God has created different sorts of things. In particular He has created matter, which is simply controlled by His laws of nature (the laws we attempt to discover in the natural sciences).
He has also created spiritual beings, angels and human souls, which have free will; they are also governed by God’s laws—His commandments—but they are free to decide whether or not to obey. This freedom makes spiritual beings more like God than matter is, and gives us much greater dignity and value. Ultimately, the reason for freedom is to enable us to love; for love, by definition, has to be freely given.
It is therefore an indication of God’s infinite goodness and power that He has created such spiritual beings. Now it doesn’t make sense for God to give a being free will and then force it to obey His commandments. If God was going to do that, He might as well limit Himself to creating only matter. But if spiritual beings can disobey God’s commandments, then bad things can happen. Paradoxically, it is a mark of God’s goodness, power and love that He can create us with so much power that we can do bad things.
We need to add one more point. God is also all-wise. He knows that even if bad things can happen, He is powerful enough to restore all things at the end of the world—and that indeed is our hope.
January & February 2017
Recent Blog Posts
- Blog: 12.01.17
- Blog: 13.12.16
- Blog: 09.10.16On his blog and in a recent Catholic Herald piece (9.9.16) Bishop Robert Barron offers some excellent reflections upon a recent Pew survey looking at reasons why young people are leaving Christianity in droves. He well shows how Roman Catholic leaders and teachers are dangerously underestimating ...Read More
- Blog: 23.08.16
- Blog: 08.08.16On 23 June 2016 a referendum was held in which a narrow majority of voters in the United Kingdom (nearly 52%) voted in favour of leaving the European Union, the so-called “Brexit”. This contrasts with the large majority (67%) who had voted to join the then European Community in 1975. ...Read More
- Blog: 17.07.16Thirty odd years after this overview of twentieth century Catholic intellectual culture, the points of James Hitchcock seem even more relevant. Below are some extracts but the, significantly longer, full article repays study. [Post-mortem on a rebirth. The Catholic Intellectual Renaissance, from ...Read More