- God created stuff out of nothing (ex nihilo)
- Evil is a privation of good
- Creation is good
- Human beings were created perfect
- Everybody was seminally present in Adam when he committed the original sin, therefore they are punishable.
- Human beings have free will
- Human beings use their free will to turn away from God (the Fall)
- The Fall brought natural and moral evil into the world
- God foresaw the fall of man and planned their Redemption through Christ
- God made repentance and salvation possible
** Emphasis is on soul-deciding; people's response to evil decides their destiny
Free Will Defence
- Evil exists in the world due to Free Will
- John Hick: Soul Making => Humans are shaped through suffering, Human goodness comes through making free and responsible moral choices.
- Richard Swinburne: he addressed the sheer quantity of evil - he said a genuinely free person must be allowed to harm themselves and others.
- God could intervene or let them learn from the consequences: the latter allows them to express true moral freedom.
- Creation was not ex nihilo (out of nothing) but it was the achievement of order out of pre existing chaos.
- God's power is limited as the pre existing material is not subject to God's will.
- God only attempts to persuade and influence things into being.
- God is in time and both affects and is affected by the world (God depends on us).
- God can't control finite beings but sets goals that he has to persuade them to do.
- Evil occurs when such goals are not realised.
** God suffers along with us.
'Vale of Soul-Making'
- Irenaeus said humans develop towards perfection, he made a distinction between the image and the likeness of God => Adam and Eve had the form of God but not the likeness/content of God, Adam and Eve were immature and needed to develop into the likeness.
- John Hick developed this into a theodicy:
* 1st phase of God making humans in his image was the evolutionary process, creating humans who could essentially have relationships with God.
* 2nd phase = making beings that make moral, responsible choices in real life situations.
* God created a world in which its not immediately evident that there's a God.
* Human Goodness occuring through making free and responsible moral choices is more valuable than ready made goodness.
* Some moral goods are responses to evils and hence cannot exist without them.
** Evil = justified as it makes humans perfect.