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Harartiology Case

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  • Category: God

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In order to better understand Hamartiology we must first begin to unravel the place in which Hamartiology originally derived. Hamartiology technically is the study of sin. Hamartiology, in the original Greek, literally means missing the mark. In order to get a better understanding of the study of sin, we must first means one must first look at where sin first began. The first sin and disobedient act against God can be found in Genesis 3. This occurred briefly into the beginning of creation. After God created man and woman in Adam and Eve, he then commanded them to stay away from one particular tree. Satan showed up symbolized in a serpent to tempt Eve to eat fruit from the forbidden tree. In her human sinful nature she proceeded to take that first sinful bite.

The problem of evil, also known as theodicy, is simply a label for a serious of problems involving God and evil. One of these problems lies in the question of why the righteous suffers. Another one of these questions raised concerning the problem of evil is whether God does good or if he does evil. This problem of evil is not bound to Christian theology, but stretches over many other religions not only in the Western world.

There are two different categories of evil. Moral evil is evil produced by activities of moral agents. Natural evil is evil that occurs in the process of the functioning of the natural order (Ewell).” Moral evil are things like crime, slavery, prejudice, and other injustices. Examples of natural evil are things like hurricanes, tornadoes, cancer, and other things of natural order. Theodicies must be internally consistent because nothing can be contractive. It must be relative to the specific theology that it addresses (Ewell 1884). The theodicy of evil exists because of the gift of God’s gift of free will to man. Therefore, God did not necessarily create evil in itself. Because of man’s free will, Eve’s free will, evil was born. There are different views of theodicy. Leibniz’s theodicy states that God Augustinian theodicy argues that God created the world perfectly. This theodicy also states that Adam and Eve introduced sin to the world. The Irenaean theodicy primarily focuses on humanities development. Irenaean theodicy argues that we are in a moral state to begin, but can reach moral perfection. This theodicy lastly states that God brings suffering for our benefit. Last but not least is the Free-Will theodicy.

Free-will theodicy states that God is not responsible for evil, but because we are free moral agents with the ability to make our own choices, we are ultimately responsible for all the sin and evil in the world. Personal experience of evil has the potential to seriously affect one’s relationship with God. Someone who has seen immaculate amounts of tragedy and trial within their life may not understand God’s goodness like some who have been dealt an easy hand for a majority of their life. I lead a bible study for middle school students on Monday nights. Tonight they were asking questions about Satan, hell, and why “bad things happen.”

In answering their questions, I struggled a bit in attempting to explain this. As a selfish generation, it is difficult for us to understand when God does not automatically instantly work out the plans that we have made in mind for ourselves. Strong believers though, who are intimate with the God of all Comfort understand that though bad things and trying time arise, God is still good and still God. However, those who are faced with evil and do not believe and comprehend less why God lets bad things take place. Personal experience of evil can really shake a person’s faith. Nonetheless, the God whom I serve wins over Satan every time.


Grandberg, L. I., and J. R. Root. “Marriage, Theology of.” In Evangelical Dictionary of Theology, ed. Walter A Elwell, 2nd ed., 743-44. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker, 2001.

Wallace, R. S., and G. L. Green. “Christology.” In Evangelical Dictionary of Theology, ed. Walter A. Elwell, 2nd ed., 239-45. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker, 2001.

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