Monday, May 9, 2011
Written Mar '10: God is Good, to Himself?
I have trouble reconciling that God is good. Something is described as good when it is beneficial toward another party. For example, Tylenol is called good because it is beneficial for those in pain. Charity is good because it benefits the poor. A musician is good if he pleases the listener. I know a strong Christian girl who is dying of cancer at the age of 29, despite the continual prayers of her family and friends. This is not beneficial to her, period. To persist that God is still good in that situation, we need to determine who God was beneficial to. We could claim that God was beneficial to her spirit in the afterlife, but this idea removes God’s goodness from mankind and transfers it to a theoretical dimension. Now God’s off the hook; his goodness can’t be experienced or disconfirmed. Or we could claim that the situation brought glory to God, in which case God was beneficial to himself. Something that benefits itself does not fit the definition of good. When a Christian can’t make heads or tails of a devastating situation, he resorts to last lines of reasoning such as, “God knows better than we do, God’s plan is perfect, God works out all things for good, the Lord works in mysterious ways, it will make sense when we meet God, may God be glorified through this.” These statements amount to unfounded insistence that God is good even when it appears he’s not being good to us.
Posted by David Baker at 3:46 PM