Fantasy and a Christian Worldview, Part 25


I’ve had an extra day to do some thinking and reading about evil. I am more and more satisfied by the idea that evil is the absence of God.

It makes total sense. God says in His Word that He is good. Without Him, goodness is not, and this absence of goodness we call evil.

In so defining evil, I am not denying its existence. No more so than I would deny the existence of cold by saying it is the absence of heat. I’ve been cold to the point of shivering. I’ve responded by turning up the heater or putting on a jacket. I know that people die if their bodies get too cold and this happens more quickly in cold water. Cold can be deadly. I would never dismiss it as unreal. Nevertheless, it is still the absence of heat.

Thanks once again to Beth Goddard for pointing out that analogy. I ran across the same conclusion in When Skeptics Ask by Norman Geisler and Ron Brooks (Victor Books, 1989):

We can deny that evil is a thing, or substance, without saying that it isn’t real. It is a lack in things. When good that should be there is missing from something, that is evil.

That statement helped put something else in order. Mankind was made in God’s image, but sin created a gulf between Man and God—the gulf we feel in our hearts that was intended for relationship with our Creator. Some people call this the God-shaped vacuum in all of us. That makes sense to me if evil is the absence of God. We now have a hole in our nature.

The result is that we are open to evil acts, evil thoughts, evil attitudes—the evidence, really, of evil. These are things that leave God out: selfishness, pride, greed, covetousness and the like which play out as cheating, stealing, murder, boasting, bigotry, adultry, and all manner of wickedness.

Of course, I have not mentioned how Satan fits into all this. Once again, the definition of evil as the absence of good, the absence of God, fits. Satan turned his back on God, and Scripture is clear that God can have no fellowship with evil. How can He? God having fellowship with not-God. Such a statement reminds me of the mathematical principle that says you cannot divide by 0—it just has no logical meaning.

So Satan stands as the personification of not-God. He wants what God does not want. He loves darkness when God loves light. He lies when God is the Truth. He wants destruction when God wants to give life (and give it abundantly!) Truly, he is the enemy of our souls.

Thanks be to God who gives the victory. Who is the victory.

Now don’t forget—Monday I and a few others of our SF/Fantasy Blog Tour Group will start our focus on Donita Paul (and officially the tour gets rolling on Tuesday).

I will also make the announcement of an exciting event here at A Christian Worldview of Fiction—something you won’t want to miss. 😉

Published in: on June 17, 2006 at 10:16 am  Comments (7)  
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