The irenaean theodicy

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  • The Irenaean Theodicy
    • Put forward by Irenaeus in the 2nd century
    • Ideas based on the Bible "Then God said. 'Let us make humankind in our image, according to our likeness'." Genesis 1v26
    • IMAGE : Intelligence (possessing the potential qualities of God's spiritual perfection)
    • LIKENESS : Completion (actualising and developing those qualities)
    • Irenaeus regarded life on earth as humans develop into their potential and grown from image to likeness
    • The evil and suffering they face are to help them achieve this
    • When ever a good choice is made, that individual develops a little more into the image (spiritual maturity)
    • He believed God did not create a perfect world
    • The presence of evil in the world was a deliberate action of an omnibenevolent God who wanted to make his creation develop the qualities that would make them spiritually perfect
    • A world full of evil and temptation is necessary for human development
    • You would not appreciate good health if you had not been ill
    • Characteristics like patience, perseverance and courage would not have been taught if evil and suffering was not present in the world
    • This development requires freewill to choose good or bad
    • ANALOGY God is a craftsman working with humans as his material trying to mould them into perfection by allowing experiences, good and bad, to craft us into what he wants
    • Those who do bad a resist will be punished in the next life but can earn god's forgiveness and further develop
    • Ultimately, all will be rewarded with heaven, some earlier than others
  • Ideas based on the Bible "Then God said. 'Let us make humankind in our image, according to our likeness'." Genesis 1v26

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