A Question of Maleficence

Thinking about human obduracy, gormlessness, sin, and the world.

Quite a jaw full if I were to stand at a microphone on a dais in an auditorium. Since public speaking no longer appeals to me, I’m fairly certain I can keep that from happening, so here I am.

A quote by Dallas Willard (followed by some of my thoughts).

“I am of the considered opinion that there is no desirable alternative to a life that includes a certain amount of pain, struggle, disappointment, and suffering in general for human beings. But I am not trying to say, in the words of the good Pangloss, a character in Voltaire’s Candide (1759): “All is for the best in the best of all possible worlds.” Far from it! However, I am willing to say that it could be the best of all possible worlds for human life, were it not for human perverseness and stupidity.[1]
We as human beings have a long way to go. But no good will come of either blaming God for our ills or sitting around waiting for God to do what we ought to have the sense and ambition enough to accomplish for ourselves. God has put the natural abilities and means at our disposal with which to make this world a decent and pleasant place to live. This is precisely the reason why he will hold us responsible for failing at the task. And all those who charge God with the evil of this world lay themselves open to the charge of insincerity unless they are doing all within their power to dispel the evil of this world.” [2]

From: The Allure of Gentleness: Defending the Faith in the Manner of Jesus. Copyright © 2015 by Dallas Willard. All rights reserved. Used with permission of HarperCollins Publishers.

Question of Evil, continued.

Additional: (If I may add a few additional words in agreement).

 [1] Human perverseness and stupidity are explained satisfactorily enough in Romans 1:18-25 of the Bible. Plus, it is alluded to and pictured throughout the rest of the bible.

[2] Many of those who blame God for the evil of this world are insincere, even hypocritical because they are unable to name evil. They can’t define evil while they call good ‘evil’ and evil ‘good.’ In the darkness of their heart, they have become perverse in thinking, the root of foolishness. In this state of being, their fight is against what is good because they call it ‘evil,’ thus promoting what they would work to dispel.

Those who go further by denying the existence of God are in a worse state than the above. They have no way to identify evil in its actual fact because they are blind to it. They believe good is what their own foolish heart desires; therefore, sin is anything against their desires. They would be God of the five square-meter space they occupy, usurping personal quantities from others to increase their fiefdom. With this in mind, it is a little easier to at least understand the sense of feelings expressed in the Imprecatory Psalms.

This appears to point to the fact the world is becoming darker spiritually. And I believe that it may be growing darker in general. But beneath the darkness hidden is a spiritual light growing in intensity. It may seem only to be getting through the cracks at the moment. However, it is the Light that produces so it will ultimately dispel all darkness.

In a perfect world…well, that will be discussed when it does (and it will) come.


John 1:1-9

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.
There was a man sent from God whose name was John. He came as a witness to testify concerning that light, so that through him all might believe. He himself was not the light; he came only as a witness to the light.
The true light that gives light to everyone was coming into the world.

And He has “set His face like flint” to complete the good work He has begun!

6 thoughts on “A Question of Maleficence”

  1. A difficult topic handled very well GW. My heart is sad as I watch those who proclaim themselves Christians call evil good and good evil. The tragic end of Biblical illiteracy is spiritual blindness and deafness. Your closing words are ones of such hope “But beneath the darkness hidden is a spiritual light growing in intensity.” It reminds me of the Sunday School song -This Little Light of Mine. “Hide it under a Bushel no. I’m going to let it shine. . . . Don’t let Satan blow it out. I’m going to let it shine.” Thank you GW for the continued boldness in your writing!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, I remember that Little Light song, Beth! I try to imagine a wandering soul happening across this little blog during a testing of their spirit and having a germinating seed break surface and see some light of life. Possibly even steering them from a wayward path onto the right path. Thank you for your very kind words of encouragement, Beth!
      Yes, the end product of Biblical illiteracy is spiritual blindness and deafness. In this case I’m afraid it is Biblical rejection. If not turned back from falling away, they will remain with the Great desertion from spiritual truth.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. As I read your hopes for this post, I had to think of how you are living out Jude’s admonition in verse 22-23 “Be merciful to those who doubt; snatch others from the fire and save them..” I will join you in that prayer that the Holy Spirit will direct wandering souls to your site and they will be snatched from the fire. Many blessings to you today GW!

        Liked by 1 person


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