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God's Problem by Bart D. Ehrman Notes

God's Problem by Bart D. Ehrman Notes

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Published by Haiden Morgan
Notes I took as I read the book God's Problem by Bart D. Ehrman. I would completely suggest reading this book if you ever have questioned the problem of suffering in the biblical texts. He is very good at describing and interpreting the bible.
Notes I took as I read the book God's Problem by Bart D. Ehrman. I would completely suggest reading this book if you ever have questioned the problem of suffering in the biblical texts. He is very good at describing and interpreting the bible.

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Published by: Haiden Morgan on Mar 24, 2009
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05/10/2014

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God’s Problem Notes 
 
1
Bart D. Ehrman
Chapter: Preface
-For a more in-depth explanation:
 
James L. Crenshaw’s
 Defending God: Biblical Responses
 
 
Antii Laato’s
Theodicy in the World of the Bible
-Bart D. Ehrman was born & raised Christian:
 
Reared as an Episcopalian, altar boy.
 
Moody Institute in Chicago – Ministry.
 
Princeton University – Ph. D in New Testament Studies.-Says the more he studied, the less he believed.-Left the religion “kicking and screaming”.-Could not explain an all powerful ruler, given the state of the world.-His wife does not wrestle with these problems as he does.-Quote: “
 If God had come into the darkness with the advent of the Christ child, bringingsalvation to the world, what explains the state of the world?”
-Why does God not again come into the darkness?-Where is the God of the patriarchs, the God of Exodus, the God of the Israelites?-Why does a child die approximately every 5 seconds of hunger?-Quote:
“Some think they know the answers, others are not bothered by the questions. am simply just not one of those people.”
-Does suffering come as punishment for sins?-Does suffering come from God’s cosmic enemies?-Does suffering come as a “test” to the people, and if so is that bias to sin?-Some explain suffering as a mystery and that it is wrong to even question it.-If the above statement is true, how must God gauge the severity of your answer tosuffering being wrong, are some people “more wrong” on their answers?-Some say we should sit down and shut up, or “eat, drink, and be merry.” Yes, somepeople explain the natural right of curiosity (which every human is born with) as a sin.1
 
God’s Problem Notes 
 
2
Bart D. Ehrman
-Is it not sick to think that God set up a world that not only allows, but requires him topunish, kind of like the
 Marijuana Tax Stamp Law
in American history.-Can all 3 of these statements be true at once?1.
 
God is all powerful.2.
 
God is all loving.3.
 
There is suffering.-Quote: “
 If God is all powerful, then he is able to do whatever he wants, therefore able toremove suffering. If God is all loving, he obviously wants the best for his people, and therefore would not want them to suffer. Yet people suffer.
-Some deny one or the other of those statements, from reading these some explanations:1.
 
Rabbi Kushner explains that God’s hands are tied, and so he is the one to standaside you and give you the mental strength you need to endure the suffering;therefore God is not all powerful, therefore the Judeo-Christian God is not God.2.
 
Elie Wiesel expresses that his anger toward God is how God has treated hispeoples, and argues he is
not 
all loving, therefore, not God.3.
 
Still some argue “there is no suffering.” I quite frankly disagree with this andbelieve it is bizarrely disconnected to the real world problems of today.-Some argue that his people have violated law or have gone against his will, as theHebrew Bible explains, and he is bringing suffering upon them to force them back to hiswill; as long as it is the wicked that suffer I support this theory, but as you can obviouslysee, this is quite obviously not true. The rich get richer and the poor get poorer.-What about the wicked that prosper at the sacrifice of the innocent who suffer?-Epicurus’s old questions:1.
 
Is God willing to prevent evil but not able? Therefore he is impotent.2.
 
Is God able but not willing? Therefore he is malevolent.3.
 
Is he able and willing, thence evil?-Quote: “
 A world in which American farmers are paid to destroy their crops and most  American’s ingest far more calories than our bodies need or want”
-Look into the French philosopher’s book 
Candide
2
 
God’s Problem Notes 
 
3
Bart D. Ehrman
-On the other side of this argument about free will and people that are just badlyexercising it, biblical authors knew nothing about
not 
having free will. They knewnothing of robots or machines, therefore had no reason to consider the fact.-The free will explanation only works if you do not consider naturally occurring eventssuch as hurricanes, tsunamis, tornados, drought, etc.-How will free will operate without suffering in the afterlife?-You can’t argue God was not
able
to give us the intelligence necessary to function withfree will and not result with suffering if you are to claim he is all powerful.-Why does God only intervene in the distant past? Or only sometimes when he:
 
Destroyed Egyptian armies.
 
Fed multitudes in the wilderness in the times of Jesus Christ.
 
Counteracted the Roman Governor Pilate’s plan to destroy Jesus (raising Christfrom the dead).-The Bible contains
many and varied 
answers to the problem of suffering.-The vast majority of dying are absolutely miserable, so how is God ”intervening” byproviding strength, nobody would begin to make it or relieve they’re pain withoutmodern medical intervention.-The book of Job gives two completely different answers (views) on suffering.-Note-to-self: Read the Book of Job.-“
The Prophetic answer found in the Hebrew Bible is at odds with the Jewishapocalypticists such as Daniel, Paul, and even Jesus himself.”
-Some social alienation of gay’s comes directly from simple-minded Bible “believers”who insist gay relationships are condemned in Scripture; as it turns out this issue is barelydebated. People who believe that also are people who choose to accept only parts of theBible they want to accept or read.-The
same
book that condemns same-sex relationships also requires you to stone yourchildren to
 DEATH 
if they disobey, to execute anyone working on Saturday, to executeanyone who eats pork, and to condemn anyone who wears a shirt made of two differentkinds of fabric.-Bart (author) finds it morally repulsive when theologians describe ‘evil’ as an ideabecause of how disconnected that theory is from reality.3

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