A comparison of Augustinian Theodicy and Irenaean Theodicy

1499 WordsDec 13, 20076 Pages
The problem of evil is a significant and enduring philosophical and theological debate. A question is often raised and discussed: if God is both all-loving and all-powerful, then how can evils-including natural evil and moral evil---exist in our world? In response to the charge that the evils of the world are incompatible with God's omnipotence and perfect goodness, the word"theodicy" is coined to deal with the problem of evil. Usually it is an attempt to show that it is possible to affirm the omnipotence of God, the love of God, and the reality of evil without contradiction. Two of the most well-known and most frequently discussed theodicies are the Augustinian theodicy and the Irenaean theodicy. The Augustinian theodicy was constructed…show more content…
God had to allow the possibility of evil, because if there were no such possibility man would not be free to choose good over evil. If there were no evil and suffering humans would always follow God's law because there would be no difficulties in doing so. The evils in this world are required by a God of love who seeks the development of his free creatures from their original innocence into fully mature spiritual beings. In other words, we human beings learn to be morally mature enough to grow closer to God. Evil can lead us to the final goodness and perfection. In this regard, God is partly responsible for the evil in the world. Second, Augustine sticks close to the biblical text, whereas Irenaeus ties his theory less to the biblical text. As the more authentically biblical view, the Augustinian theodicy is based on the Bible and does not contradict the scriptures; it follows the traditional Christian interpretation of the creation story in the Genesis: God creates the world perfectly in six days, Adam and Eve----the ancestors of human beings---live in the Garden of Eden happily, until one day Eve is tempted by a serpent and eats the forbidden fruits and is finally driven out of the Paradise. By eating the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil Eve commits the first sin. Augustine's theodicy could be seen as consistent

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