07--theodicy & Parasitism part 1



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07--Theodicy & Parasitism part 1

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[1] Parasitism and Theodicy, part 1

[2] A parasite lives on or in a host, getting food from or at the expense of its host, without benefitting the host in any way. / Examples include ticks and fleas, / lice, / ox pickers, / and tapeworms.

[3] A parasitoid relationship is one in which the parasite actually kills its host. / One example of this is a black wasp. / A female black wasp injects a single egg into an aphid (a sap-sucking insect that destroys plants). The wasp egg hatches and the larvae eats the aphid alive from the inside out.

[4] Another example is the emerald jewel wasp, / which specifically targets cockroaches. After paralyzing the roach, the wasp stings the roach in the brain, refuels itself on roach blood, and leads the roach to a burrow. The wasp lays an egg on the roach and barricades the roach in the burrow. In a few days the egg hatches and the larvae begins to eat the roach alive. Six weeks from the first sting, an adult wasp emerges from the dead roach's body to begin the process all over again.

[5] When we see these parasitic wasps in nature, we can’t help but ask the question, “How can we explain something so awful in the world God created?

[6] If God was evil and powerful, we wouldn’t be surprised to find parasitic wasps in nature. / Or if God was loving but not powerful enough to prevent evil, that would help explain the existence of evil. / But if God is loving and all powerful, how can we explain the existence of things like parasitic wasps in the world He created? / Why would a good God allow evil to exist?

[7] Many people throughout history, including Charles Darwin, have struggled with this problem

[8] Attempts to answer the question of how evil can exist if God is loving, all-powerful, and just / are called theodicy.

[9] Quite literally, theodicy means the justification of God

[10] Many theodicies exist. / As Christians with a biblical worldview, we look to the Bible for answers. The Bible offers a clear explanation for why evil exists in a world created by a good God.

[11] In Genesis 1, the Bible tells us that what God created in the beginning was very good.

[12] So we know that God did not create the parasitic wasps as they now behave

[13] What happened? How did the “very good” world God created come to have parasitic wasps and other evil things?

[14] God created Adam and Eve with freedom of choice

[15] and unfortunately, they chose to sin by disobeying God

[16] In Genesis 3 we read about some very specific consequences of their sin. / God told them that childbirth would be painful for women, / and men would have to work hard to grow food. People experienced all kinds of other evil as well, / including murder.

[17] The Bible also explain that the natural world was affected by sin. Romans says that “against its will, all creation was subjected to God’s curse.”

[18] God told Adam and Eve that thorns and thistles would begin to grow, / and although we don’t know exactly how it happened, evils like death, predation, and parasitism became a part of nature.

[19] When we try to explain the existence of evil in God’s creation…

[20] …we often say it is the result of sin or of free choice.

[21] It’s pretty easy to understand how some kinds of evil are the direct result of human choice. / But how could human choices cause evil things in nature like parasitic wasps?

[22] To find out, watch Parasitism and Theodicy, part 2



[23] These ideas about theodicy come from this chapter by Dr. Stephen Bauer in the book Always Prepared.


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