Date of Award

2017

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts

School

Theological Seminary

Program

Religion, MA

First Advisor

MMag. Heinz Schaidinger

Second Advisor

Laurentiu F. Mot

Third Advisor

Zoltan Szallos-Farkas

Abstract

Topic

One of the most significant issues in theism is the obvious existence of evil and suffering. Thus many philosophers (especially Atheists) propose this fact alone negates the existence of an all-loving, omnipotent, and caring God. This attacks both the integrity of God and the coherence of the scriptural accounts. In response, theologians around the world proposed theodicies to show that the existence of a God, as portrayed in the Bible, is coherent with suffering in this world.

Purpose

The different approaches to this problem are categorized in four categories, outlined, and evaluated in one chapter about the most noteworthy theodicies. In the following chapter relevant Bible text passages about sin and Sin, as well as three narratives about suffering are carefully examined and their correlation is established. Because this new basis has some theological, apologetical, and practical consequences, the implications of it will be discussed in another chapter before coming to a final conclusion.

Sources

Throughout each period of time, there appeared one of (at least) four groups of scholars and theologians who tried to promote their opinion. Some pointed to the educational value, some to God’s foreknowledge, some to our free will, and others to the cosmic conflict behind the scenes. But this study indicates that important biblical aspects have been neglected and a closer examination of biblical narratives reveal the correlation between the creator-creation divide and our suffering.

Conclusions

A more in-depth study reveals four important biblical principles that are necessary for the basis of a sound theodicy: One, suffering is always fundamentally and directly linked to Sin (the creator-creation divide) as its causation. Two, there is primarily no higher cause for suffering – suffering is pointless. Three, God is mightier than Sin and its consequences. Four, there is always a higher cause for how God acts in our suffering.

Subject Area

Theodicy; Suffering--Religious aspects; Sin

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