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Apologetic Moments #14: "What about evil?"

by Thor Ramsey

"What about evil?"

When someone asks about the problem of evil there are a lot of places we can begin, but the answers provided in this blog series are purposely concise, so a good place to begin is to acknowledge that the person has recognized a legitimate problem. Evil is a problem... if there is a God who cares.

If there is no God, then evil is not a problem. It's an illusion. If there is no God then we can't say things should be a certain way. But people will argue that things should be a certain way even without God, but the question is always, "Says who?" Based upon what? Evil is meaningless in a universe without God. So, the fact that we all object to evil tells us something about the universe.

To ask about evil acknowledges that the world is not as it should be, which is just another way of saying, "We are not as we should be." If things are not as they should be then something has gone wrong. One of the Christian answers to evil is that we have gone wrong. In our sinful rebellion we have attempted to define life without God as the source of all that is good. That is what has led to the state of the world today. Humanity lives under the wrath of God.

Now, let that sink it for just a moment. The question, "Why is there evil in the world? Or why would God allow evil? Or what about evil?" is a question of justice. The person asking is, in a very real sense, expressing wrath, which is simply a right response to injustice. When someone sees evil and the suffering that results from evil, especially in large systemic sweeps such as genocides and ethnic cleansing and sex trafficking and such things, she rightly responds with a feeling injustice. In other words, these things make her angry. They make God angry too, which is why humanity lives under the wrath of God.

That all sounds very bleak, but it is in the gospel that we learn Christ willingly and undeservedly received the wrath of God poured out upon Himself. The wrath of God that was poured out on Christ should have been poured out upon us. Those who embrace the gospel are no longer under the wrath of God.

That is why all over the world we find Christians fighting against injustices such as sex trafficking, the killing of unborn babies, the enslavement of other human beings and the like.

The Christian gospel doesn't answer the problem of evil -- it confronts it head-on.

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