The Bible does not have something to say about every situation and circumstance. What it does clearly tell us is the reality of who God is and the nature of humanity. As we grow in our understanding of these two significant truths; we are more able to interpret situations around us.

In Semester One we looked in some depth at the character, or the essence, of the Triune God. So, let us spend a little time on a Biblical understanding of our humanity.

Tim Keller, in recent discussions about Hope and Fear[1], suggests that there are three perspectives with regard to understanding evil actions.

Using the example of the horrendous treatment of people in places like Auschwitz, during the mid-twentieth Century he suggests that humankind takes three views or determines three explanations.

Firstly, is the perspective that the perpetrators of these horrors were, in fact, people who had suffered injustice and unfairness themselves. Maybe, they had experienced family trauma, poor parenting or had not been treated justly by social policies. Such a viewpoint trivialises evil actions and takes away any responsibility.

The second perspective is that these monstrous acts were committed by particularly monstrous people. In other words, there are evil people and non-evil people. This assumes we are not like these evil people. This view is no better than the perspective of those who saw Jewish people as a lesser race; an ethnic group, who should be eradicated, otherwise they would pollute the world. This view denies any sense of human value and the belief that all people continue to bear the image of God.

The only correct view is a Biblically Christian view, that yes, we are image bearers of God but, as a consequence of our sin-corrupted nature, all of us are capable of such evil.

The discussion concerning evil must be initiated with our students, otherwise we risk them viewing God as vicious and angry or distantly disinterested. Can we overcome our evil tendencies? They can be overcome. We will explore that later in the series.





[1] Questioning Christianity – Hope in Times of Fear Tim Keller April 2020


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