A John Hick Reader pp Cite as. Can a world in which sadistic cruelty often has its way, in which selfish lovelessness is so rife, in which there are debilitating diseases, crippling accidents, bodily and mental decay, insanity, and all manner of natural disasters be regarded as the expression of infinite creative goodness? Certainly all this could never by itself lead anyone to believe in the existence of a limitlessly powerful God. And yet even in a world which contains these things innumerable men and women have believed and do believe in the reality of an infinite creative goodness, which they call God.
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The Irenaean theodicy is a Christian theodicy a response to the problem of evil. It defends the probability of an omnipotent and omnibenevolent all-powerful and perfectly loving God in the face of evidence of evil in the world. Numerous variations of theodicy have been proposed which all maintain that, while evil exists, God is either not responsible for creating evil, or he is not guilty for creating evil. Typically, the Irenaean theodicy asserts that the world is the best of all possible worlds because it allows humans to fully develop. Most versions of the Irenaean theodicy propose that creation is incomplete, as humans are not yet fully developed, and experiencing evil and suffering is necessary for such development. Second-century philosopher and theologian Irenaeus , after whom the theodicy is named, proposed a two-stage creation process in which humans require free will and the experience of evil to develop. Another early Christian theologian, Origen , presented a response to the problem of evil which cast the world as a schoolroom or hospital for the soul; theologian Mark Scott has argued that Origen, rather than Irenaeus, ought to be considered the father of this kind of theodicy.
An Irenaean Theodicy
Hailed as the first great Catholic theologian. Through his writings he helped to establish the Canon of Scripture. His theodicy is more concerned with the development of humanity. Adam had the form of God but not the content of God. Adam and Eve were expelled from the Garden of Eden because they were immature and needed to develop, i.
Philosophy of Religion
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Key Thinkers: Irenaeus of Lyon. The ancient philosopher Irenaeus of Lyon is also known as Saint Irenaeus. Irenaeus became the Bishop of Lyon after his predecessor was martyred for refusing to give up his Christian faith. These experiences shaped Irenaeus' views of suffering as a test and a way of improving people's souls. The book that Irenaeus wrote on this On the Monarchy of God has been lost, so we only know Irenaeus' views from what later writers said about him.