A Theistic and Pan-Theistic Problem

A Theistic Evolutionist who believes in God but believes that God created through the long process of evolution has some explaining to do. How does one account for death in the world?  If God created the world and used a process in which death was an element then I question what kind of a character God is.  Is He so unfeeling that he would plan to arbitrarily subject His creation, with no choice on their part, to suffering and death?  Is he like a pathological child that tortures animals and seems to have no feeling about it?  I’m not too attracted to Him if he is.

A Pan-Theist (One who believes that all nature is god itself)  has the same problem but maybe even worse.  The Pan -Theist admits that the god of nature has no personality or feeling but is the embodiment of good and evil, life and death with no care about it.  Neither is this kind of God appealing to me.  It’s incongruent with what I see in nature because animals as well as humans are capable of better feelings than this in their own personalities.

The Bible says”the wages of sin is death” ( Romans 6:23)  If death came long before sin was ever in the world then this statement and all the rest of the Bible is called into question.  The Bible says that “through one man sin entered the world, and death through sin, and thus death spread to all men, because all sinned”.  (Romans 5:12)

The Bible’s picture of a God who created the world and all the life in it in six days is much more appealing to me and much more consistent with what I see in nature.  Death was never meant to be part of God’s plan in this creation.  Men and animals were created to never die but to live forever according to the Bible’s view of God.  God loves life and so do we.

It is only because man sinned that death entered into the world. Death is man’s fault not God’s.  Unless you hold the philosophy of a Theistic Evolutionist or a Pan-Theist then you can believe that you are not responsible for death but God is.  Could it be that these ideologies have come about because we don’t want to take responsibility for what we have done to this world by bringing death into it.

2 Responses to “A Theistic and Pan-Theistic Problem”

  1. Van Says:

    Yes, Owen, the Theists and pan-Theists have some problems to explain. I would like to add some more to the list.

    The good news for the Theist is that the world’s population continues to grow. The birth to death ratio is about 2:1. And to give them even better news, the death rate is declining. OK, now for the bad news. The birth rate is also declining. This, coupled with the death rate means the world pop. is growing more slowly with a trend towards stabilization. The predicted trends are for this to continue, which may mean the population will peak and then begin a decline. So, the problem they must consider is this: If death is something that God placed in the system, it will, in time, be the dominant factor. This makes death more powerful than life and therefore God has no control over it and can do nothing about it and may even die Himself.

    For the pan-Theist the news is all bad. God will die and become extinct. You see, every 20 minutes, the world loses one or more entire species of animal or plant life, at least 27,000 species a year. Since, according to their belief, God is in everything, He is becoming extinct and will no longer exist. Of course, neither will they.

    So, on both fronts, the outlook is bleak. Therefore, I agree. Both seem to lead us to the idea that we can live our lives how we please with no thought to what the future holds and our part in that future. But the above scenarios in their belief systems should give them cause to rethink their views about God. What good is faith in a God who leaves little to no hope. I want a God who gives hope!

    BTW, the source of the above info is from the World Population Awareness and World Overpopulation Awareness website.

  2. Owen Bandy Says:

    True if God works through evolution then for better or worse (and as you say it could be for worse) the process will carry through to the end. Can He intervene and still be committed to evolution? Can we intervene to make life better? The Deist believes that God does not intervene. Why should we? If we did it would make us better than God. Are we better than God? (For an interesting look at how one group sees the ebb and flow of earths life check out the world clock under Friends of Truth.)

    Your point about the Pan-Theist is very good also. When some living thing dies then God dies too, He is becoming extinct. Maybe they believe that death doesn’t really exist. That the life of God (and us?) just passes from one material cocoon to another. So the only thing that dies is the matter part but not the spirit part. So death doesn’t really exist.

    The question that comes to my mind is: What part does sin play in the whole picture? If it is not sin that has caused death then of what consequence is sin? What does it hurt? Maybe if there is no death then there is no sin either?

    Both of these views sound to me like the Biblical view that Satan would have us believe. There is no sin, no death, and God doesn’t really care what’s going on here with us. It’s amazing how almost the whole world has bought into these ideas.

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