Evil is a lack of goodness as darkness is a lack of light.
I held my son Enoch’s little hand as he died, and went through a suffering that no words could express. A perpetually wounded heart that would not mend, a broken body for which there is no antidote, or a destroyed home that can never be the same…all left me asking many questions: Will I ever see my son again? Is there a theodicy that would qualify? Or is evil a sociological phenomenon? What are the philosophical suppositions that we have subliminally swallowed to even raise this question? How would the bloody cross of Jesus of Nazareth address this universal dilemma?
There are more books and articles on this topic than any other in theology. But because it is so personal, we need to be reminded of the simple truths about it. Let me share seven things that I have considered when thinking about this topic.
First, there cannot be evil unless there is God.
One of my friends told me that if this happened to his son, he would become an atheist. But how can that be? Evil is a deviation from the way things ought to be, right? But there can't be a deviation from the way things ought to be unless there is a way things ought to be. There can't be a way things ought to be unless there is a design plan that says, 'Here is how things ought to be.' And there can't be a design plan that says, 'Here is how things ought to be' unless there is a Designer who put forth that design plan in the first place.
So even in raising the objection of evil, my friend is presupposing some absolute standard and thus a designer who makes that standard. So he cannot even raise the problem of evil without first assuming an absolute standard that makes events ‘evil’. My friend is smuggling in God to deny God. …Continue reading…