Wednesday, May 15, 2019

The Problem of Evil and the Biblical Worldview

One of the biggest problems for unbelievers and Christians alike is what is often called the problem of evil. People have different concepts of what they consider evil, but those are essentially based on trends in cultures or even personal preferences.

People say that something is evil, but they need a consistent standard. This is a way to deal with it and to realize that we are finite; we cannot understand everything. We live by faith.
Credit: Freeimages / createsima
The candies I'm chawing right now are evil because I'm not supposed to have them, but it's my fault for eating the things. The bird that flew away with Captain America's hot dog was evil. There are some Christians who consider rock music to be evil because, well, because. Others consider country music evil. Those examples are personal preferences (and a bit of sarcasm), not there is no actual evil involved.

Natural disasters are evil because of the destruction of property and loss of life, but that is really nature doing what nature does. Terrorists are evil, but from their perspective, they are seeking some kind of greater good. Brian Sims acts like pro-life activists are evil, but pro-life people consider him evil for advocating the murders of unborn children. One tinhorn considers biblical creationists liars and evil because we present evidence refuting his deep time and idolatrous position.

There has to be an ultimate standard for good and evil. This cannot be found in an evolutionary or atheistic worldview, since they think we are simply responding to our chemical impulses; when they complain that something is evil, they are standing on the biblical creationist worldview! I challenged the tinhorn mentioned earlier that, if I was indeed lying, why would that be wrong according to his worldview? He was defeated because he could not give a cogent answer, and displayed his subjective opinion instead.

There are people who reject God because of evil in the world. After all, why doesn't he do something about it? God is the Creator and he is sovereign. We are not entitled to understand everything he does, but what kind of God would he be if his finite creation could fully understand him? Christians are to respond in faith that he has purposes and that ultimately, everything glorifies him. No, that is not an ego thing where he wants us to applaud his every move. The glory of God is far deeper than that.
Perhaps the most frequent argument used by skeptics against the Christian faith is that a good, loving, and all-powerful God wouldn't possibly allow evil (along with sorrow, pain, bloodshed, etc.) into his world. Evil obviously exists in our world. It is all around us. Thus, the biblical God can’t possibly exist. If he did, and he was indeed omnipotent, he would obviously do something about it! It is not only skeptics, however, who struggle with this “problem of evil.” The Christian who shares his faith will find that this question probably causes more people to doubt the validity of the Bible and the Christian faith than any other. This author, based only on his own anecdotal experiences, would argue that it is a greater stumbling block to people than is even the creation-evolution debate. Therefore, the Christian must be prepared to explain the existence of evil. Fortunately, within the Christian worldview it is possible to do just that. Outside the Christian worldview, it is not. There are no adequate explanations for evil in other worldviews.
To finish reading, click on "Creation and the Problem of Evil".