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Wednesday, March 20, 2013

An Answer To The Problem Of Evil - If God Is Good, Why So Much Evil

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An Answer To The Problem Of Evil - If God Is Good, Why So Much Evil? - Michael J. S. Austin, Ph.D.


"Look, don't give me such rubbish - in one breath you tell me God is all powerful and merciful, holding the universe together, counting the hairs on our heads, and knowing when a sparrow falls to the ground, and then you admit millions of people are starving, families washed away by tsunamis, blasted by cyclones, children and pregnant women crushed under rubble in earthquakes and buried in mudslides. So, now I've heard it all, and I'm angry that nothing about a God of love makes sense!"
Yes, there is little doubt that for many serious people, "the problem of evil", as it is often called, presents an insurmountable obstacle to accept the love of God. So, is there an answer at all? Do we heap up a pile of abstruse philosophical meanderings over the problem? No - no one really needs that sort of "help".
Instead, here are three propositions, each based on the truths of Scripture, without which there is no answer:
ONE: GOD IS FAR BETTER THAN WE CAN COMPREHEND: God, the living, Personal God who has revealed himself in the Bible is perfectly, eternally good in all his perfections, his purposes and his way of dealing with evil, and he is infinite in power. He did not instigate the open rebellion of Satan; God has not been caught off guard; Satan is personally responsible, and will pay in judgement.
TWO: EVIL IS MORE SERIOUS THAN YOU EVER THOUGHT: but it is an abnormal state and one day it will all be sorted. Satan, the heavenly being who started the original rebellion against God will soon pay eternally for his anarchy. Evil has spoiled humanity and the world - it is all now under the just sentence of bondage to corruption.
And awful things do happen; you are right. Why do we think bad things are awful? Because we have been created with a moral sense of right and wrong. We definitely don't like terrible things happening. Yes, they really are terrible, and remind us that the Fall in Genesis and its continuing effects are also terrible. We have inherited morally fallen natures and a seriously spoiled world - don't underestimate the serious nature of it.
What we call "accidents" do happen. Things like when a tower fell on people crushing them to death that Jesus used as a lesson to warn people, that those who were crushed were not worse than anyone else, and that we all must repent (see New Testament, Luke 13:4-5). So, you too must turn away from thinking you're entitled to call God to account for the failure to control his world!
THREE: THE WORST INJUSTICE HAS ALREADY HAPPENED TO THE BEST PERSON: So, you reckon all the bad things that happen call God's love and goodness into question, as if he must be blamed for it all? If you do, you're making an appalling misjudgement. In fact, God has been amazingly lenient, for he could have consigned all to eternal judgement. That would vindicate his justice and uphold his moral integrity for ever.
But, instead he did something else that you need to consider. God, in the person of his eternal Son, the Lord Jesus Christ, came on a rescue mission to rescue the undeserving rebels. To do this he willingly exposed himself to the worst thing that has ever happened - the murderous, crucifixion of the sinless Son of God, the Creator of all things, by some of the rebels! Jesus gave himself in loving humility to endure the full penalty of our rebellion. This is the greatest proof of his grace - his totally undeserved favour.
The worst injustice has already happened to the Son of God, when he died upon the cross! The greatest love has already been demonstrated, when Christ, the Son whom the Father loves, gave himself up into the condemnation that his enemies deserved. He paid the price they deserved! Out of the riches of his mercy and love, he used their vile deed against himself (for which those involved were wholly responsible) to accomplish his purpose.
God immersed himself into the centre of the "problem of evil" in order to set the record straight and to begin his perfect new creation - he began that with raising Jesus from the dead, eternally incorruptible. He has already turned the worst injustice into the most morally perfect vindication - Jesus is alive for evermore!
Now, I hope you are left with your apparently insurmountable objection to the injustice of why such bad things happen completely collapsed before the vastly greater evidences of the justice, goodness and mercy of God. Now, with all respect, your old arguments really don't have a leg to stand on. Besides, all outstanding issues, and there are many, will be settled on Judgement Day.
In consequence, I suggest the only reasonable thing for you to do is to throw out your false verdict, and accept God's verdict. That all who turn from their "misjudgements" and sin and put confident trust in Christ receive full forgiveness; they receive the final verdict of being justified freely by his grace as a gift.
In light of this, the "problem of evil" becomes the "solution of the Saviour". And such astonishing grace for such rebels as we is the far greater wonder than all of the bad things put together in the whole of time!
Hello, my big goal is to show that biblical Christianity appeals to serious reason and careful thinking - it is grounded in definite history, invites enquiry and is relevant today.  So, I aim to share the good news of Christ crucified, risen and ascended - a Saviour who is worthy of your full confidence. And I write to help you find faith or to strengthen your faith. I share Evangelical and Reformed convictions and have a PhD from Reformation International Theological Seminary for work on the validity of reason. Use these links to my Amazon Kindle titles - all are at very low prices: 1. Dawkins' Dilemmas - Deluded or not deluded? That is the question! http://www.amazon.com/Dawkins-Dilemmas-Deluded-question-ebook/dp/B007RFLYI8/ref=pd_rhf_dp_p_t_2 2. Darwin's Puzzle - Unravelling the riddle of reason http://www.amazon.com/dp/B007ZE34GG Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Michael_J._S._Austin,_Ph.D. Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/5896014


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