evolution as a process exists. It is not just a “theory” although it is still a theory that humans evolved from protozoa since there are still some gaps (a missing “link”) that separates man from all other creatures. Plants and animals are still evolving into new species so evolution is real and happening as we speak. Life adapts and evolves.
We cannot scientifically prove that God exists. So if you want to say that evolution and God are mutually exclusive and that only one is right then the only conclusion you could draw is that evolution must be right because you can see it still happening today. You cannot see God today. There are no parting of clouds, there are no burning bushes, there are no prophets today that God is speaking through (at least not like the ones that wrote the Bible). So there are no new books of the Bible being written today. Is all spiritual knowledge already known (and therefore no new knowledge needs to be written?) Why did these prophets only exist in Biblical times?
If God created Adam and Eve what race were they? Let’s say they were dark skinned like Middle Easterns. Where did the yellow skinned Asians come from? Where did the black skinned African’s come from? Where did the red skinned Native Americans come from? Where did the white skinned Europeans come from? Evolution? Adaptations? (oops that would support evolution). Did God create another, undocumented, set of Adam’s and Eve’s?
When we discover new civilizations, new tribes of people who are untouched by our modern world, why is it that they already believe in Gods? If they could not know of the one true God then where did their beliefs come from? Is it just human nature to believe in God? Does it give us comfort to know that something is watching over us, or to blame things on that are out of control, or to give us hope that someone greater than us can save us in the face of hopelessness? Did God create us in his image or did we create God in our image? Was God handed down to us as a tradition, and perpetuated because we as human beings hold on strongly to traditional beliefs?
To believe in God is to have tremendous faith. Faith in something you cannot explain. I personally believe in God the Father, creator of all things. I also believe that God the Son was the human manifestation of God the Father because it was the only way that he could reach out and touch us. i.e., by becoming one of us. (if there are more than 3 dimensions as quantum physics would lead us to believe, then perhaps God lives in 4 or 5 dimensions and he had to limit himself to just our three dimensions to reach us which is why he became Jesus Christ) I believe that the Holy Spirit is the spirit of God which he sent to guide us and comfort us. I cannot explain why I believe these things. I just do. Is that faith or is it a comfortable tradition? I’d like to believe it is faith.
Those who say they can prove there is a God will always be met by those who say it is just a coincidence that things happen. It cannot be proven right or wrong. I don’t believe in coincidence. I believe that everything happens for a purpose and that through the power of prayer you can change what is going to happen. I don’t have a problem with believing in God and also believing that evolution was part of his divine plan of continuous creation. It kinds makes sense when you think about it. Creation has a problem that it can’t explain the diversity that continues today and evolution has some gaps where a miracle apparently happened. I think they actually support each other.
This will be an interesting conversation to have when we finally meet another civilization living somewhere else in the universe. I wonder what they believe. ;-)
We all want to make it through life with some degree of success, some sense that we did it right. And if others think they know how life can be satisfying, even meaningful, it's at least worth checking out. What about the major world religions? Is there anything in them that would give our lives greater stability and value?
The following is an opportunity to look into the major world faith systems...Hinduism, New Age, Buddhism, Islam, and Christianity.* Included is a brief description of each, its distinguishing characteristics, and what a person can gain from each. The author then presents for your consideration the ways in which Jesus' teaching differs from the world's religions.
*Each of these systems has sects with differing beliefs. The description given here focuses on the heart of that system. Other major religions, such as Judaism, could be discussed, but for brevity, we have chosen these.
Most Hindus worship one Being of ultimate oneness (Brahman) through infinite representations of gods and goddesses, over 300,000 of them. These various manifestations of gods and goddesses become incarnate within idols, temples, gurus, rivers, animals, etc.
Hindus see their position in this present life as based on their actions in a previous life. If their behavior before was evil, they might experience tremendous hardships in this life. A Hindu's goal is to become free from the law of karma...to be free from continuous reincarnations.
There are three possible ways to end this cycle of karma: 1. Be lovingly devoted to any of the Hindu gods or goddesses; 2. Grow in knowledge through meditation of Brahman (oneness)...to realize that circumstances in life are not real, that selfhood is an illusion and only Brahman is real; 3. Be dedicated to various religious ceremonies and rites.
In Hinduism, a person has the freedom to choose how to work toward spiritual perfection. Hinduism also has a possible explanation for the suffering and evil in the world. According to Hinduism, the suffering anyone experiences, whether it is sickness or starvation or a disaster, is due that person because of their own evil actions, usually from a previous lifetime. Only the soul matters which will one day be free of the cycle of rebirths and be at rest.
New Age promotes the development of the person's own power or divinity. When referring to God, a follower of New Age is not talking about a transcendent, personal God who created the universe, but is referring to a higher consciousness within themselves. A person in New Age would see themselves as God, the cosmos, the universe. In fact, everything that the person sees, hears, feels or imagines is to be considered divine.
Highly eclectic, New Age presents itself as a collection of ancient spiritual traditions. It acknowledges many gods and goddesses, as in Hinduism. The Earth is viewed as the source of all spirituality, and has its own intelligence, emotions and deity. But superseding all is self. Self is the originator, controller and God of all. There is no reality outside of what the person determines.
New Age teaches a wide array of eastern mysticism and spiritual, metaphysical and psychic techniques, such as breathing exercises, chanting, drumming, meditating...to develop an altered consciousness and one's own divinity.
Anything negative a person experiences (failures, sadness, anger, selfishness, hurt) is considered an illusion. Believing themselves to be completely sovereign over their life, nothing about their life is wrong, negative or painful. Eventually a person develops spiritually to the degree that there is no objective, external reality. A person, becoming a god, creates their own reality.
Buddhists do not worship any gods or God. People outside of Buddhism often think that Buddhists worship the Buddha. However, the Buddha (Siddhartha Gautama) never claimed to be divine, but rather he is viewed by Buddhists as having attained what they are also striving to attain, which is spiritual enlightenment and, with it, freedom from the continuous cycle of life and death. Most Buddhists believe a person has countless rebirths, which inevitably include suffering. A Buddhist seeks to end these rebirths. Buddhists believe it is a person's cravings, aversion and delusion that cause these rebirths. Therefore, the goal of a Buddhist is to purify one's heart and to let go of all yearnings toward sensual desires and the attachment to oneself.
Buddhists follow a list of religious principles and very dedicated meditation. When a Buddhist meditates it is not the same as praying or focusing on a god, it is more of a self-discipline. Through practiced meditation a person may reach Nirvana -- "the blowing out" of the flame of desire.
Buddhism provides something that is true of most world religions: disciplines, values and directives that a person may want to live by.
Muslims believe there is the one almighty God, named Allah, who is infinitely superior to and transcendent from humankind. Allah is viewed as the creator of the universe and the source of all good and all evil. Everything that happens is Allah's will. He is a powerful and strict judge, who will be merciful toward followers depending on the sufficiency of their life's good works and religious devotion. A follower's relationship with Allah is as a servant to Allah.
Though a Muslim honors several prophets, Muhammad is considered the last prophet and his words and lifestyle are that person's authority. To be a Muslim, one has to follow five religious duties: 1. Repeat a creed about Allah and Muhammad; 2. Recite certain prayers in Arabic five times a day; 3. Give to the needy; 4. One month each year, fast from food, drink, sex and smoking from sunrise to sunset; 5. Pilgrimage once in one's lifetime to worship at a shrine in Mecca. At death -- based on one's faithfulness to these duties -- a Muslim hopes to enter Paradise, a place of sensual pleasure. If not, they will be eternally punished in hell.
For many people, Islam matches their expectations about religion and deity. Islam teaches that there is one supreme God, who is worshiped through good deeds and disciplined religious rituals. After death a person is rewarded or punished according to their religious devotion.
Christianity -- faith in Jesus Christ
Christians believe in a loving God who has revealed himself and can be personally known in this life. With Jesus Christ, the person's focus is not on religious rituals or performing good works, but on enjoying a relationship with God and growing to know him better.
Faith in Jesus Christ himself, not just in his teachings, is how the Christian experiences joy and a meaningful life. In his life on Earth, Jesus did not identify himself as a prophet pointing to God or as a teacher of enlightenment. Rather, Jesus claimed to be God in human form. He performed miracles, forgave people of their sin and said that anyone who believed in him would have eternal life. He made statements like, "I am the light of the world; he who follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life."1
Christians regard the Bible as God's written message to humankind. In addition to its being an historical record of Jesus' life and miracles, the Bible reveals God's personality, his love and truth, and how one can have a relationship with him.
Whatever circumstances a Christian is dealing with in their life, they can confidently turn to a wise and powerful God who genuinely loves them. They believe that God answers prayer and that life takes on meaning as they live to honor him.
Is there a difference?
In looking at these major belief systems and their views of God, we find tremendous diversity:
Hindus believe in 300,000 gods.
Buddhists say there is no deity.
New Age followers believe they are God.
Muslims believe in a powerful but unknowable God.
Christians believe in a God who is loving and approachable.
Are all religions worshiping the same God? Let's consider that. New Age teaches that everyone should come to center on a cosmic consciousness, but it would require Islam to give up their one God, Hinduism to give up their numerous gods, and Buddhism to establish that there is a God.
The world's major religions (Hinduism, New Age, Buddhism, Islam, following Jesus Christ) are each quite unique. And of these one affirms that there is a personal, loving God who can be known, now in this life. Jesus Christ spoke of a God who welcomes us into a relationship with him and comes along side us as a comforter, counselor and powerful God who loves us.
In Hinduism a person is on their own trying to gain release from karma. In New Age a person is working at their own divinity. In Buddhism it is an individual quest at being free from desire. And in Islam, the individual follows religious laws for the sake of paradise after death. In Jesus' teaching, you see a personal relationship with a personal God -- a relationship that carries over into the next life.
Can a person connect with God in this life?
The answer is yes. Not only can you connect with God, you also can know that you are fully accepted and loved by God.
Many world religions place an individual on their own, striving for spiritual perfection. Buddha, for example, never claimed sinlessness. Muhammad also admitted that he was in need of forgiveness. "No matter how wise, no matter how gifted, no matter how influential other prophets, gurus, and teachers might be, they had the presence of mind to know that they were imperfect just like the rest of us."2
Jesus Christ, however, never alluded to any personal sin. Instead, Jesus forgave people of their sin and he wants to forgive us of our sin also. We all are aware of our faults, the areas of our lives that may cause others to think less of us, areas that we ourselves wish were not there...maybe it's an addiction, a bad temper, impurity, hateful remarks. God loves us but hates sin, and he has said that the consequence for sin is separation from knowing him. But God provided a way for us to be forgiven and know him. Jesus, the Son of God, God in human form, took all of our sin on himself, suffered on a cross, and willingly died in our place. The Bible says, "By this we know love, that he laid down his life for us."3
God is offering us complete forgiveness because of Jesus' death for us. This means forgiveness for all our sins...past, present and future. Jesus paid for them all. God, who created the universe, loves us and wants to be in a relationship with us. "This is how God showed his love among us: he sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him."4
Through Christ, God offers us real freedom from our sin and guilt. He does not leave a person's failures on their shoulders, with a dim hope of becoming a better person tomorrow. In Jesus Christ, God reached toward humanity, providing a way for us to know him. "For God so loved the world that he sent his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish, but have eternal life."5
God wants us to know him.
We were created by God to live in relationship with him. Jesus said, "He who comes to me will never go hungry, and he who believes in me will never be thirsty...and whoever comes to me I will never drive away."6 Jesus called people not only to follow his teachings, but to follow him. He said, "I am the way, and the truth and the life."7 In claiming to be the truth, Christ goes beyond mere prophets and teachers who simply said they were speaking the truth.8
Jesus identified himself as equal to God, and even gave proof. Jesus said that he would be crucified on a cross and that three days after his death, he would come back to life. He didn't say he would reincarnate someday into a future life. (Who would know if he actually did it?) He said three days after being buried he would show himself alive to those who saw his crucifixion. On that third day, Jesus' tomb was found empty and many people testified that they saw him alive again. He now offers eternal life to us.
It's a two-way relationship.
Many religions focus on a person's spiritual efforts. With Jesus Christ it's a two-way interaction between you and God. He welcomes us to go to him. "The Lord is near to all who call upon him, to all who call upon him in truth."9 You can communicate with God, who will answer your prayer, give you greater peace and joy, provide direction, show you his love, and transform your life. Jesus said, "I came that they might have life, and have it more abundantly."10 It will not mean that life will become perfect and free of problems. But it means that in the midst of life, you can relate to God who is willing to be involved in your life and faithful in his love.
This is not a commitment to a method of self-improvement like the Eight Fold Path or the Five Pillars, or meditation, or good works or even the Ten Commandments. These seem clear, well-defined, easy-to-follow paths for spirituality. But they become a burdensome striving for perfection, and connection with God is still distant. Our hope is not in following laws or standards, but in knowing a Savior who fully accepts us because of our faith in him and his sacrifice for us. We don't earn our place in heaven by religious efforts or good deeds. Heaven is a free gift to us, when we begin a relationship with Jesus Christ.
Would you like to be totally forgiven and personally come to know God's love for you?
Beginning a relationship with God.
You can begin a relationship with God right now. It is as simple as sincerely asking God for his forgiveness of your sin and inviting him to enter your life. Jesus said, "Behold, I stand at the door [of your heart] and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come into him."11 Would like to begin a relationship with the God who created you, who deeply loves you? You can do so right now, if it is your heart's desire: "God, I ask you to forgive me and invite you to enter my heart right now. Thank you Jesus for dying for my sins. Thank you for coming into my life as you said you would."
The Bible tells us that "as many as received him, to them he gave the right to become children of God."12 If you sincerely asked God to come into your life, you have begun a personal relationship with him. It is like you have just met God and he wants to help you grow to know him better, to know his love for you, to guide you with wisdom in whatever decisions confront you. The book called "John" in the Bible is a good place to learn more about a relationship with God. Perhaps you might want to tell someone else about the decision you have made to ask Jesus into your life.
In the world's religions a person has a relationship with teachings, ideas, paths, rituals. Through Jesus, a person can have a relationship with the loving and powerful God. You can talk with him and he will guide you in this life now. He doesn't just point you to a path, a philosophy. He welcomes you to know him, to experience joy, and to have confidence in his love in the midst of life's challenges. "See what love the Father has given us, that we should be called children of God."13
Madison Media Software (a Division of Sony International)
LAS VEGAS, NV
Sony announced today that the new version of their flagship editing software will be released at the NAB show in Las Vegas in April. The new version, dubbed Vegas 7 (heretofore codenamed BirdShot) will have the following features:
Renders in half the time as Vegas 6c
Makes use of any AGP video card from the last three years
Includes a network render client that runs on the Xbox 360...and the Mattel Intellivision
In related news, Sony today announced the acquisition of the Final Cut Pro software division of Apple Computer. They have also publicly invited the Product Manager from Adobe's Premiere Pro to a quail hunting trip in Texas...
(just a little humor ya'll...you may resume your normal OT conversations...)
wrote on 2/14/2006, 2:26 PM
Marquat, I think you're right, A quick google found the following:
Johnny, that is why it is so vitally important to come to a true and proper understanding of who He is and our relationship to Him. When we begin to understand Him, only then will we truly come to understand ourselves and our purpose here on Earth. And in doing that, we are drawn closer to Him and begin to understand His ways--how He operates. It would be impossible to have faith in a being that one was not familiar with or did not fully understand and appreciate. Consider the following:
There are three things necessary in order that any rational and intelligent person may exercise faith in God unto life and salvation.
First, the idea that He actually exists.
Second, a correct idea of His character, perfections, and attributes.
Third, an actual knowledge that the course of life which one is pursuing is according to God's will. Without an understanding of these three important facts, the faith of every rational person would be imperfect and unproductive. However, with this understanding then one's faith can become perfect and fruitful.
Thank you jimmy w, I would never want to pass as an impostor taking credit for someone elses work. If marquat would of read it he would know that it's another author writing. I apologize for not copying the entire article with it's author's name. Marquat probably has never made a mistake in his life.
Both scientist and engineer fail to see that the woman is irrelevant. What's relevant is : why was the woman there in the first place and nobody is even trying to answer that question.
I was thinking of the woman as representing God here.
We can choose to not accept God until we know WHY God exists, or we can choose to see if there is anything to this God thing everyone is talking about.
In the beginning we don't know WHAT God is (from a practical standpoint) but that goes for many other things in life too. We try what other people, certain people we choose to trust from time to time, tell us is good, and sometimes their recommendations aren't good. Still, overall this is a very good strategy. No need to figure everything out by yourself, when you can stand on the shoulders of giants. :O)
Gautama Buddha said it perhaps best, "If somebody shoots an arrow into your body, are you going to refuse to pull it out until you find out who shot it and why?"
I'm not a Buddhist, but I believe he said this in response to exactly this question.
The word "buddha" by the way is Sanskrit for a person who has fully developed his or her "buddhi" which is our discriminative faculty (beyond our brain cells), so it is sometimes translated as "enlightened" or "somebody who can discriminate between the real and the unreal."
"Maya" is often translated as "illusion" and refers to the concept that the world isn't real. Well, our pain is certainly real, and the word "maya" means literally "it is and it isn't," which means that the world appears solid and has a physical appearance, but it's not the way we think it is.
Somebody who can discriminate between the "it is" part and the "it isn't part" can be called a buddha. The most famous buddha was Prince Gautama, and his last words to his followers were supposedly, "Whatever you do guys, don't make a religion out of this!"
The eye, the ear and the heart are all examples of irreducible complexity, though they were not recognized as such in Darwin's day.
Why would they be irreducible?
Certainly there is a lot to know about the seemingly simple eye. I had to go to an ophtalmologist who was a specialist in "the rear half of the eye." I raised an eyebrow, and he laughingly explained that just the retina and the vitreous tissue (the liquid inside the eye ball) were plenty enough for him to keep up with. He was overall the best MD I've ever seen (restored my eye sight for the third time too).
I expect that we'll keep finding new components of our eyes over the next many many centuries. But irreducible?
Nature is full of complexity, so what prevents our heads from just spinning at the sight of it? We choose the level of complexity we want to work at.
Like JPEG2000, when we get closer we see more detail. When we back off, we see more of the big picture.
Just look at our bodies. Jay, do you include every cell with your DNA in it in your persona? If so, what do you do with the mitochondria you have in every cell? They have none of your DNA, only the DNA of your mother's mitochondria. And the 5 billion or so (3 lbs. worth) of bacteria in your gut, the ones you couldn't live without. They are all individuals separate from you. Ditto the good cooties on your skin that do a pretty good job in protecting you from the bad cooties all around us.
The only things humans can create are imitations or derivations of what's in nature, because we don't know anything beyond this.
That's fine. Just like we have found out a lot about distant solar systems that we cannot observe directly, we can hear "the laughter from those who jumped over the wall," which is what Zen buddhist masters say when asked why anyone should bother with a religious or spiritual practice.
The nice thing about the established systems compared to New Age, is that they have mostly made all the mistakes and filtered out what doesn't work.
Still, I'm baffled by all the people who say they are Christians but don't know his teachings. They're all about fire and brimstone, and they simply don't know Christ's message of forgiveness, and all the good things he taught (however much those teachings were manipulated later by people who had their own agendas).
Some say "God doesn't forgive," and that is of course true in the sense that if you stick your head into the mouth of a lion, unless you have extreme B.O. you'll probably get your head bitten off.
Trust the Lord and pass the ammunition!
(I like this old frontier saying, because it implies that we have to do our duty too, if we are able. If we are not able, we can pray with purity and help will come. There is no doubt.)
Bob, that just might be an interesting read, indeed.
The author, Susan Neiman, asks, "Can there be meaning in a world where innocents suffer? Can belief in divine power or human progress survive a cataloging of evil? Is evil profound or banal?"
Answers to such questions can be found, if one knows where to look. Evil is nothing more than the opposite of goodness (or righteousness, from a religious perspective). After all, there must be opposition in all things.
To be sure, I have not read the book, I have only visited the site of the publisher, Princeton University Press. There they state: "Evil threatens human reason, for it challenges our hope that the world makes sense."
This life is a schooling; it is a place we come to learn and be tested. Not everything that is untoward is necessarily "evil." For example, the tsunami that hit last year (?), that wasn't "evil", that was the result of a natural event. The loss of life was tragic, indeed, but there was no "morally reprehensible" act involved.
On the other hand, human trafficking of sexual slaves, now that is evil--morally reprehensible! Such things are brought about by man, not by God.
Much of the misery (and all of the evil) in the world man has brought upon himself. Man has his agency, the ability to freely make choices. We can certainly control what choices we make, but we cannot control the consequences of our choices.
They also suggest: "Whether expressed in theological or secular terms, evil poses a problem about the world's intelligibility."
Evil can fully be understood when studied within its proper context. The unfortunate truth is that a secular studying will yeild no satisfying results and certainly no insight will be gained as a result of such study.
Only when evil is examined within the context of how it is in opposition to Divine goodness, and why, can one ever really hope to gain a sound understanding of the necessity of it.