Saturday, November 29, 2014

"Prayer in C" or Theodicy 101

All Christian apologists, philosophers of religion, clergy, and even the average believer face the question of how to reconcile the supposed goodness and all-powerfulness of God with the facts of evil, injustice, sickness and death.  The subject is called Theodicy (theos – God and dikao – justify); justifying the goodness of God

If God exists and he wants our best, and if he can do anything He wants to, why does He not heal me of my illness? 

Why doesn’t God prevent accidents which kill innocent people?  Why doesn’t he stop wars?  Why does He allow earthquakes and tsunamis?

It ends up being what philosophers call a classic trilemma: 1. either God is not good, though He is all-powerful, and He likes to watch us suffer, or 2. God is good, but unable to help us, i.e. he is weak, or 3. God is neither good or all-powerful; perhaps He doesn’t exist at all.

This sort of thinking, though, excludes some other factors. The most obvious one being that the Bible tells us how evil entered the world. Sin entered the world through the sin of the first man and the first woman.  Blaise Pascal, the brilliant French mathematician and philosopher, said that without understanding the Fall of mankind into sin, we could not understand the glory of man (our ability to create beautiful things) and our ignominy (our sinfulness and wickedness, our evil bent).

Many popular songs and much literature has focused on this problem.  I wouldn’t bother to add any more to what has already been written on the topic, except that I heard a popular song on the radio while driving home from a Bible study and it provoked me.  The song is called “Prayer in C”.  I don’t repeat all of the lyrics since they repeat, but I have put in enough to give the idea.

A Response by Phil Gottschalk to "Prayer in C”
(Robin Schulz Remix)

(Phil’s comments are in italic)

It’s an "Deep House" song:
{Thank you, Deep Ember, for the correction}
 It shows how the singer feels,
but is not based on a knowledge of biblical facts

(The song is in plain Arial script)

Yeah, you never said a word
You didn't send me no letter
Don't think I could forgive you

God sent the prophets. He gave His Word.  He sent His Son.
We rejected them all.  The fault is ours.

See our world is slowly dying
I'm not wasting no more time
Don't think I could believe you

The state of the world, dying, is due to mankind’s sin.
God sent His Son to die for us, though we didn’t deserve it.
One day He will renew the heaven and the earth.
Yet we refuse to believe and accept Him.

Yeah, our hands will get more wrinkled
And our hair will be grey
Don't think I could forgive you

Aging is due to sin, as is death.
He died that we might have eternal life.

And see the children are starving
And their houses were destroyed
Don't think they could forgive you

Why are children starving?
Due to our greed and wastefulness, we don’t share.
Why are their houses destroyed?
Perhaps due to natural disaster,
but most often due to war,
which is a symptom of our greed and wickedness.
When man is at fault, we should blame man,
not God.

Hey, when seas will cover lands
And when men will be no more
Don't think you can forgive you

The seas will dry up. Revelation 21
There will be a new wonderful city to live in.
There will be space enough in the heavenly city for all. 
Life is eternal. There will always be people and God. 

Yeah when there'll just be silence
And when life will be over
Don't think you will forgive you

Life is eternal. Some will dwell with God in that new city forever.
Some will choose to dwell in the darkness, as far from Him as they can get.
Short of making you a robot God has done all He can.
You choose to reject Him.

For more apologetical help on this problem see my articles on this blog: Letter to Bonni Lu and The Problem of Evil


  1. This song is deep house and not emo.

    1. Originally written by Lilly Wood and the Prick (also known as Lilly Wood and LILLYWOOD) are an Israeli-French alternative, pop and folk duo composed of Nili Hadida and Benjamin Cotto (source the almighty Wiki)

      I wouldn't know. I spent the late 80s in Yugoslavia during the Milosevic rise to power and with war coming like thunderstorm.

      Do you have any other reaction to my thoughts about Prayer in C, Radio Ember?