Contours of Evil

The concept behind these blog posts are supposed to be academic in nature, but they also give us a little margin for personal application. I hope that grace is extended since that is how I plan to address the issue here. One of the reasons that I took this class was a video that I saw on YouTube.[1] It features famed pastor Voddie Baucham. A philosophy student comes up and asks the question about why good stuff happens to bad people. Voddie requires the student to ask the question correctly. The question is how on earth can a holy and righteous God know what I did and thought and said and did yesterday and not kill me in my sleep last night?” For Voddie, and the Christian worldview, the dialect should be why does evil persist, but rather why does the judgment of God not inflict wrath on all evildoers. C.S. Lewis refers to it as “the problem of pain.”[2] The question tries to balance God’s omnipotence and sovereignty. When the question is asked, both are called into question. Millard Erickson talks about how there are different kinds of evils, most notably general and moral evils.[3]The Problem of Evil, though it relies on classics from Church History such as Augustine’s City of God and Calvin’s Institutes of the Christian Religion, it actually affects every other part of Christian Doctrine. It goes toward the doctrine of God (including HIs soverignty) and Scripture (such as inerrancy.) It is not just for philosophers, theologians, ethicists, and theorists, it actually impacts every believer. It is unavoidable, as believers are called to live in a world of suffering. If the problem of evil is answered by the atonement, then the doctrine of the Son is affected. The problem of evil is a response to atheists like David Hume, questioning the existence of God. It is also a response to anyone who is suffering. Hearing that someone “was taken away from this world way too soon.” The problem of evil is a response to anyone, while meaning well towards those in emotional pain, question the sovereignty of God. It is not just the purely academic students (like in Voddie’s video) and tower scholars who have withdrawn from the world that have to face the problem of evil, but every person on earth, Christian and unbeliever, theists and atheists. No matter the view one takes on this issue, evil is to be accounted for. The essence of the problem of evil is how the accounts are to be reconciled.

Word Count: 431

Bibliography

Baucham, Voddie. “Why Evil Exists in the World.” Retrieved on Aug 29, 2018, https://youtu.be/vQl4Zd5T9Kc.

Erickson, Millard J.. Christian Theology, 3rd Ed.. Grand Rapids: Baker Academic, 2013.

Lewis, C.S.. The Problem of Pain taken from The Complete C.S. Lewis Signature Classics. New York: Harper One, 2002.


[1] Voddie Baucham, “Why Evil Exists in the World.” Retrieved on Aug 29, 2018, https://youtu.be/vQl4Zd5T9Kc.

[2] C.S. Lewis, The Problem of Pain taken from The Complete C.S. Lewis Signature Classics. (New York: Harper One, 2002), 560.

[3] Millard J. Erickson, Christian Theology, 3rd Ed.. (Grand Rapids: Baker Academic, 2013), 385.

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