Good and Evil. For each topic you will need to know a range of Christian views as well as your own viewpoint. This module covers 5 main areas:. Fist we need to know what Christian denominations we are discussing . The Christian Denominations.
For each topic you will need to know a range of Christian views as well as your own viewpoint
Fist we need to know what Christian denominations we are discussing
Christian do NOT all believe the same thing and are divided into different groups depending on faith and establishment
The Roman Catholic Church
This is called Original Sin
The Story of Lucifer
Lucifer was an angel in Heaven with God and all the other angels. However, he was not happy with his situation; he was jealous of God’s power. Lucifer challenged God, but God is omnipotent and easily defeated Lucifer, casting him out of Heaven into Hell below. Since then, Lucifer, or Satan, has worked to get revenge on God. He does this through causing pain and suffering to what God loves best: humans
Lucifer is the serpent in the story of the Fall
The Problem of Evil and Suffering
If God is omnipotent and omnibenevolent then how can evil exist?
If God is loving he would want to stop evil
If God was powerful he would be able to stop evil
So why doesn’t he?!
This means that God is not omnipotent (all-powerful) and therefore cannot stop the evil things that happen in the world
This theodicy denies the existence of evil. Evil is simply an illusion, it is simply a question of perception
This is the idea that God gave humans the ability to make their own decisions, whether they are right or wrong
This is the idea that in order for us to appreciate what is good in the world we must have something to compare it to; evil. It is about balance
This means that God is not omni-benevolent (all-loving). He does not care about evil existing the world and is not going to stop it for us
There are two very famous responses to the problem of evil: one says evil is humanity’s fault, the other says evil has a purpose in our lives
Augustine of Hippo
Augustine believed that evil and suffering was the fault of humans – it was created by Adam and Eve when they disobeyed God in Eden.
They brought about Original Sin, that humans today are still trying to stop. We all need to behave well to end evil in the world
Ireneaus of Lyon
Ireneaus believed that evil was a necessary part of life. Humans are made in the image of God – this is spiritual not physical. Evil is character building and helps to become more like God in terms of our understanding and patience. It makes us better people in the end.
Jesus and Suffering
Jesus was God incarnate: this literally means God made flesh. He lived for 33 years before being crucified by the Romans.
Jesus does not lash out at anyone but remains peaceful and forgiving throughout his ordeal.
It is due to Jesus’ death that Christians believe that we can be saved from our sins and are able to reconcile with God and become ‘at one’ with him if we genuinely repent and ask forgiveness
So, how do Christians know the right way to behave?
They have four pieces of evidence that tell them what to do
The 10 Commandments
These are guidelines given by God to Moses / Chosen people telling them how to worship God and how to treat each other
The Golden Rule
Jesus taught the Golden Rule to his followers in a number of ways:
Treat others as you want to be treated
The Example of Jesus
This fits into two areas:
What he did and what he said: this can all be found in the New Testament
Christians believe that the conscience is the God communicating with humans letting them know when they have done wrong
Who is Jonny Kennedy?
He is the subject of a documentary called ‘The Boy whose Skin Fell Off’. He has a rare genetic skin condition that causes him extreme pain everyday of his life and yet he carries on with a positive attitude raising money and awareness for the condition’s charity, DEBRA
He died in 2003 aged 36
Practice Exam Question
Good and Evil: this exam question is worth 24 marks
Remember: Part E is an ESSAY question and must be written in an essay style with PEE paragraphs in order to attain all 12 marks