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If God, Why Evil? [021]

Updated: Oct 26, 2019

So I wake up pretty early each morning for my part-time, side-hustle. Same usual routine. Right after I clock in, I grab a cup of coffee while I'm prepping my next move. Then I get going. In that short moment though, while I'm opening the spout for the coffee, the news is on. In literally two minutes or less, a co-worker and I are wagging our heads in disbelief at whatever new horrible thing has happened in the world as the news reports it.

Senseless murders, rapes, molestations, break-ins, theft, vehicle accidents, political turmoil all litter that moment in my morning. I really should change the channel some time. The new horrible thing that has been discovered about this drug or that smear story about this politician or that organization. All of it just doesn't make sense. All this tragedy. All the time. It just keeps coming and coming.

We've become numb to it by now, unless of course, it touches our own circle of friends and family. Then we're abruptly shaken and awakened to the reality of pain. After such tragedies hit us close to home, the question, "Why God? Why?" is not too far behind. Depending on the individual and the circumstances, there's another question that sometimes we are tempted with,

"How can there be a good and loving God if all this unspeakable evil in our lives keeps happening?"

Something Is Definitely Wrong

We get it. This world is jacked up. What we don't get is why a loving God would allow all this evil? Koukl unpacks this false dilemma in his book, The Story of Reality when he says,

It is clear to most people that the world is not the way it ought to be. Something has gone terribly wrong, and everybody knows it. That’s the first part of the first obstacle. The second part is this. If there were a God, and if he really were good, and if he really were powerful, then the world would be a different kind of place than the one we find. #GregKoukl #TheStoryOfReality

So this leaves us... where?

Evil Doesn't Make Sense Without God

First thing to understand about this false dilemma is where we would be, regarding evil, without God (specifically, the biblical one). "How?" You may ask. Let me ask you this: "How can we even gauge whether something/one is evil if we don't have something/one to measure it against that's, in fact, 'good'?" I hope you understand the importance of the question. Taking God out of the picture does not solve the problem of evil. It's worse than that. If we take God out of the equation, there can't even be such a thing as 'evil'. Remember, the reality of the existence of a 'good' and loving God is what we measure evil up against to know that evil is in fact, evil. With God out of the picture, we could not appeal to some transcendent moral law because there would be no transcendent moral law giver. That moral law giver, we call God.

Paul adds this thought-provoking statement,

What if God, desiring to show his wrath and to make known his power, has endured with much patience vessels of wrath prepared for destruction, in order to make known the riches of his glory for vessels of mercy, which he has prepared beforehand for glory. #ApostlePaul #LetterToTheRomans

There's only one beautiful and true solution to resolve the dilemma of evil that we all experience. Koukl reconciles the matter in this way,

...the brokenness of the world and the unique role of Jesus are connected. The second solves the first. That’s a main point of the Story. It’s one thing I hope you will see, that the two most controversial aspects of Christianity turn out to make complete sense once you understand the Story’s big picture. #GregKoukl #TheStoryOfReality

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Cae Towns - Copy editor

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