Friday, June 20, 2014

Discovering God's goodness

Why trust Scripture to be a true revelation and guide if God is not good in some way analogous to our best ideas of goodness? 
You sacrifice not only your child but also your moral intuitions in the name of worshiping a God whose “goodness” is utterly at odds with the normal meaning of that term.
i) Walls and Olson routinely make statements like this. It's part of their stereotypical case for Arminianism. They begin with their preconception of goodness, which they self-servingly equate with the "normal" understanding of goodness. They don't cite any polling data to back up their sweeping claim. Instead, it's just a circular exercise in defining "goodness" by reference to Arminianism.
ii) But there's another flaw in their methodology. Necessary, the very existence of evil should affect our understanding of what God is prepared to do or allow. Necessarily, the kinds of evils we observe in the world or see narrated in Scripture should inform our understanding of what God is willing to do or allow.
Therefore, this topdown methodology, in which Arminians begin with pious abstractions, with their preconceived idea of what a good God would tolerate, is an artificial postulate that fails to connect with the facts on the ground. What a good God would do, permit, or prevent, is something we must learn from revelation and experience. That's something we discover, not something we intuit. 

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