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HeavenThe Logic of Eternal Joy$
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Jerry L. Walls

Print publication date: 2002

Print ISBN-13: 9780195113020

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2003

DOI: 10.1093/0195113020.001.0001

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Heaven and the Problem of “Irredeemable” Evil

Heaven and the Problem of “Irredeemable” Evil

(p.113) 5. Heaven and the Problem of “Irredeemable” Evil

Jerry L. Walls (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

Arguments are then put forward to show that heaven is an essential resource for a satisfactory theodicy, and for making sense of, and resolving horrendous evil. The central issue is that of how God can be perfectly good even though he created a world in which terrible things happen that have a permanent place in history. It is contended that none of these evils are in principle irredeemable, even though the fixity of such evils is a problem, since Christians are encouraged to hope that not even evils with deep roots in the permanence of the past are beyond the resolution of God's grace; in heaven God will wipe every tear from the eyes of the redeemed. At the heart, the case made is the basic Christian notion that true happiness is found in a relationship with God, and nothing that happens to us on earth can separate us from God or destroy this relationship, which is entered into by accepting the grace of Christ, and allowing him to transform us into persons who will eventually be perfect like him. These truths provide the framework that makes it possible for us to forgive the things that have been done against us, even things of extreme wickedness or cruelty.

Keywords:   Christ, Christianity, cruelty, evil, forgiveness, God, redemption, theodicy, wickedness

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