Saturday, December 13, 2008

God's answer to the Problem of Evil

We live in a dark and evil world. I am stunned every time I open a newspaper and glance over the headlines. Human creativity and ingenuity seems to be equally evident in the extent of our evil endeavours as well as our good endeavours. This is not pessimism; it is reality. Consequently, one of the most common objections to Christianity is the question of evil. “If God is supposedly good,” says the non-Christian, “then why does He allow evil to exist?” The dichotomy that is presented is this: either God is not strong enough to prevent evil or he is strong, but He is not good enough to want to prevent it. This objection is often called the Achilles’ heel of Christianity because it is perceived as a major weak point. There is no easy answer to this objection. Many scholars and theologians have contorted themselves and the Scriptures, often to the destruction of sound doctrine, in order to give an answer to this challenge.

As Christians and non-Christians consider this issue, we need some perspective. Dorothy Sayers, as quoted in A Ready Defence by Josh McDowell, writes
For whatever reason God chose to make man as he is—limited and suffering and subject to sorrows and death—[God] had the honesty and the courage to take his own medicine. He Himself has gone through the whole human experience, from the trivial irritations of family life and the cramping restrictions of hard work and lack of money to the worst horrors of pain and humiliation, defeat, despair and death. When He was a man, He played the man. He was born in poverty and died in disgrace and thought it well worth while” (413).

It is essential to remember in our discussion of evil that God Himself endured His “own medicine” as Sayers puts it. Often times we blame God as though He was aloof from the mess of the world. He suffered the greatest evil. For some reason, He “thought it well worth while.”

As we celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ this season, let us remember that God did not leave the problem of evil unanswered. He gave us a saviour.

1 comment:

Louis Dauphin said...

I guess, I'll leave a "pithy comment":

That was enlightening and excellent.