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Answering the Tough Questions (2 of 4)
The Problem of Evil and Suffering
We've been discussing the problem of evil, which I regard to be a fundamental objection to the Christian faith. The problem of evil and the problem of suffering is something that must be sorted out, if we're going to have a realistic perspective of what life's about, especially in view of the proposition that there is a sovereign, all-powerful God. We were looking at this before and I was arguing that there were only a few options. The options that you have are:
1. Evil exists and God doesn't.
2. God exists and evil doesn't, or
3. Evil and God exist.
If we buy into the proposition that both exist, you only have three options there:
A. God is less than evil,
B. God is equal to evil, or
C. God is greater than evil.
But if God is really sovereign, if he's really more powerful, if he really is omnipotent, then how on earth did evil begin? And secondly, why doesn't it stop? And that is really the essence of the question that we're raising. If he is all good and he is all-powerful, certainly, if he's good he shouldn't allow evil to exist and certainly if he's all-powerful, he could prevent it from existing. But, evil exists, and many people conclude that an all-powerful and all-loving God couldn't be, and I am arguing that there are other ways of approaching this. First of all, evil is not really so much of a thing as it is a lack, in many ways, a parasite on the good rather than a thing itself. The gun that a person uses to shoot someone else is not evil, but it is the intent, the hard attitude that is good or evil. There is something wrong, in that there is something missing, a privation in some good thing. When we think of the idea of unkind, uncaring, unhealthy, unloving, unreliable, and all these things are a lack of something, and God did not create us as we now are. And this brings us to the question: Where did it come from? The source of evil, where d ...
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