Chapter 3: Phase equilibrium (C1160445)

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“For example, water, ice and steam are different phases,” Mandy remarked, “and water ice can be found in the hexagonal ice Ih, the cubic ice Ic, the rhombohedral ice II, and so forth.”
“The Epicurean paradox: Premise (1) God and evil cannot coexist. Premise (2) Evil exists. Conclusion (3) Thus, God cannot exist,” Em asked, “how do we respond to the criticism that in an ideal world, where God is all good and all powerful, there should be no evil? In reality, we observe evil, and at that, seemingly needless evil!”

“The fallacy lies in the 1st premise,” Mandy replied, “The atheist has to argue they not only emotionally dislike God and evil coexisting, but that it is logically impossible. C.S. Lewis says to those who believe God and suffering are incompatible, ‘have they never been to a dentist?’”

“Also, have they never heard of S&M ?” Mandy giggled.

“You naughty girl!!” Blaire replied, “Totally something we’d expect coming from your mouth, Mandy!”

“Because of our limitation of perspective, a God who providentially orders history through free decisions of humans is simply, incomprehensible,” Blaire adds, “akin to Chaos Theory explaining how a butterfly fluttering can cause a hurricane.”

“God has given humans free will, which must severely restrict Him,” Mandy replied, “there’s nothing to say this isn’t the best of all possible worlds.”

"Also, the Christian purpose of life is not happiness, but knowledge of God, which is happiness not only here on earth, but into eternity,” Mandy continued, “in the context of eternity, living 60 instead of 100 years may be analogous to saying ‘oh dang, just then, I blinked for one second rather than two’. It’s just as silly!”

“By looking at the evil in the world; and the bitterly cruel and shameful suffering Jesus endured on the cross so that we could overcome sin and death,” Mandy continued, “it becomes evident the true problem of evil is our evil, and not how God can justify Himself to us, but paradoxically, how we can justify ourselves to Him.”

“Why doesn’t everybody know God?” Emily asked.

“Although Christians have classically thought of God has omnipresent, His manifestation definitely isn't everywhere,” Mandy replied, “Even in the Garden of Eden, God could be encountered only in certain locations (Genesis 3:9). Isaiah 45:15 says, ‘Truly you are a God who has been hiding himself.’ Following resurrection, Jesus veiled himself so His disciples failed to recognize Him until prompted (Luke 24:13-35).”

“God hides Himself so (1) only those who want to know Him do, and others aren't coerced to know Him by the vividness of God's presence; (2) so that we can live life independent of Him if we want to, and can choose wrong if we like; and (3) so we have the opportunity to seek Him with all our hearts. Evidently, you can't seek something that isn't hidden to some degree. Proverbs 25:2 says 'It is the glory of God to conceal a matter; to search out a matter is the glory of kings'.”




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