Wednesday, March 02, 2011

My Two Cents

I left a couple of comments on A Heathen Reads the Bible's post on the story of the golden calf:

Comment 1:

"Jehovah repented of the evil which he said he would do unto his people."

If not using the original languages, you should check several translations to gather the nuances of the words used. The word translated here as "evil" can also be translated as "disaster" in the NIV (both 2011 and 1984) and the English Standard, "harm" in the NASV, "terrible disaster" in the New Living Translation.

Also, the word "evil" can mean several things in English, e.g., hardship or dangerous, as in "evil times."

Comment II:

I call this the problem of perfection, though I'm sure there's some theological term for it that I'm not familiar with. Anyway, when you posit a perfect being, at some point their attributes will come into conflict. In this case, God's perfect justice and his perfect mercy come into conflict.

The only way the paradox can be resolved is if both perfect attributes are maintained at the same time. I know I'm jumping way ahead in the book, but the paradox is resolved in the suffering Savior. God's perfect justice is satisfied by a perfect substitute taking the full penalty, whereas his mercy is shown to the people whose lives he spared. Even though God "changed his mind," he maintained both his justice and his mercy by transferring the penalty for their sins to Christ. In this case, Moses pleaded with God and at his request God administered mercy.

Jumping ahead once again, in the Psalms you'll run into some imprecatory psalms, in which the author prays to God administer justice to his enemies. It works both ways.


Blogger Noumenon said...

Me like.

2:27 AM  

Post a Comment

<< Home