What is evil? Why is there evil in the world?" This is one of the most fundamental and important questions that every person asks.
- Christians have answers to these questions.
- When the same questions are given back to the world – answers come back empty.
- Here are some examples of the worlds interpretation of evil:
- Some people chose not to talk about it – ignore it.
- Doing something bad and feeling good about it.
- A child going to bed hungry.
- It’s something natural to our nature.
- It’s what appears not to be good to other people.
- Everyone acknowledges that evil exists
- Some people say it’s necessary
- The devil has made evil look exciting
A - Primary Doctrine – Laying down the foundation of Anthropology
- The knowledge of Man and God
- Who is Man? Who is God?
- The answers to these two questions form the foundation of every one's worldview.
The nature of Man:
- Self awareness
- Deep search for meaning and purpose
- Sensitive to moral concerns
- Hungry for relationships
- Capable of doing evil
B. The cosmic battle within
- The battle within – Galatians 5:16-17
- Our sinful nature is in constant conflict with God's Spirit – Romans 7:15-25, Romans 6:12, Romans 8:5-14.
The battle over Anthropology >> Truth (reality) vs. Lie (Illusion)
“The Pernicious Lie” >> The lie which says things will be better if we do it our way instead of God's way. That we can get a better deal if we follow our own wisdom and desires than if we live life the way God said it should be lived.
The Biblical view of man:
His essence >> made in the image of God
His Moral state >> dualistic
His Need >> Redemption
II. Man’s Essence
Cataclysmic events have caused various states of man
A. States of man
- Mode 1: Innocent >> Result of creation (Genesis 1:27)
- God created man in the image of God
- Mode 2: Fallen >> Adam and Eve decided they could get a better deal on their own than doing things God's way (Romans 5:12, Genesis 6:5)
Hell – If man transitions over to the “death” state at this point, then the state he will go to is “Hell” (Revelation 20:15, Hebrew 9:27)
Descriptions of man in a fallen state: Evil, Dead, Blind, Deaf, Lost, Rebellious, Without hope, Haters of God, Desperately wicked, Children of the devil
- Mode 3: Redeemed >> Revelation 5:9
Glorified – We will be raised in a new spiritual body >> we call it “being glorified” (1 Corinthians 15:42)
Descriptions of the new man: The redeemed, Saints, Priests, Called-out ones, People of God, A holy nation, Children of God, Sons of God, Beloved, Born from above
B. Dualistic or Monistic – Both flesh and spirit or purely material?
- Man still bears the “Image of God” in the fallen state
- We still carry and bear our sinful nature in our redeemed state
- We must live by the Spirit of God to avoid living in our sinful nature
- As believers, we are wrestling with this issue >> to live with our sinful nature (Romans 7:15, 18-20)
- his does not absolve us from responsibility
C. Naturalistic Philosophy Implications – No gods or purposive forces
- Corliss Lamont: Nothing exists out of the box
- Natural Man >> material beast
- We are “cause & effect machines” in the box Implications: No purpose beyond himself; No foundation for ethics; No Free will; No life after death; No ultimate meaning in life >> Dr. William Provine
- Paul Kurtz – The humanist alternative: “If man is a product of evolution, one species among others, in a universe without purpose, then man’s option is to live for himself.”
Science >> looking for the answer in the box.
- Haeckel’s Embryos – Fabricated drawings to present evidence for evolution.
- Ingrid Newkirk (co-founder of PETA) –
III. Man’s Moral State and Man’s Needs
A. Abraham Maslow – Hierarchy of Needs
- Man’s ultimate objective is:
a. Self Actualization
b. Getting in touch with your inner nature
c. Do what your inner desires want you to do
d. Follow your desires
- What a Pernicious lie!!!
B. Basically Good or sinful
- Depravity of Man
- Man’s propensity for evil
- Children are both the promise and the threat of the future.
The self-proclaimed “BTK killer” He confessed in 2005 to serial killing
C. Carl Rogers: Influential American psychologist and among the founders of the humanistic approach to psychology.
- His quote: “I do not find that evil is inherent in human nature”
D. Scriptural Truth
- Put to death your earthly nature – Romans 8:13, Colossians 3:5-10
- If you live according to the sinful nature – you will die.
- Our inner desires will lead us to death.
- Self actualizing humanity is dangerous
- IMAGO DEO vs. IMAGO Goo
- RC Sproul's Comments (video)
IV. If evil is not inherent in man, then where does evil come from?
A. Abraham Maslow – “Sick people are made by a sick culture…”
- Christianity restricts and suppresses self-actualization
- Christians are the problem
- The one we serve is the problem
B. Carl Rogers – “…experience leads me to believe that it is cultural influences which are the major factor in our evil behaviors.”
- If man is instinctively good, and it doesn’t come from human nature, then where does evil come from?
- They don’t have the answers
- They don’t even have the ethical language
C. Social Institutions and authority structures are blamed for man’s evil actions
- We currently live in a culture of blame
- Victim mentality – If I am basically good, then anything bad that happens to me must be caused by someone or something outside of me. I will always find someone or something to blame for my troubles or situation.
- That is why today we see in our culture so many social and political activists
- This provides basis for understanding the battleground over social Institutions today
V. Why should “evil” bother someone with a secular worldview?
The question of evil is more difficult for them than us.
- It’s survival of the fittest world
- We are products of the “dog-eat-dog” world
- The mighty are responsible of destroying the weak
Social institutions are the bad guys for the secular world >> oppression with authority is the cause of evil.
Recommended reading >> Life at the Bottom: The Worldview that makes the underclass
By Theodore Dalrymple.
- Doing what you like is not always a virtue.
- "You don't need to find yourself. You need to lose yourself. You need to have something which transcends yourself, in order to make your life meaningful." - Theodore Dalrymple Video
"We are the problem."
Evil, to put it plainly, comes from you and me - not from "civilization," "society," or the "chains and shackles of religion." Man made the unfortunate choice to violate his proper relationship with God - not because the devil forced him to do so, but because he freely elected, under the influence of temptation, to follow an analogous course of self-deification.