Sunday, November 21, 2010

Sunday Quote: G.K. Chesterton on Evils

"Men do not differ much about what things they will call evils; they differ enormously about what evils they will call excusable."

- G.K. Chesterton - ILN, 10/23/09


Gregg Metcalf said...

Great quote! Thanks for sharing that today.

The Atheist Missionary said...

Is stepping on an any evil? Is a tsunami snatching a newborn from its mother's arms evil? Is the mating ritual of the red back spider evil? How about a lightning strike? Evil when it hits a kid but not when it hits a tree? Just wondering how you define evil because, apparently, your god made it all. Isaiah 45:7 (KJV): I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the LORD do all these things.

Unknown said...

The Atheist Missionary, I suspect your unfamiliar that the word translated "evil" can also be translated "calamity" depending on the context. I am wary of anyone who uses Ancient Hebrew, as it is translated in 15th Century English, to dissuade 21st Century Christians of the supposed foibles of their scripture.

Russell said...

Well said. I did a quick search and found that the NASV has "evil" as calamity. I wonder if our friend above always quotes the KJV, or only if it suites his need. Unfortunetly we may never know as it is easier to leave a quick soundbyte and refuse to engage in a useful conversation.

bossmanham said...

I've found that atheists cherry pick translations worse than some cults.

Ex N1hilo said...

God sends calamity. This may be hard even for believers to swallow; but the scriptures declare it plainly. And if God offered no explanation other than that He is the Creator and Lord, and that He can do as He wills with what He made, it would be enough.

Matthew 20:15a (ESV) Am I not allowed to do what I choose with what belongs to me?

Thankfully, in His grace, and to His glory, God has told us much about why He has permitted men who sin (all of us) to exist and to operate in this world; and why He has sent calamity and suffering into the world. God's righteous judgment displays His hatred for sin. Likewise, sending His Son to suffer at the hands of wicked men and to die in the place of hell-deserving sinners displays His lovingkindness and mercy, in a way that could never have happened if God had not intentionally let sin happen.

Could He not have simply wiped out Satan and the demons? Could He not have struck Adam and Eve down right at the point of their transgression? All without violating their creaturely freedom. There would then be no world of sin and suffering as we have today. But God, in His wisdom, willed that these things be. The end of it all is the exaltation of the greatness of the glory of the grace of God.

As John Piper has said, "It is not sinful in God that He will that sin be."

Piper's sermon "The Suffering of Christ and the Sovereignty of God" explains this better than any other exposition on sin and suffering I have ever heard. It can be found here:

Romans 2:9-11 (ESV) There will be tribulation and distress for every human being who does evil, the Jew first and also the Greek, but glory and honor and peace for everyone who does good, the Jew first and also the Greek. For God shows no partiality.

Davitor said...

So DannyPoo are you confirming that in the future let's say the 25th Century the current bible can be translated with other words to suite the context of future generations? Are you not wary that what your implying is that the original Hebrew and Greek version and words they used may be lost in future translations?
And Russell why don't you quote the original Hebrew version and translate it word for word or are you resorting to a quick sound-byte so as to refuse to engage in an honest rebuttal?
Guys I am not an Atheist but if we are going to convince Atheist that there is a God we better have honest answers.

Russell said...


I simply quoted the NASV. Where was I dishonest? Furthermore, what difference difference does it make to you? Just a few days ago, you told us that the scriptures were nonsense. I believe I am going to start keeping a file with all your posts, so that i can quote the numerous contradictions you present.

Unknown said...

Davitor, you said "are you confirming that in the future let's say the 25th Century the current bible can be translated with other words to suite the context of future generations?"

No that is a bit of a strawman, in your statement you are assuming that I would prefer the word "calamity" so that it "suites" my modern needs. This is actually not the case - you must be aware that unlike the English language ancient Hebrew had a very limited vocabulary and many words had multiple meanings. This is why words, especially difficult words, are determined by their context rather than my "modern needs".
What I am saying though is that the English language is evolving and that words develop different meanings. So yes 25th Century English - if there will be such a thing - will require a different translation.

Davitor said...

How are you certain that the men who wrote it in Hebrew did not intend for it to mean exactly that for then why use the same word.

Health is Wealth said...

"Men do not differ much about what things they will call evils; they differ enormously about what evils they will call excusable."-G.K. Chesterton. Personally I like this quote very much. Thanks for sharing!!

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