Dealing with the Evil Question

I have run into the argument plenty of times in various forms and I am sure many of you have as well.  If God is absolutely good and all-powerful, why is there evil in the world?  The question takes many forms, including the most unusual one I have seen recently, “why won’t God heal amputees?”

I was very intrigued by a column by Vox Day today at WorldNetDaily that tackled this very issue in a rather interesting way.  I have made some variation of this argument before, but I have never seen it stated so succinctly as he concludes:

If evil did not exist, then man would not be condemned by God. If man were not condemned by God, there would have been no reason for Jesus Christ to incarnate, to die and to rise again to pay the price of man’s redemption. Therefore, while one may use the problem of evil to argue against the existence of an omnibenevolent and omnipotent God, only an irrational fool would attempt to use the problem of evil as the basis of an argument against the existence of the Christian God or the tenets of the Christian faith.

The world cannot hate you, but it hates me because I testify that what it does is evil.– John 7:7

I invite you to meander over and take a look at Vox’s logic.  What do you think?  Is this a good way to handle the question of evil?

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Categories: Agnostics, Apologetics, Atheists, Christianity, Culture, Grace, Questions, theology, Truth | 11 Comments

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11 thoughts on “Dealing with the Evil Question

  1. Did God create evil? Or did God give the freedom for evil to exist?

  2. Steve,
    I think that the freedom that God allowed made evil possible but not unavoidably so. God undoubtedly allowed Adam and Eve the choice to love Him without compulsion as He had done apparently with the angels before that. Just as Satan used his freedom to rebel; so did Adam and Eve. That rebellion is the source of evil in a nutshell. That’s my basic opinion any way.

  3. “That rebellion is the source of evil in a nutshell. That’s my basic opinion any way.”

    I think you are right, Jeff. I think that is what the Bible teaches us.

  4. Steve,
    I knew I didn’t come up with that idea on my own.
    I was interested in the tactic that Vox uses to blunt the idea that evil is a “proof” that God doesn’t exist and turn it into a positive demonstration that Christianity is true.

  5. Jeff,

    I knew you knew.

    I think Vox did a nice job, for what it’s worth.

    I’m not a big fan of apologetics. I know it has it’s place.

    I much prefer sharing the gospel with someone, believer or not in their time of need (that is anytime).
    Scratching the surface and finding out where they are ‘being had’ in their life, and then empathizing and telling them what Jesus has done about it.

  6. Steve,
    Apologetics takes a lot of different forms. What you are describing is considered by some to be a type of apologetics.
    I think I noticed this article more because I am taking an apologetics class right now.

  7. Jeff,

    I think some are just wrong.

    Proclaiming the gospel into the darkness of another’s life is just that.

    There is no defending anything, there is no trying to prove anything.

    It’s just flat proclamamtion and then let the chips fall where they may. The Holy spirit will do with that Word…what He will.

  8. Slingword,
    I didn’t want you to think I was ignoring you. I have had a chance to glace through your post and I have some thoughts in response, but I don’t have the time to type them out right now due to assignment deadlines for classes. I will try and get something tonight or tomorrow.

  9. After reading the post at slingword’s site and reflecting on the thoughts of the other site, I kept coming back to one thought from Scripture. It was the parable of the rich man and Lazarus in Luke 16. In the final verses of the parable, the rich man begs God to send someone back to tell his brothers the truth. God’s reply is rather telling.

    27″He answered, ‘Then I beg you, father, send Lazarus to my father’s house, 28for I have five brothers. Let him warn them, so that they will not also come to this place of torment.’

    29″Abraham replied, ‘They have Moses and the Prophets; let them listen to them.’

    30″ ‘No, father Abraham,’ he said, ‘but if someone from the dead goes to them, they will repent.’

    31″He said to him, ‘If they do not listen to Moses and the Prophets, they will not be convinced even if someone rises from the dead.’ “ (Luke 16:27-31)

    Why won’t God heal amputees or perform other miracles on demand for us to “prove His existence” is a question that has been asked for ages.

    Slingword asked a question and made a statement at the end of his post:

    And why won’t God heal amputees?
    Good question. I have no idea why not. I would.

    The answer is that God would if He had reason to and I could site a couple of possibilities that God may have done so in biblical times. But as slingword’s own post pointed out, even the healing of an amputee wouldn’t convince everyone that God is really God. He isn’t dependent on the beliefs of anyone for His existence or position.

  10. The existence of good , to any degree, proves the existence of God. God is good. We need to teach the truth, that for now, for what ever reason, the Prince of this world is Satan. Read the paper, can there be a doubt? The King will return, but for now the adversary roams the earth seeking to devour who he might. With everybody expecting this to be heaven, no wonder so many are headed for hell.
    Man elected to believe the Devil, and here we are. The faithful can overcome the power of the Devil through the work of Christ, but maybe that is just to heavy for some to bear.

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