Hello, I’m Daniel Westfall on the channel “Pray With Me”.
This is our third episode on the problem of evil. If God is powerful and loving, why is there so much evil? Isn’t he powerful enough to stop evil? Is he not loving enough to care?
American author, apologist, and theologian Timothy Keller suggests these questions are a poor place to begin (Walking with God through Pain and Suffering, chapter 4). In our modern, rational, skeptical way of thinking, he says, , the questions play to preconceived biases rather than open inquiry.
During coffee hour at church a while back, a man told me he didn’t believe in God. Why, I asked. Because a loving and powerful God would never permit the evil we see all around us. I simply said: “So if you were God, you’d run things differently. You’d stop the evil and spread some love around.”
I continued,“It’s clear that God’s program sure isn’t the one you’d run. Have you read the Bible to see if God tells us what his program is? And why it might be different than yours?”
Timothy Keller suggests that the question of God’s love and power plays better with a more rounded view of God. Certainly, God is powerful and loving, but he is also glorious, majestic, wise, without beginning or end, creator and sustainer of all things. He is a much more active and complex character than the abstract and philosophical being posited in the question, “If God is loving and powerful . . .”
A blogger I read recently provided a list of ways to think (Lewis, Bob. “Thinking about Thinking.” Web blog post. IS Survivor Publishing. 21 March 2022. Accessed 23 March 2022 at https://issurvivor.com/2022/03/21/thinking-about-thinking/). One of his methods is “Plausibility Testing” which he describes as “Assessing whether an explanation passes the don’t-be-ridiculous test, keeping in mind that quantum physics doesn’t pass the test.” To a modern way of thinking and feeling, neither quantum physics nor God passes the don’t-be-ridiculous test, but perhaps both exist. And perhaps neither is easily explained.
As a friend said, “If I can understand God’s thinking and his ways, he’s not much bigger than me. That’s not much of a God at all!”
Our father, we have studied scripture and contemplated nature and analyzed history and scrutinized people. We have found that only faith sees beyond the narrow rationalism of our culture. Only faith leads us out of out narrow prejudices to a wide appreciation of your world. Only faith questions a skeptical, despairing response to evil, and leads to hope and peace.
Teach us the way of faith. Teach us to think and feel and live our faith, even when doubts assail and questions go unanswered. As the apostle Paul said, “Where there are prophecies, they will cease. Where there tongues, they will be stilled. Where there is knowledge, it will pass away. And now remain these three: faith, hope, and love. But the greatest of these is love” (1 Cor 13:8, 13).
I’m Daniel, on the channel “Pray with Me”.
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