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Evil and God: With all the evil in the world, how can an all-loving, all-good, and all-powerful God exist?

By January 24, 2017 No Comments
  1. The existence of evil and the existence of God are not contradictory. In fact, the message of Christianity—that God became flesh and died as a servant on a cross—presumes the existence of evil, and it offers an ultimate solution to it. Evil is real and devastating to humanity. Christianity does not ignore this; it directly addresses it.
  2. The existence of evil is not a unique problem for Christianity. Those who reject the existence of any God arguably have an even bigger problem. If physical matter is all that exists, then there is no basis for talking about ultimate values like “good” and “evil.” Our human experiences may be painful or pleasurable, but not morally “good” or “evil.” As a result, Christianity can account for the existence of evil and provides an eventual resolution for it. Non-theistic views (views with no God) cannot adequately account for the reality of evil to begin with.
  3. Much evil in our world is the direct or indirect result of human freedom. People do things or don’t do things that have horrendous consequences. Try this mental exercise: make a list of the evils and suffering in the world and honestly try to determine how many of them are somehow connected to human choice. If much evil stems from human freedom, the question then is: why did God give us such freedom? Many suggestions can be made, but the bottom line is that God apparently valued human freedom for some larger purpose(s), even if it meant that much evil and suffering would be experienced during this life.
  4. Much suffering results from the regularities of the natural world. People die and are injured in tornados, hurricanes, floods, etc. If you drive you car off the cliff at the Grand Canyon, it’s pretty predictable what’s going to happen. The uniformity of nature makes science (and even golf!) possible. It also seems necessary for human accountability, because our judgments and actions presume a knowledge of this uniformity. Like with human freedom, God has given some priority value to the uniform operation of nature, even if it sometimes has devastating consequences in the shorter term.

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Rich Knopp

Rich Knopp

Program Director of Room For Doubt and the presenter for Room For Doubt’s seminars and workshops at conventions, conferences, colleges, Christian camps, and churches. He provides and manages the content on the R4D website and mobile app and writes the scripts for the program’s animated videos.