How to respond to the problem of evil from the Christian worldview? My view of the problem of evil is base on a biblical perspective; however, the problem of evil is the problem of the apparent incompatibility between the existence of God and the existence of evil. The existence of evil does not constitute a certain disproof of God’s existence, because there is no premise that is necessarily true that produces a contradiction between the existence of God and existence of evil. According to LW, even Christian finds it troubling that evil exists in the world. The logical problem of evil argues that the existence of any evil is inconsistent with the existence of God, while the evidential problem of evil argues that God’s existence is inconsistent with pointless or gratuitous evil. LW (Pg. 461)
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The problem of evil is the problem of the apparent incompatibility between the existence of God and the existence of evil. In looking at this problem, Christianity is uniquely equipped to deal with the problem of evil, as we recognize that God Himself, in the person of Jesus Christ, suffered horrendously, and that this very evil-by far the worst in history-was the critical means by which the Lord brought salvation to humanity. If ever there was an example of evil being used to bring about greater good, this was it. If God can redeem the worst of evil, then why not all lesser evils? LW (Pg. 314-315)
The pain and suffering produce by evil in this world is difficult to understand. For some people it’s not possible to completely explain how anything good can come out of evil. Only after this life we will understand God’s plan and purposes. For now we have to trust and believe He knows better.
There are two aspects of the problem of evil: the philosophical, and the religious aspect. When the skeptic challenges belief in God on the basis of the logical problem of evil, he or she is suggesting that it is irrational or logically impossible to believe in the existence of both a good and omnipotent God and in the reality of evil and suffering.
The solution of this conflict is to acknowledge that when we say God is omnipotent, we are not implying that He is capable of doing anything imaginable. True, Bible says that “with God all things are possible” (Matthew 19:26). But we find also that there are some things God is unable to do. For example, God cannot lie (Titus 1:2). He cannot sin, nor can He tempt others to sin (James 1:13). God is unable to do anything that is “against His character” because He is a righteous God.
God give us the freedom to decide how to act and the ability of making moral decisions. This is what set us apart from the rest of creation, but this is also the reason why there is so much pain and suffering in the world. Sometimes people make selfish and egocentric decisions, “I will do whatever I want to do; God has nothing to say about it” unfortunately sin always hurt ourselves and others.
God created men in his own image, who are capable of having a personal relationship with Him; they must be capable of freely loving Him and obeying his will without coercion. Love or obedience on any other basis would not be love or obedience at all, but pure compliance. But in order to be free to love God we must also be free to hate or reject Him. When people act in ways outside the will of God, evil and suffering is the end result. Many people agree that belief in a good and powerful God is logically possible; others contend that the existence of such a God is improbable due to the nature of the evil which we see in the world around us. They conclude that if such a God existed it is unlikely that He would allow the evil we see in the world.
It is difficult to understand why God would allow some things to happen. But just because we find it difficult to imagine the reasons God could have for permitting them, does not mean that no such reasons exist. It’s possible that such reasons are beyond our present knowledge and also beyond our ability to understand. It’s unrealistic to expect to understand all of God’s reasons for allowing all that He does.
Some possible reasons for God allowing evils are: for people to learn to obey. “It was good for me to be afflicted so that I might learn your decrees.” (Psalm 119:71). In the case of Job, faithfulness in trial shows that we serve God not merely for the benefits He offers, but for the love of God Himself (Job 1-2). From the revelation of Scripture, these are all possible reasons for God allowing evil.
When we are comforted by God in the mist of affliction, we are better able to comfort others. Pain and suffering plays a role in developing godly character, and in keeping us from sin. The Apostle Paul said that his “thorn in the flesh” served to keep him from boasting, and promoted true humility and dependence on God. David acknowledged that his afflictions had increased his determination to follow God’s will. The ultimate example is Jesus who “learned obedience from the things He suffered” (Hebrews 5:8). Jesus knew that His experience will leave a valuable lesson of submitting to the will of God, even when it was the ultimate decision He had to do. Christian suffering can help us develop the character of Christ and experience complete dependence on God if we allow it.
In the end, evil and suffering can makes us more aware of the redemption that awaits for us in heaven, and for that time when God’s plan for these experiences will be fulfilled, the day when pain and sorrow shall be no more (Revelations 21:4).
In summary, the existence of evil does not constitute a certain disproof of God’s existence, because there is no premise that is necessarily true that produces a contradiction between the existence of God and existence of evil. In addition, God and evil are shown to be completely consistent, because it is at least possible that God has a good reason for permitting evil. In relationship to the full scope of the evidence, God’s existence has not been shown to be improbable. God has done something about evil by sharing in our suffering in the person of Jesus Christ, thereby showing us we can trust that He has a purpose for everything. He has provided forgiveness, peace, joy and final victory over death and evil. Christian worldview is the best hope and solution for the problem of evil in the world.