God is responsible for the good that happens in the world, but not the lack of good that happens in the world. Either way, a Christian can respond to the problem of gratuitous evil by arguing that we can’t know that there really are any cases of truly gratuitous, purposeless evil. This answers the question, 'Why didn't God create a world where people don't suffer?'. The problem of evil actually turns out to be a family of problems and can more accurately be described as the problems of evil. Join over 250,000 others to get the top stories curated daily, plus special offers! ( Log Out /  No pain, no gain! Evil and suffering can refer to not only physical pain, but emotional pain, too. Through His sacrifice on the cross, we have been offered peace and salvation. "More than that, we hope this will encourage believers to move from just putting up a good defense (1 Peter 3:15) to actively getting on the offense (2 Corinthians 10:5) – initiating conversations and lovingly showing their friends the evidence and logic that backs up our faith, and ultimately encouraging those friends to put their trust in Christ.". There are also various other types of problems of evil which can be posed in either deductive or evidential arguments against the existence of God. Each of these problems pop up differently in different theological systems. Here’s what I have learned. https://parkersettecase.com/2020/04/17/why-does-god-allow-pain-and-suffering Pain and Suffering. "But if God is not the author of pain and suffering where did it come from? Because we live in a sin scarred cosmos.". So, we theists still need to propose a defense against the problem of evil. 1 – The Ethics of Feeding Mice to Giant African Bullfrogs, On Opposing Racism and Philosophical Self-Consciousness. C.S. Or perhaps God is using such evils to bring about an even greater good. There are also evidential or inductive problems of evil which seek to demonstrate that the vast weight of the evidence of evil in the world leads to the conclusion that there probably is no God. "The first thing is this. Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. e.g. When we go to the word of God there are numerous stories of pain and suffering. He is sovereign over every gust of wind. Instead, He uses your suffering to dispense His power. There is no such thing as gratuitous suffering. God is in control over every swell of the waves. "• "Why trust the Bible; isn't it full of mistakes? "We don't have a complete answer. God used the worst evil ever in order to bring about the greatest good ever, reconciliation between God and man, the redemption of God’s very own image bearers. There has to be cause and effect. this was one of the top questions as well," Strobel said during the conference. The book of Job shows us there can be two ways to respond to suffering: one that curses God because of suffering and one that praises God, even in the midst of suffering (Job 2:9–10). Indeed, Romans 8:28 reads, “Now we know that ALL things work together for good for those who love God, who are called according to His purpose.” Even all pain and suffering has a purpose, and that purpose is determined by God. Sure, it might seem to us that there is no purpose or even possible purpose for God to allow a given instance of apparently gratuitous evil, but in order for us to know for sure that He, an all-powerfully good God, truly has no morally sufficient purpose, we Well, the only way we can experience and express love is if we have the free will to love or not to love," he said. But pain insists upon being attended to. Or if every time someone wanted to curse someone out, only nice words came out. There are also problems of the amount of evil which ask: why would God allow so much evil in the world if He really existed. It was through this suffering that His ultimate purpose for coming to earth was fulfilled. God is not the creator of evil, pain, and suffering. Walking with God through Pain and Suffering is the definitive Christian book on why bad things happen and how we should respond to them. Meanwhile, believers who suffer can emerge from their valleys with purified character, deeper faith and a greater awareness of how truly faithful God is. Therefore, since God exists, there should be no evil, right? Therefore, the omnicompetent God does not exist. Take heed of these words. Moral Agent: a self-conscious person capable of moral and immoral action. "When someone is raising this issue with me and I know they are coming from that perspective I know that they really don't want the long, intellectual answer about why God allows pain and suffering," he said. That very well may have happened at least once in the history of the world. Lastly, there are religious problems of evil, which ask questions like “how could God allow this to happen to me?” These are more personal and existential problems that arise specifically when an individual’s circumstances clash with their theology. "But if God is not the author of pain and suffering where did it come from? What purpose could that possibly have? God promises a time when there will be no more crying, no more tears, no more pain and suffering, when we will be reunited with God in perfect harmony, forever. But evil does exist. In order for mankind to grow in character, perfection, and/or reach completion, humans need to endure hardships, trials, tribulations, and overcome them, including evil. God is not the source of evil, but he does allow us to experience suffering. The Christocentric Greater-Good Defense: similar to the felix culpa above, the Christocentric Greater-Good Defense puts Christ at the center. The Privation Defense: a subset of the free-will defense, this defense says that evil is a corruption of the good. I don’t even know why God allows it to continue. God is not the creator of evil, pain, and suffering. That means that our pain is not an accident. Why is there pain and suffering in the world? Strobel said the question is raised by two different types of people. Through times of pain and suffering, we are changed into who God wants us to be. "To know that we really do have, by God's grace, truth that stands up to scrutiny," Mittelberg said. You are going to have pain. Pain and suffering is the process through which God transformed Jesus and his followers, and pain and suffering is the process through which God transforms you and me. For instance, when someone finds out that their nephew has Leukemia they might think something like: “my brother is a pastor and yet his son was diagnosed with Leukemia right before his first birthday, how could the God I serve allow that?” Among these religious problems we could also include the problem of hell, which asks: if God is so good, how could He punish His image bearers for an eternity in hell? Tim Keller has written one of the years most important books (a line I seem to recite annually). The result has been evil entering the world and bringing pain and suffering by the wrong moral choices people make. People sometimes suffer from the wrong choices of other human beings, even though God uses the resulting suffering for good (Genesis 50:20). This Week on the Edifi Podcast Network: An Ex-Abortion Nurse, Miracles, John Bevere, Lee Strobel, Why ‘Socialism Isn't Biblical’ and More! He was one of four speakers at the event called, "The Questions Christians Hope No One Will Ask.". Many argue, "Why would an all-powerful, all-loving God allow pain and suffering?" Yes, there are numerous bible verses about pain and suffering in the scriptures. Genesis 1:31 says God saw all that He had made and it was very good," he continued. Change ), Third Week of April 2020 Presuppositional Apologetics’ Links | The Domain for Truth, Presuppositional Apologetics links for April 15th-21st, 2020. To enjoy our website, you'll need to enable JavaScript in your web browser. But pain and suffering does serve a purpose. With free-will comes the ability to love God or turn from God in love of self. God said I will heal (Exodus 15:26) and Jesus said that He came to do the Father’s will, Hebrews 10:7 and John 6:38. Problems of moral evil ask: if God really existed, why would God allow moral agents to be so, well… immoral? The Felix Culpa Theodicy: some philosophers and theologians distinguish between a ‘defense’ and a ‘theodicy’. "• "Why choose Christianity over all the other religions? VII. Pain and suffering can only be questioned in the light of the existence of GOD. God Allows Pain and Suffering for Many Reasons. If you could ask God any question and you knew He would give you an answer, what would you ask Him? Pascal had his incomplete thoughts published posthumously in his Pensées. You are going to have trouble. would have to be omniscient ourselves. Perhaps there is a morally sufficient reason for God to allow certain evils in order for His good purposes to be achieved. When you or someone close to you is suffering, it is easy to conclude that God is slow to act, that he should have intervened by now. "The answer is He did. Parker’s Pensées Podcast: ep. There are other people that bring up the question because it is a legitimate intellectual question to ask, he said. It was not in spite of His suffering, but because of it, His destiny was fulfilled. There will come a time when God will punish evil and injustice. A redeemed humanity needs a redeemed world to live in. Without an objective and binding moral law, who’s to say what’s evil or good? ( Log Out /  V. If the omnicompetent God exists, then there would be no evil in the world. God has a purpose even for evil and suffering. Well, Jesus didn't call it an illusion. Now if God could intend the greatest evil for the greatest good, then of course He has a morally sufficient reason for the evil He allows in our lives. The Free-Will Defense: God made created-persons in order to have a loving relationship with Him. God never allows pain without a purpose. My name's Parker Settecase and I write about what I love: Jesus, theology, apologetics, philosophy, sports, animals, book reviews and more. - Truth Under Fire, Introducing Proverbs for Jordan Peterson Fans. Although a good Christian defense to various problems of evil ought to pull from several of the defenses given above, at the end of the day, every Christian defense ought to point to the cross and God’s mercy towards sinners, God’s hatred for sin and evil, God’s willingness to endure the greatest evil and indignation Himself in the person of Jesus Christ on the cross, and God’s own sovereignty over sin. "But, I believe that God has revealed enough to us that we do have enough of a satisfactory answer to minister to our hearts and souls to this particular question.". That may sound good at first, but proponents of this defense argue that God’s constant intervention would actually destroy both our stable environment and our ability to reason and make predictions in it, and they argue that if God constantly intervened to stop malicious actions, speech, and thoughts, then human free-will would be destroyed. Pain and suffering was not present. God is aware of our suffering. God is omnibenevolent (all or wholly good) But we are also told in Romans 8 that God won’t stop at redeeming mankind, but that all of Creation will be set free from their bondage to corruption as well. Take my opinion for what it is and ask God about it one day when you see Him face-to-face. We see that God actually comes to the planet, he actually lives among us so that he understands our suffering, our hurt, our pain. ", "The first thing is this. 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