In part one we looked at the concept that the Cosmos is all that is, was or ever will be. It that Cosmic Cube we find only impersonal matter and random chance. We and the rest of the universe area results of cause and effect, there is no transcendent God, there is no free will, there is no ultimate meaning to life. You live and you die and when you die you are dead. We find that we are ruled by our own needs and that there is no clear line between good and evil that can be drawn. We can go as far to say there is no reason to even assume we know what good or evil is. So what is the opposing theology? Lets us take a wonder down that path.
Christian theology has a very different perspective. In this article we will look at the states of man, or might call it the modes of man. Just like a digital watch when you want to change the time you change it to the time change mode, man also has had mode changes. In the beginning "So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them;" (Genesis 1-27) We were created in the image of God, imago dei In the beginning man was pure and innocent given the task of tending what God had given him. Being made in God's image we had the gift to love, to think, to show compassion and we had the gift to choose. That is perhaps the most wonderful and yet most tragic gif of all. Man was asked to not do but one thing “You are free to eat from any tree in the garden; 17 but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat from it you will certainly die.(Genesis 2:16-17) And we know what happened we chose poorly. The results was a change in the state or mode of man We can call this new mode "Fallen"
Man has changed modes. "Therefore, just as sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, and in this way death came to all people, because all sinned"(Romans 5:12) We know live in a fallen state a state that is no longer pure. We were given the choice to believe the truth claims of God "You will surely die" or the truth claims of Satan, the world and the flesh “You will not certainly die,” the serpent said to the woman. “For God knows that when you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.”(Genesis 3:4-5) Instead of bringing us closer to God it separated us from God. We now have the choice to decide to follow evil (sin) or good ( God). From this mode there is only one transition to make without any outside influence coming upon us. That mode is death.
In this fallen state we tend to follow our own desires and our own flesh. And when we do this man is capable of some unspeakable horrors. Our hearts are wicked and their desires can, will and have take hold and we give in." The LORD saw how great the wickedness of the human race had become on the earth, and that every inclination of the thoughts of the human heart was only evil all the time" (Genesis 6:5) The words to describe man in this state are not kind. Wicked, adulteress, evil, fallen, idolatrous, enemy of God, blind, deaf lost, without hope, children of the devil. Not a very pretty picture and one that unfortunately does a good job of describing the world we live in. Charles Spurgeon said " You cannot slander human nature; it is worst than words can paint it" He is so correct, evil is a matter of man's choice and we know evil because we once knew good and we still do. "They show that the requirements of the law are written on their hearts, their consciences also bearing witness" (Romans 2:15) We know the difference because we are made in the image of God. He has written the laws on our hearts and we choose many times to ignore our own conscience and proceed to do what out nature calls us to do.
There is another state that man can move to from this position and it is an easy transition but a difficult one to bear. "For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life."(John 3:16) God gave us the means for this transition and we shall call this state Redeemed. ...with your blood you purchased man for God from every tribe and language and people and nation" (Revelation 5:9) There is one thing that we carry through out every one of these modes. That one thing never changes and is always with us and that things is the image of God, Imago Dei.
Man in this sense is dualistic not monistic as we stated in the previous article. We are both body and spirit, we have a soul, a conscience a self awareness that is not found in the extent it is found in man in any other creature. There is another thing we carry with us in the state and that is our sin our evil our propensity for bad. And that is where the battle lies. We have the want to do great good and yet many times our own nature for evil comes out and we do not do the good we want but the evil we do not want to do. " So I say, live by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the sinful nature. For the sinful nature desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the sinful nature. They are in conflict with each other, so that you do not do what you want to do" (Galatians 5:16-17) God has give us in this redeemed state His Spirit to dwell in us and to guide us. This is a cosmic battle we cannot win on our own, and when we try we more often fail then succeed. The comparison between the idea that we are created from only the stuff in the cube and a created in the image of God are what rules and controls our world views and how we live in this world. The implications of these opposing views are enormous.
If we follow the idea that man is just a product of the stuff then evil is non existent there is only the stuff and man does what he does without purpose or meaning. Paul Kurtz a devote humanist said this If man is a product of evolution (the stuff) one species among others in a universe without purpose then man's option is to live for himself" That is what we do we live for ourselves and that is a formula for evil. That is a formula for ruin. Clarence Darrow in the scopes trial put it well The purpose of man is like the purpose of the pollywog to wiggle along as far as he can without dying; or, to hang on to life until death takes him" If that is my purpose if I am just a cause and effect of the stuff then why not just end it all now? Why should I do good? Why should I care about evil? Why is there evil?
In contrast if I am made in the image of God and I carry with me His truth claims. If I know that He is the ultimate source for good the I carry with me a cons conscience a compassion and a propensity to do great good. It is a worldview that contains God that shows us that there is good and by contrast evil. It is our ability to choose our free will that creates either great good or great evil.