Teodicé issue in Preterism?


#1

Hello!

I am a Danish believer in future universal salvation and a partial preterist. I wonder if anyone sees a problem in the ways God has dealt with Israel. Romans 11 / John 12v40 teaches that God had a plan in hardening parts of Israel and at the same time the Jewish war was a severe punishment. Any recommended way to look at this? The lesson of the overwhelming curses on their turning away from God?


#2

Welcome Joen!

I don’t see a problem with God hardening the hearts of people when I consider that He’ll ultimately have mercy on all, Rom. 11:32. We are in bondage to sin, born in bondage, until the Lord sets us free. And in order to work out His plan, the Lord leaves some people in bondage longer than others. And some people, like Pharoah, are actually strengthened in their opposition of God because God wills it so for that season. Pharoah was hardened, strengthened in his rebellion, by God so that God’s plan from a dramatic deliverance of both Israel and Egypt from the bondage of sin. Israel was in bondage, slavery to Egypt, but the slavery of Egypt, its bondage to sin that comes through oppressing others was even worse. So in order to deliver both from the evil of slavery and oppression, the Lord hardened Pharoah’s heart so as to reveal just how stupid, foolish evil is to both the Egyptians and to the Israelites. God also wanted to reveal to both Egypt and Israel that there is no other God except Him; the gods of the Egyptians were not gods at all, but fabrications of their own minds! Sometimes, often even, people must hit rock bottom before they will look up and realize the truth concerning the deception of sin!


#3

Thank you! I believe we can find comfort in the incorruptible destiny of man but I don’t believe we can explain the extent of suffering. These are hard thoughts but without the sovereignity of God there is no gospel. Those AD 66-70 days were very cruel. But then again the Futurists believe God is going to wipe out 1/3 of earth’s population.


#4

Yes, the problem of evil is a very difficult concept for traditional Christianity that affirms either ECT or annihilation. If God is good, how can evil exist and plague some, much less most, of those He claims to love? Of course, for those of us who believe in UR, the “evil” is but meant to teach us experientially how good, good is. It’s like the pain of childbirth, forgotten once the mother holds the child in her hands! It’s like the suffering that Jesus endured for the joy that was set before Him! In the Garden Adam and Eve chose to embrace the knowledge of good and evil; and we have been learning just how evil, evil is ever since! And we learn just how good, good is through the mercy and forgiveness of God!


#5

Dear Sherman, I don’t mean to attack your/our faith, but I think the extent of evil is a problem in any case. Yes, there is a huge difference between the God of ETC and of UR and yes thoughts related to the “Irenaean teodice” does explain something, but still it’s hard to understand the purpose in babies being raped and starved to death while an Almighty God stands by. Maybe I take this perspective because I live in a country where conservative Christianity does not stand very strong, but still. Here I believe we can only bow before God and believe in a purpose we can’t sense.