Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Plantinga - Chapter 2: Creation

"The way to thrive is to help others to thrive; the way to flourish is to cause others to flourish; the way to fulfill yourself is to spend yourself." This quote, found on page 22 of Engaging God's World speaks volumes to me. So often we spend so much of our time on ourselves, thinking of how we can thrive and flourish that we forget that the ultimate reward comes in helping others.

On the next page, Plantinga says that "Creation is neither a necessity or an accident." God did not create the world because it was needed and he certainly did not get bored and accidentally create the world. As Chesterton wrote, "the whole difference between construction and creation is... that a thing constructed can only be loved after it is constructed; but a thing created is loved before it exists." Creation was not a mistake on God's part and he loved us even before he created us.

Plantinga gives three reasons as to how human beings are like God. I do not necessarily agree with his statements. We cannot even compare ourselves to the divinity of God. We are not capable of anything God has done and we certainly cannot create something out of nothing.

In class we got into a debate about the material presented on page 35. Plantinga says, "...the original goodness of creation implies that all of it... is potentially redeemable... so everything made by God retains at least some part of its goodness and promise." Bjorn stated that according to some theologians there is no evil and that evil is simply the misuse of good. This started a debate of whether evil exists or not and if evil does not exist then who or what is the devil? It is my personal belief that every living creature is born good. Being a good person, however, is a choice made by the individual later in life. But if a person chooses to be 'evil' I believe that goodness can never fully leave an individual because it is part of their origin. Now some people may forget their goodness or choose to replace it with bitterness, vengeance, and destruction but that goodness still lies in their heart however inactive it may be. As far as the discussion of the existence of evil goes, I believe that evil does exist. Evil is the absence of good just as darkness is the absence of light. As Professor P. Ribeiro stated, "Evil is a parasite. It is there only because good is there for it to spoil and confuse."

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