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False Prophets
Deuteronomy 13: 1- 18

I received an e-mail this morning from a friend troubled by the evil in the world, as we often are, and wondering why God bothered to create it “if he is all-knowing and so on, and knew that there would be evil, genocide, starvation, dictatorships, etc. Surely it would be better that the world was never created than have all the suffering we see around us. It seems a cynical act.” She had talked to a pastor about this who, she said, “reckons God didn’t know that this would happen, but I can’t go along with that.” In my reply I said some of the things I usually say: I suspect God created the world because creating is simply built into existing, for God as for us; I think the “problem” of how much goodness and beauty there is in the world is at least as big as the problem of evil; and for Israel and for Christians, God’s activity in the world in events such as the exodus and the coming of Christ is a large part of what makes it inevitable that we keep believing in God’s goodness. But it was interesting that the pastor had wondered whether God knew how wrong things would go, and that my friend “couldn’t go along with” the idea that God didn’t know...

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