Christian Apologetics - Lesson 7

Divine Omnipotence

Discussion about how the existence of evil is consistent with God's character.

Ronald Nash
Christian Apologetics
Lesson 7
Watching Now
Divine Omnipotence

The Problem of Evil

Part 2

IV.  Divine Omnipotence

A.  God does not violate the law of non-contradiction.

B.  Are there evils that cannot be eliminated without bringing about a greater evil or lesser good?


V.  The Christian's Basic Assumption about Evil

A.  God created a world that now contains evil and has a good reason for doing so.

B.  Two Questions

1.  Suppose we do not know what God's reason is?

2.  Why does the basic assumption stress the word "now"?

C.  How did evil enter the world?

1.  Augustine's Theory

2.  Degrees of Goodness

3.  Evil occurs when a lower good is elevated above a higher good.

4.  Satan elevated himself.

5.  Where did the impulse in Satan come from?


VI.  God permits evil to prevent a greater evil or lesser good.

A.  What are the alternatives?

B.  Reasons why evil exists


VII.  Final Considerations

A.  Who has the burden of proof?

B.  Does the naturalist cheat?

C.  Are there worse things than dying?

D.  Two Scriptures

1.  Romans 8:28

2.  Romans 8:18

E.  Marilyn McCord Adams, Horrendous Evils and the Goodness of God

All Lessons
  • Introduction to Apologetics.

  • Apologetics involves finding evidence and presenting arguments to defend the Christian faith.

  • Two prominent worldviews are Christian theism and naturalism.

  • The law of non-contradiction states that A cannot be B and non-B at the same time and in the same sense.

  • Explanations and responses to different worldviews.

  • If God is good and all powerful, then why does evil exist?

  • Discussion about how the existence of evil is consistent with God's character.

  • Your noetic structure, presuppositions and view of epistemology are important elements in the formation of your worldview.

  • Discussion of deductive presuppositionalism vs. inductive presuppositionalism.

  • Objections to inductive presuppositionalism.

  • Arguments for and against evidentialism.

  • Arguments for and against foundationalism.

  • Discussion of natural theology.

  • There are valid, sound and cogent arguments for the existence of God, but no coercive proofs.

  • Discussion of different arguments for God's existence.

  • One version of the cosmological argument for God's existence emphasizes God as first in time, another emphasizes God as first in importance.

  • A possible world is a way the real world could have been. Modal logic, propositions, state of affairs and eternal entities are some of the considerations when discussing a possible world.

  • Something is logically possible if its description does not include a logical contradiction. The existence of the laws of knowledge refute the system of naturalism.

  • Middle knowledge is a form of knowledge attributed to God by Molina.

  • Miracles are a dividing line and central to Christianity.

  • David Hume's rational arguments against miracles and responses to those arguments.

  • Two miracles central to Christianity are the incarnation and resurrection.

  • The question of whether or not Jesus is the only savior touches on pluralism, inclusivism and exclusivism.

  • Pluralism is the view that all religions have salvific value.

  • Inclusivism is the view that even though the work of Christ is the only means of salvation, it does not follow that explicit knowledge of Christ is necessary in order for a person to be saved.

  • Salvation is totally the work of God and all children who die in infancy are elect of God.

  • Discussion from a biblical perspective of God's character and attributes.

  • Open theists believe that God does not have a perfect knowledge of the future.

  • Divine omnipotence and divine omniscience are two attributes of God.

  • When contemplating life after death, remember, Jesus has been there and come back. Will you commit your life to him or reject him?

These lectures were given at Reformed Theological Seminary in Orlando, Florida during the fall of 2001.