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Study Resources :: Text Commentaries :: Don Stewart :: When the God of the Bible Is Rejected

Don Stewart :: What Is Dualism?

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What Is Dualism?

When the God of the Bible Is Rejected – Question 7

Often we hear people speak about “dualism” when referring to the problem of good versus evil, right and wrong. Just what exactly is dualism? What does it teach?

Dualism Defined: There Are Two Eternal Powers, Good and Evil, Who Are Opposed to Each Other

Dualism argues that there are two equal and opposing realities, good and evil. These forces are in an eternal battle with one another. There are a number of religions, such as Taoism, that hold to an eternal dualism. These see all of reality consisting of these two opposing forces. Simply put, there is the good side of the force and the dark side of the force. These two forces remain in an eternal struggle.

Response to Dualism

While dualism is popular with a number of people it is not taught in Scripture. A number of important points need to be made:

1. God Alone Has Existed Eternally

The dualistic idea is not biblical. Scripture does not teach that there are two equal opposing forces that have eternally existed. God alone has existed eternally. The psalmist wrote,

Before the mountains were born or you brought forth the earth and the world, from everlasting to everlasting you are God. (Psalm 90:2 NIV)

Only God has eternally existed. Everything else has been created by Him. Only He is eternal.

2. Evil Is Not Eternal

Evil does not have eternal existence. When God created the heavens and the earth everything was created perfect. The Book of Genesis says,

And God saw every thing that he had made, and, behold, it was very good. And the evening and the morning were the sixth day. (Genesis 1:31 KJV)

There was no evil anywhere when God finished creating the heavens and the earth. Evil only entered the universe at a certain point of time in the past. Therefore, there has been no eternal struggle between good and evil.

3. God and Satan Are Not Equals

There are those who say that the biblical teaching regarding God and Satan shows an eternal dualism. This is the struggle of good versus evil. However, this is not correct. Satan is a created being that came into existence at a certain time in the past when God created him. Before this time, Satan did not exist. Therefore, there has been no eternal struggle between God and the devil. Indeed, for this being which became the devil has not always existed.

In addition, as a created being the devil has none of the divine attributes which God possesses. The devil is not all-powerful, all-knowing, or everywhere present. He is not God’s opposite.

4. There Will Be an End of Satan

There is good news! The Bible also predicts that the devil will have an end. He will not be the eternal foe of God. The Book of Revelation tells us about his end. It says,

And the devil who had deceived them was thrown into the lake of fire and sulfur, where the beast and the false prophet were, and they will be tormented day and night forever and ever. (Revelation 20:10 NRSV)

Therefore, there will be no eternal struggle between God and Satan because Satan will be banished from God’s presence.

Conclusion: God Alone Is The Only Eternal Being In The Universe

Contrary to the teaching of dualism, God alone is the only eternal being in the universe. There is no eternal evil character, such as the devil, neither has there been some eternal evil force. Thus, there is no necessity of assuming that some cosmic struggle of good and evil has always been occurring, or always will be occurring.

Summary – Question 7
What Is Dualism?

Dualism is the idea that there are two opposite eternal forces in the universe, one for good and one for evil. Good and evil become two equal gods that are in conflict. Although taught in some religious systems, dualism finds no support in Scripture.

Only God has existed eternally. Everything else in the universe came along at some point in time. All other beings are created while God is the Creator.

We also find that evil has not existed eternally alongside God. Evil only came into being after God had created the universe. There has not been this eternal struggle.

This brings us to the foe of God, the devil. He is not the opposite of God. For one thing, he has not eternally existed. There was a time when he did not exist. Furthermore, as a created being he does not possess God’s divine attributes. Satan is not all-knowing, all-powerful, or everywhere present.

To make it crystal clear that there will not be an eternal struggle of good versus evil the Bible says that Satan will one day be banished into the lake of fire. Thus, he will not be the eternal enemy of God. He will meet his demise.

Consequently, although there is a cosmic fight between good and evil, it is not an equal fight. God is the Creator, Satan is merely a creature. Dualism fails to discover the good God who will judge evil.

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