Friday, November 14, 2008


So in my religious studies capstone class we are discussing Manichaeism. One of the more interesting aspects is the concept of dualism in the religion. In essence, the Manichaeism faith believed that good and evil (light & dark) have always existed. They are in co-equals in eternity. Good is made up of light particles, and bad is made up of darkness. So all of the bad in this world comes from the darkness. As humans we are a made up of a "mixture" between the light and dark. The goal is to get all of the light back to a heaven like state (though some light has to be sacrificed to keep the darkness in check basically). The interesting part of a dualistic system is that it is able to explain why there is evil in this world without blaming God by attributing evil or the allowance of evil to God. It is the darkness. The light is good, but the darkness has existed forever too.

Now I am not a proponent in beliving in Manichaeism but the class has challenged me in my notion of where does evil come from and why is it allowed to exist. At one point (in my understanding) all there was, was God. God then proceeded to create everything, including the dark angel satan. Evil then came into existence. But how? Why did God allow it to happen? I have heard people say that He allowed it because it then allowed for free will choice of God over forced choosing. That makes sense, but it leaves the idea of evil still existing. Did God create satan knowing that satan was deliberately going to rebel? When did satan first have an evil thought? Was satan created perfectly but then fell? The serpent helped adam & eve fall, who helped satan? All of the issues and philosophy of evil are swirling in my thoughts right now, especially because my good friend Jason is reading a book by Greg Boyd on the subject.

All this to say I know that God is good. God is love. God is grace. Without an understanding of the origins and complexity of evil, I still know that I need God. But I still wonder all the same.


Jeremy said...

This is an interesting discussion indeed. If you want to continue challenging your ideas on this topic, I would recommend this very intriguing book:

A Theology of the Dark Side

Richard said...