That God took sin and its evil effects on himself is a unique contribution by Christian doctrine to the solution for the problem of evil. It is remarkable that, while knowing that he himself would become the major victim of the evil resulting from sin, God allowed sin to occur anyway. The Bible tells us that God was grieved by human sinfulness (Gen. 6:6). While there is certainly anthropomorphism here, there nonetheless is indication that human sin is painful or hurtful to God. But even more to the point is the fact of the incarnation. The Triune God knew that the second person would come to earth and be subject to numerous evils: hunger, fatigue, betrayal, ridicule, rejection, suffering, and death...God is a fellow sufferer with us of the evil in this world, and consequently is able to deliver us from evil. What a measure of love this is! Anyone who would impugn the goodness of God for allowing sin and consequently evil must measure that charge against the teaching of Scripture that God himself became the victim of evil so that he and we might be victors over evil.Millard Erickson, Christian Theology (Grand Rapids: Baker, 1998) 456.
Friday, September 19, 2008
Erickson on God as the Victim of Evil
A good insight from Millard Erickson's Christian Theology that I had never considered: