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Explain Hick's Irenaean Theodicy
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Explain Hick's Irenaean Theodicy (25 Marks).
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
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