Re: Say a prayer......
Re: Say a prayer......
Referring to Gio as a nut is uncalled for. I think like the rest of us, Gio is looking for ways to prevent something like this from happening again. We don't know any easy answers, but somehow there needs to be a way to keep crazies from having access to the tools (in this case-firearms) that allow them to do such evil things. I have no problem with honest folks defending themselves and their property, and I have no problem with hunting and sport. I do find it disturbing that so many firearms find their way into the hands of unstable people. Answer? I don't have one.
For now, all we can do is pray for the families that are suffering. God will give them the strength they need to carry on. There will forever be the hurt and tremendous empty place in their lives.
Re: Say a prayer......
I'm sure there have been many "normal" people who have owned guns only to snap and use it in an evil way. Bottom line is evil can and does spring up anywhere, it just so happens that it usually uses a deadly weapon to conduct it's actions. The human condition is inherintly evil and the only way to rid hearts of evil is to fill it with the one and only God. The continued degredation of a wholesome culture will only continue to make these situations more prevalant. I can only imagine the horror for those lost and those left behind, and the best way to give our fellow man hope is to pray. That is what I can do and that is what I will continue to do
This is kinda preachy.
I have kept this in my favorites since the Aroura Colo. shootings.
December 14, 2012
Rapid Response: Responding to the Problem of Evil
Editor’s Note: The body of this Rapid Response was written following the Aurora, Colorado, shooting earlier this year. But as we mourn the shooting of more than a dozen young children in Newtown, Connecticut, questions of evil arise again.
Sometimes a pithy answer or intellectual zinger won’t do. That’s the case right now for the United States as we mourn the tragic shooting in Newtown, Connecticut, in the wake of Friday’s horrible school shooting.
How do we react to such evil? What explanations do we give to those grieving and questioning? What does the existence of such evil say about God?
In light of how many are facing evil of different sorts, we wanted to provide some succinct thoughts to keep in mind and resources you can turn to as you wrestle with the problem of evil.
Two Sides of Evil: Intellectual and Experiential
We need to talk about the problem of evil on two levels: the intellectual level and the experiential level.
The focus of the intellectual side of the problem of evil is the existence of evil itself. Namely, how can an all-good, all-powerful God allow evil? This is where we recognize, as Cornelius Plantinga did in Not the Way It’s Supposed to Be: A Breviary of Sin, that evil — both moral and natural — is a result of the fall.
The focus of the experiential side of the problem of evil is on the pain of personal suffering. Here, the question is, “Why did God allow that evil in my life?” For the families displaced by the wildfires that have burned through Colorado, or those who lost someone dear in the Aurora shooting, a seemingly-static intellectual conversation will not be the balm for deep wounds.
What We Can Say
- The existence of evil and the existence of God is not illogical. Recognizing the appropriate times for a discussion of the intellectual side of evil, there are discussions we can have to further explain evil. As Greg Koukl aptly wrote for Stand to Reason, it is not — as many like Bertrand Russell claimed — illogical to believe in a good God and the existence of evil. Paraphrasing Augustine’s views on the problem of evil, Koukl writes that evil is not actually a “thing.” Rather it is the absence of a “thing,” in this case good — much like a shadow is the absence of light or cold is the absence of heat. Therefore, since evil is not a thing, it could not have been created by God. Rather, it was the rebellious actions of man that created evil — circumstances void of that which is good. Koukl’s synopsis of Augustine’s explanation is a must-read.
- Christianity explains the existence of evil far better than any other worldview. Evil could actually be considered one of the strongest apologetic arguments for the Christian worldview, as C.S. Lewis argued. The fact that we are universally able to see evil as evil — even atheists acknowledge what happened in Aurora was a tragedy — reveals that we all share some notion of what is good. As Lewis put it, how can we know if a line is crooked if we have no notion of what a straight line is? On the other hand, those who deny the existence of God cannot explain why humanity recognizes evil when it sees it. Nor can they explain why some things are universally recognized as good or beautiful.
And the presence of evil reminds us that we are still in the midst of the narrative outlined in Scripture. The biblical worldview is the only worldview that both explains why evil exists and offers a realistic solution to evil: Jesus Christ — the Savior who suffered and wept both for us and with us.
What We Can’t Say
- We shouldn’t try to explain particular evils. As John Stonestreet recently explained, we shouldn’t try to reason ourselves into explanations for people’s specific actions. As he states it: “Applying logical answers for the existence of evil to the emotional and personal struggles associated with a particular evil is to miss how Jesus Himself confronted it.” As finite beings with limited perspective, we also must admit, as Lee Strobel did while addressing a Denver-area church two days after the Aurora shooting, that sometimes we simply don’t know why certain things happen.
- We can’t say it doesn’t matter. Natural tendencies often push us to be angry, sad, or bitter in the face of evil. Depending on circumstances, those reactions may be right or wrong. But one reaction to evil is always wrong: indifference and the tacit belief that evil does not exist — that evil is unimportant. To deny the existence of good or bad is to adopt the claims of naturalists and atheists. In a world created by physiological processes and blind chance, good and evil cannot exist. To ignore particular evils or evil in general is to deny the law, the Lawgiver, and the Savior.
What We Must Say
So where do we turn to find answers for those experiencing evil in the here and now? We turn to the example of Christ. In John 11, when Jesus is first approached with news that his friend Lazarus had died, He didn’t turn to offer a philosophical lesson. He didn’t resort to clichés to his grieving friends. Instead, he wept with them and shared in their grief. Furthermore, the cross is the ultimate example of God stepping into history to stop evil. Rather than allow evil to continue unchecked, Christ left His seat at the right hand of the Father and suffered horrible evil. The power here is not merely in Christ’s example, but in the consistent habit of God throughout Scripture to join humanity in its suffering, that God is not aloof from the world, and that even though Jesus knew he would raise Lazarus and transform a funeral into a party, he wept with his children.
Other Resources on Evil
- “Breakpoint This Week: Answering Evil,” John Stonestreet, Dr. Bill Brown, Dr. Cornelius Plantinga, July 28, 2012
- “The Problem of Evil,” Randall Niles and John Stonestreet, Think Again, April 1, 2012
- “Thinking Carefully About Evil,” Brett Kunkle, Stand to Reason
- “Littleon, CO: Where Was God?” Greg Koukl, Stand to Reason
- “The Problem of Evil is Everyone’s Problem,” Brett Kunkle, The Point Blog, March 14, 2011
- “Unspeakable: Facing Up to the Challenges of Evil and Suffering,” Os Guiness, Veritas Forum, November 19, 2009
- Posted at 02:26 pm by Summit Ministries
I am not trying to be preachy here so please take it in the spirit of understanding it is givin in.
Re: Say a prayer......
I have 3 little ones, Giorgio (10), Lucas (6) and Marco (2) and I would not want my son's or your kids to go through that horrific scene. Also, I know we all go through pain in different ways, some get sad, some get angry and lash out , it is normal. So I guess by me saying that I wish assault weapons were in the hands of the military and police as opposed to civilians is nuts and sick.? OK, call me names but give me the liberty to express what I feel right now. I have 3 kids and I want to take care of them now and in the FUTURE.
Re: Say a prayer......
Well said Giolucas,
I kudoed both posts for totally different reasons. Both supportive. I agreed with the gun comments but also did not what to see a thread of emotion turn to a rant on gun control.
The thread without comment was amazingly appropriate. And the reflection here on your human "Crop"(with greatest respect) is well thought out.
Your thread and more information in the news on the Conn. tragedy are spuring an entry on another subject I will probably take to the Business page later today------ for lack of knowing where to go with it---------- It it subjected more on the lines of "family" and "relationship". If you have time I would like to know your views on it.
thanks for what you have all given to this post and this marketing page overall.
Re: Say a prayer......
I`ll just say this in response to those that say "only military and police should have semi-automatic guns with a greater than 10 rd magazine" remember Abu-Ghraib http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abu_Ghraib_torture_and_prisoner_abuse ? Those where trained soliders that had psych evaluations and thought to be safe to be trusted with weapons. How about the Moslem Army guy that was actually a psychiatrist that went nuts and killed his fellow soldiers, would you trust that military guy with a semi-automatic gun with a 10rd or greater ammunition clip? I`ll say this tongue in cheek, but maybe no one can be trusted and we should all just remove our belts and all sharp objects and report to prison for our own safety.
My little sidney
7 years old goes to 1st grade in Broken Arrow. How tragic her loss would be and would mention the hundreds of kids that age that were or will be traumatized by such events. Not everyone injured in a war zone is wounded with a projectile. Evidence being those soldiers that return that are mentally challenged.
Keep the guns out of the hands of crazies might sound like a good plan but who is going to determine who is a crazy or a potential crazy? I don't need another gun and certainly not one with a 30 shot magazine and I would give up both of my guns in a heartbeat if I thought it might save even one life.
That being said, our real problem is the violent mindset. That people learn at an early age the violence is good as a resolution to conflict. We lionize the rambos, the dirty harrys, and make them heroes to be applauded and admired while our kids learn the wrong lesson of how to navigate in the world community and get along.
Young men thinking if they don't resolve problems with violence their very manhood is challenged.
What ever we do
Let's not consider that the abundance of fire arms along with inadequate regulation allows those with diminished mental capacities to possess those weapons and cause great carnage amongst the innocents.
If we are going to attempt to restrict ownership to those that are reasonably qualified to have them, then we have to develop a better way of identifying the crazies and the potential crazies before we hand them a fire arm. The truth is we don't even know what may cause you to flip out and raise such havoc,
We the people are expected to tolerate gun ownership by everyone until they flip out and shoot a bunch of people. After that we brazenly question why authorities did not prevent the monster from possessing a fire arm and that is after we do our damnest to prevent any meaningful regulation of fire arms.