by Kenneth Boa

This content is part of a series.

Answering the Tough Questions (4 of 4)
The Problem of Evil and Suffering
Ken Boa


As we continue on our theme of suffering and evil, we were saying before that the problem of evil is often thought of as more of a philosophical problem. "How did evil originate?" This is especially true in the view that God is all powerful and all-loving, then how can evil be compatible with an all-powerful and all-loving God. We observed that the biblical answer or at least a biblical perspective on this issue is provided by the account of human freedom that scripture describes. Now, in Genesis 3, the reality of the human falling away, the rebellion, the desire to go one's own way in contradistinction to God's purposes, that the free-will defense then argues that evil, disease, death, and environment that we live in, as well as the problem of personal suffering can be attributed then to the human rebellion, and as a consequence then, we are not as we once were. We changed ourselves.

We can deal with these issues and discover that there is a need for freedom, because freedom is made possible only in the context of where we can make choices that could be right or wrong. We were discussing how, in that kind of a moral universe then, most of the suffering, almost all of it is through our own choices, directly and indirectly, as well as those of others. But that still doesn't come home to the issue, the emotional issue that we personally experience when we go through pain in our own lives. The problem of suffering is a far more personal and far less philosophical issue. The problem of suffering, when we know of loved ones who contract diseases and there are accidents, when something impinges on our own personal world and all the problems of suffering that we observe, that is another matter, a more emotional issue.

There are two kinds of "whys" that can be asked when suffering comes: the "why" of grief and the "why" of despair. We were saying that the "why" of despa ...

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