christianity philosophy theology


It’s a common charge that believers simply (or simplistically) attribute ‘good’ and ‘evil’ to God or the devil depending on the results.

  • Good happens to us: God did it.
  • Good happens to enemies: Devil did it.
  • Bad happens to enemies: God did it.
  • Bad happens to us: Devil did it.

However, the providential monotheism of Judaeo-Christian belief holds that God is able to use even ‘evil’ events to achieve ‘good’.  One interesting example is the prophetic interpretation of God using the Assyrians to punish Israel and take them into exile – and at the very same time holding the Assyrians responsible for their evil assault.  Or take the actions of Judas.  He did evil in betraying Jesus, but for the biblical authors this was no surprise.

This is nothing other than the simple belief in a God who is sovereign over history, and ((in true jujitsu-like fashion)) brings about results through the genuinely free actions of created beings.  The more real the freedom of the creature, the greater the sovereignty of the Creator.  Because anybody can bring about a result through manipulating, say, a machine.

Again, this of course is not a post about God’s existence, but merely aims to distinguish the superstition of a lucky-charm god ((Which, admittedly, believers of all kinds and all times are tempted to make God into.)) from the providential monotheism of Jews and Christians.