We use cookies to give you the best experience possible. By continuing we’ll assume you’re on board with our cookie policy

Explain Hick’s Irenaean Theodicy Essay Sample

  • Pages: 3
  • Word count: 589
  • Rewriting Possibility: 99% (excellent)
  • Category: god

Get Full Essay

Get access to this section to get all help you need with your essay and educational issues.

Get Access

Introduction of TOPIC

John Hick’s Irenaean theodicy of soul-making is a response to the Epicurean problem, if God is omnibenevolent, then why is there suffering in the world? Unlike Augustine’s soul-deciding theodicy, the concept of original sin is not central to it. It states that we are made in God’s image (Genesis 1:26-27), and by overcoming suffering we grow into the likeness of God echoing a remark by C.S. Lewis, “pain is God’s megaphone to rouse a deaf world”.

Originating from Keat’s Ode to a Nightingale Hick uses the phrase, “a vale of soul-making” to illustrate that in order for one to grow and develop spiritually we need obstacles in our lives to be challenging. Anthony Hopkins, in his portrayal of C.S. Lewis in the film Shadowlands reflects on this idea when he says “the blows from the chisel that hurt us so much are what make us perfect”. Hick also asserts that “virtues are better hard won than ready made”, however, one must carefully unpack this statement and one could easily be seduced by Hick’s protestant work ethic. It mirrors Thessalonians 3:10 “He who does not work shall not be fed” which later became a socialist slogan. It is also important to note that there are degrees of hardnes

s with regards to suffering and in certain cases it can be too intense, for example, the third world

Sorry, but full essay samples are available only for registered users

Choose a Membership Plan
suffering in Ethiopia is easily soul destroying and not soul making.

The world is religiously ambiguous as we are created at an epistemic distance (not in spatial terms as God is incorporeal). By looking at natural theology the theistic hand becomes evident. This concept is outlined in John Wisdom’s The Parable of the Gardener, the gardener is analogous to God who is continually restoring beauty and order in the world. Alternatively, Richard Dawkins argues for a secular Neo-Darwinian view of the world arguing “design occurs through a step by step process of non-random selection”.

Hick employs a counterfactual hypothesis to answer the question of why the righteous suffer as much as or more so than the wicked. The hypothesis argues that a world where evil deeds were rewarded with suffering and good deeds rewarded with happiness would not enable us to grow spiritually and morally as we would be acting out of a desire for reward and fear of punishment. Self-regard and self-giving love could not occur. Innocent suffering, like of that in Matthew “the Lord sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous” (Matthew 5:45) allows us to show love and compassion to those who need it, for example, living a lower standard of living in order to give more to charity.

Hick’s theodicy postulates eschatological verification, the righteous ascend to Heaven and the wicked are damned to spend eternity in Hell. Heaven allows us to understand why we have to go through this process of suffering and demonstrates that God is truly holy if we require this altruistic growth. Hick argues that if the justification of evil and the universality of evil are within the creative process then salvation must also be universal, “only if it includes the whole human race can it justify the sins and sufferings of the entire human race throughout all history”. However, in The Brothers Karamazov Dostoyevsky, through the character of Ivan disagrees, arguing that the end (Heaven) does not justify the means (innocent suffering), Heaven is not worth this horrible process.

We can write a custom essay on

Explain Hick’s Irenaean Theodicy Essay Sampl ...
According to Your Specific Requirements.

Order an essay

You May Also Find These Documents Helpful

A Philoshpical Approach to the Finding of...

The question of God's existence has been debated through the history of man, with every philosopher from Socrates to Immanuel Kant weighing in on the debate. So great has this topic become that numerous proofs have been invented and utilized to prove or disprove God's existence. Yet no answer still has been reached, leaving me to wonder if any answer at all is possible. So I will try in this paper to see if it is possible to philosophically prove God's existence. Before I start the paper there are a few points that must be established. First is a clear definition of Philosophy of Religion, which is the area of philosophy that applies philosophical methods to study a wide variety of religious issues including the existence of God. The use of the philosophical method makes Philosophy of Religion distinct from theology, which is the study of God and any type...

A Day as a Gay

This essay is the story of my life, in a way. "A clean heart create for me, God; renew in me a steadfast spirit." Psalm 51:12 I was raised in a close, loving household and went to parochial school. When I began to experience attraction to male peers in junior high school, I didn't know what to make of the feelings. Mostly, I stuffed them down, decided this was an adolescent phase, and went along with my life. At 13, I began to masturbate daily, often fueled by fantasies of guys in my class. I told myself this phase would pass; however, when friends in high school started dating girls, bragging of their exploits, I couldn't relate. I knew many girls who were my friends, but I'd never felt the slightest spark of romantic interest in them. Through high school and college, I dated several girls and dutifully "made out" with a...

1st Corinthians

Corinthians is a letter written from the apostle Paul to the Corinthian people. In this letter, Paul logically approaches and addresses many issues. He advises on the quarrels in the Corinthian church. He delves into the issue of morality, telling what is and is not appropriate. Finally, he directly broaches the subject of church matters and faith. Throughout the letter, Paul stresses the unity of the church as well as an all-consuming devotion to God. To begin with, Paul describes how there is a division in the Corinthian church between followers of different leaders. He quickly chastises the people for being so foolish as to squabble. There is but one God and the various leaders are inconsequential because they should all be united in worshipping the one true God. They have faith in God, not men. This makes a great deal of sense and is perfectly logically sound because they...

Popular Essays


Emma Taylor


Hi there!
Would you like to get such a paper?
How about getting a customized one?