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If God, Why Evil? Copyright by Norman Geisler 2010.

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1 If God, Why Evil? Copyright by Norman Geisler 2010

2 Three Basic Responses to Evil Pantheism: Affirms God and Denies Evil Atheism: Affirms Evil and Denies God Theism: Affirms both God and Evil But how can both be true?

3 Outline I. The Nature of Evil II. The Origin of Evil III. The Persistence of Evil IV. The Purpose of Evil V. The Avoidability of Evil VI. The Problem of Physical Evil

4 I. The Nature of Evil A. The Problem:

5 1. God created all things.

6 I. The Nature of Evil A. The Problem: 1. God created all things. 2. Evil is something.

7 I. The Nature of Evil A. The Problem: 1. God created all things. 2. Evil is something. 3. Therefore, God created evil.

8 I. The Nature of Evil A. The Problem: 1. God created all things. 2. Evil is something. 3. Therefore, God created evil. Note: If both God and evil are real, then how can Christians deny 1 or 2, and 3 follows from them.

9 I. The Nature of Evil B. The Response: 1. There are no evil things. 2. Evil is a corruption in a good thing.

10 Evil is like rot to a tree

11 Evil is like rust to a car

12 Evil is like moth holes in wool

13 Evil is Like an Amputation in a Body

14 Problems Problem 1: If evil is a corruption or privation in a good thing, then it is not real (e.g., a hole is nothing). Answer: It is a real lack in a good thing. Being blind, deaf, or lame is realit is a real lack of sight, lack of hearing, or lack of wholeness. Problem 2: If evil is the absence or negation of Good, then it is a negative, but evil is a positive reality. Answer: Answer evil is a privation, not an absence. Absenceis only something not there. Privationis something not there that ought to be there. For instance, sight is merely absent in the stone, but the stone is a privation in a human because by nature humans are supposed to see.

15 Note: 1. Evil does not exist in itself but only in another (It is like a parasite). 2. Nothing is totally evil in a physical sense. a. A totally rusted car is no car at all. b. A totally rotten tree is no longer a tree. c. A totally moth eaten garment is no longer a garment. Problem 1: What about Satan? Answer: He is totally evil morally (doing) but not metaphysically (being). Problem 2: What about total depravity? Answer: We are totally incapable of achieving our own salvation. Problem 3: What about poison? Answer: It has good chemicals and good purposes.

16 I. The Nature of Evil A. The Problem for Theism B. The Response: 1. God created only good things. 2. Evil is not a thing (but a lack in a good thing). 3. So, God did not create evil. A. The Problem for Theism B. The Response: 1. God created only good things. 2. Evil is not a thing (but a lack in a good thing). 3. So, God did not create evil.

17 The Problem of Sovereignty I. God is the author of everything that happens (= God is sovereign, that is, in control of everything). 2. Evil is something that happens. 3. So, God is the author of evil. Fallacy: Equivocation on the word author God permits evil (in His permissive will). He doesnt promote evil (in His perfect will). Note: Evil is permitted but controlled by God. God permits evil in order to defeat evil and produce a greater good.

18 Illustration: Author and a Book Note: 1.The author wrote the whole story, including: a. what the villain said and did; b. what the hero said and did; c. how the villain was punished; d. how the hero was rewarded. 2.But the author: a. did not make them puppets but (free) people; b. does not agree with the villain; c. wills and accomplishes the triumph of good over evil in the end.

19 God is Sovereign Over All Things Yours, O LORD, is the kingdom; you are exalted as head over all….You are the ruler of all things (1 Chrn 29:11-12). Yours, O LORD, is the kingdom; you are exalted as head over all….You are the ruler of all things (1 Chrn 29:11-12). "I know that you can do all things; no plan of yours can be thwarted" (Job 42:2). "Our God is in heaven; he does whatever pleases him" (Ps 115:3). "The LORD does whatever pleases him, in the heavens and on the earth, in the seas and all their depths" (Ps 135:6). "The king's heart is in the hand of the LORD; he directs it like a watercourse wherever he pleases" (Prov. 21:1). "The king's heart is in the hand of the LORD; he directs it like a watercourse wherever he pleases" (Prov. 21:1). The Most High is sovereign over the kingdoms of men and gives them to anyone he wishes…" (Dan 4:17). The Most High is sovereign over the kingdoms of men and gives them to anyone he wishes…" (Dan 4:17). "Surely, as I have planned, so it will be, and as I have purposed, so it will stand.... For the LORD Almighty has purposed, and who can thwart him? (Isa. 14:24,27). So is my word that goes out from my mouth: It will not return to me empty, but [it] will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it (Isa 55:11). So is my word that goes out from my mouth: It will not return to me empty, but [it] will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it (Isa 55:11).

20 God is Sovereign Over Free Choices "This man was handed over to you by God's set purpose and foreknowledge; and you, with the help of wicked men, put him to death by nailing him to the cross" (Acts 2:23). They stumble because they disobey the message-- which is also what they were destined for (1 Pet 2:8). "I lay down my life--only to take it up again. No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord" (John 10:17-18). Yet it resulted from God's definite plan and foreknowledge (ESV). Truly the Son of man goes, as it was determined: but woe unto that man by whom he is betrayed!" (Luke 22:22 KJV).

21 Outline I. The Nature of Evil II. The Origin of Evil I. The Nature of Evil II. The Origin of Evil

22 The Problem: A. God is absolutely perfect. B. God cannot create anything imperfect. C. And a perfect creature cannot do evil. D. Therefore, evil cannot arise in such a world. E. But evil did arise in this world. F. Hence, either A or B is false (or both). God is not perfect, and/or-- God did not create a perfect creature. God did not create a perfect creature.

23 The Response: A. God is absolutely perfect. B. God cannot created anything imperfect. C. And a perfect creature cannot do evil (=false). D. Therefore, evil cannot arise in such a world. E. But evil did arise in this world. F. Hence, either A or B is false (or both).

24 II. The Origin of Evil How a perfect creatures can do evil How a perfect creatures can do evil 1. God created only good things. 2. One good thing God created was free will. 3. Free will makes evil possible, since-- a. It involves the power to do otherwise. b. But to do otherwise than good is evil. 4. Hence, a perfect free creature can do evil. Note: God made evil possible (via free will = good) Note: God made evil possible (via free will = good) But free creatures made evil actual. But free creatures made evil actual.

25 Problem 2: Who Caused Lucifer to Sin? Response: No one else caused him to do it; Lucifer was the cause of his own sin. A free act is a self-caused action. 1. It cant be caused by another--or else they would be responsible for it. 2. Nor can it be uncaused--since every event has a cause. 3. Hence, it must be self-cause (i.e., caused by my self).

26 Outline I. The Nature of Evil II. The Origin of Evil III. The Persistence of Evil I. The Nature of Evil II. The Origin of Evil III. The Persistence of Evil

27 The Problem: A. If God is all good, He would defeat evil. B. If God is all powerful, He could defeat evil. B. If God is all powerful, He could defeat evil. C. But Evil is not defeated. C. But Evil is not defeated. D. Therefore, no such God exists. D. Therefore, no such God exists.

28 III. The Persistence of Evil The Response: A. If God is all good, He would defeat evil. B. If God is all powerful, He could defeat evil. C. But Evil is not yet defeated. D. Therefore, no such God exists. Note: This conclusion does not follow, since-- Evil might yet be defeat it in the future.

29 The New Problem: A. If God is all good, He would defeat evil. B. If God is all powerful, He could defeat evil. B. If God is all powerful, He could defeat evil. C. But Evil never will be defeated. C. But Evil never will be defeated. D. Therefore, no such God exists. D. Therefore, no such God exists. Response: There is no way for the objector to know this--unless he is God (i.e., all-knowing).

30 III. The Persistence of Evil The New Conclusion: A. If God is all good, He would defeat evil. B. If God is all powerful, He could defeat evil. C. But Evil is not yet defeated. D. Therefore, evil will one day be defeated! The nature of a theistic Gods guarantees it! He is all powerful and can do it. He is all good and wants to do it. Hence, He will do it.

31 Outline I. The Nature of Evil II. The Origin of Evil III. The Persistence of Evil IV. The Purpose of Evil I. The Nature of Evil II. The Origin of Evil III. The Persistence of Evil IV. The Purpose of Evil

32 Why Evil? What is the significance of suffering? What is the meaning for misery? What is the design for disaster? What is the cause for calamity? What is the purpose for pain?

33 IV. The Purpose of Evil A. An all-good God must have a good purpose for everything.

34 IV. The Purpose of Evil A. An all-good God must have a good purpose for everything. B. But there is no good purpose for some suffering (e.g., useless or innocent suffering). A. An all-good God must have a good purpose for everything. B. But there is no good purpose for some suffering (e.g., useless or innocent suffering).

35 IV. The Purpose of Evil A. An all-good God must have a good purpose for everything. B. But there is no good purpose for some suffering (e.g., useless or innocent suffering). C. Hence, there cannot be an all-good God. Note: There is either a finite god or no God. A. An all-good God must have a good purpose for everything. B. But there is no good purpose for some suffering (e.g., useless or innocent suffering). C. Hence, there cannot be an all-good God. Note: There is either a finite god or no God.

36 IV. The Purpose of Evil Response: 1) Just because we dont know a good purpose for evil does not mean there is none. Response: 1) Just because we dont know a good purpose for evil does not mean there is none.

37 IV. The Purpose of Evil Response: 1) Just because we dont know a good purpose for evil does not mean there isnone. 2) An all-good, all-knowing God knows a good purpose for everything (including evil). Response: 1) Just because we dont know a good purpose for evil does not mean there isnone. 2) An all-good, all-knowing God knows a good purpose for everything (including evil).

38 IV. The Purpose of Evil Response: 1) Just because we dont know a good purpose for evil does not mean there isnone. 2) An all-good, all-knowing God knows a good purpose for everything (including evil). a. Some evil seems to us to have no good purpose. Response: 1) Just because we dont know a good purpose for evil does not mean there isnone. 2) An all-good, all-knowing God knows a good purpose for everything (including evil). a. Some evil seems to us to have no good purpose.

39 IV. The Purpose of Evil Response: 1) Just because we dont know a good purpose for evil does not mean there isnone. 2) An all-good, all-knowing God knows a good purpose for everything (including evil). a. Some evil seems to us to have no good purpose. b. But an all-good God has a good purpose for everything. Response: 1) Just because we dont know a good purpose for evil does not mean there isnone. 2) An all-good, all-knowing God knows a good purpose for everything (including evil). a. Some evil seems to us to have no good purpose. b. But an all-good God has a good purpose for everything.

40 IV. The Purpose of Evil Response: 1) Just because we dont know a good purpose for evil does not mean there isnone. 2) An all-good, all-knowing God knows a good purpose for everything (including evil). a. Some evil seems to us to have no good purpose. b. But an all-good God has a good purpose for everything. c. So, even evil that seems to us to have no good purpose, does have a good purpose. Response: 1) Just because we dont know a good purpose for evil does not mean there isnone. 2) An all-good, all-knowing God knows a good purpose for everything (including evil). a. Some evil seems to us to have no good purpose. b. But an all-good God has a good purpose for everything. c. So, even evil that seems to us to have no good purpose, does have a good purpose.

41 Why We Dont Know a Good Purpose for All Evil 1) We do not know all things.

42 Why We Dont Know a Good Purpose for All Evil 1) We do not know all things. 2) We do not know the end of all things. 1) We do not know all things. 2) We do not know the end of all things.

43 Why We Dont Know a Good Purpose for All Evil 1) We do not know all things. 2) We do not know the end of all things. 3) But an all-knowing God knows both, for-- 1) We do not know all things. 2) We do not know the end of all things. 3) But an all-knowing God knows both, for--

44 Why We Dont Know a Good Purpose for All Evil 1) We do not know all things. 2) We do not know the end of all things. 3) But an all-knowing God knows both, for-- The secret things belong to the Lord our God, but to us and to our children the things that are revealed (Deut. 29:29). 1) We do not know all things. 2) We do not know the end of all things. 3) But an all-knowing God knows both, for-- The secret things belong to the Lord our God, but to us and to our children the things that are revealed (Deut. 29:29).

45 Why We Dont Know a Good Purpose for All Evil 1) We do not know all things. 2) We do not know the end of all things. 3) But an all-knowing God knows both, for-- The secret things belong to the Lord our God, but to us and to our children the things that are revealed (Deut. 29:29). His ways are unsearchable and His judgments past finding out (Rom. 11:33). 1) We do not know all things. 2) We do not know the end of all things. 3) But an all-knowing God knows both, for-- The secret things belong to the Lord our God, but to us and to our children the things that are revealed (Deut. 29:29). His ways are unsearchable and His judgments past finding out (Rom. 11:33).

46 Why We Dont Know a Good Purpose for All Evil 1) We do not know all things. 2) We do not know the end of all things. 3) But an all-knowing God knows both, for-- The secret things belong to the Lord our God, but to us and to our children the things that are revealed (Deut. 29:29). His ways are unsearchable and His judgments past finding out (Rom. 11:33). I am God and there is none like me, declaring the end from the beginning (Isa. 46:10). 1) We do not know all things. 2) We do not know the end of all things. 3) But an all-knowing God knows both, for-- The secret things belong to the Lord our God, but to us and to our children the things that are revealed (Deut. 29:29). His ways are unsearchable and His judgments past finding out (Rom. 11:33). I am God and there is none like me, declaring the end from the beginning (Isa. 46:10).

47 Paul Harvey: The Rest of the Story I do not believe that the Divine Architect of the universe ever builds a staircase that leads to nowhere( A y oung man dying of cancer)

48 What We Do Know About Suffering 1. Some pain has a good purpose (e.g., warning pains).

49 What We Do Know About Suffering 1. Some pain has a good purpose (e.g., warning pains). – A tooth ache 1. Some pain has a good purpose (e.g., warning pains). – A tooth ache

50 What We Do Know About Suffering 1. Some pain has a good purpose (e.g., warning pains). – A tooth ache – A pain in the chest 1. Some pain has a good purpose (e.g., warning pains). – A tooth ache – A pain in the chest

51 What We Do Know About Suffering 1. Some pain has a good purpose (e.g., warning pains). – A tooth ache – A pain in the chest – A pain in the lower right side 1. Some pain has a good purpose (e.g., warning pains). – A tooth ache – A pain in the chest – A pain in the lower right side

52 What We Do Know About Suffering 1. Some pain has a good purpose (e.g., warning pains). – A tooth ache – A pain in the chest – A pain in the lower right side 2. We learn more through pain than pleasure: 1. Some pain has a good purpose (e.g., warning pains). – A tooth ache – A pain in the chest – A pain in the lower right side 2. We learn more through pain than pleasure:

53 What We Do Know About Suffering 1. Some pain has a good purpose (e.g., warning pains). – A tooth ache – A pain in the chest – A pain in the lower right side 2. We learn more through pain than pleasure: –Few enduring lessons are learned through pleasure 1. Some pain has a good purpose (e.g., warning pains). – A tooth ache – A pain in the chest – A pain in the lower right side 2. We learn more through pain than pleasure: –Few enduring lessons are learned through pleasure

54 What We Do Know About Suffering 1. Some pain has a good purpose (e.g., warning pains). – A tooth ache – A pain in the chest – A pain in the lower right side 2. We learn more through pain than pleasure: –Few enduring lessons are learned through pleasure. –Most enduring lessons are learned through pain. 1. Some pain has a good purpose (e.g., warning pains). – A tooth ache – A pain in the chest – A pain in the lower right side 2. We learn more through pain than pleasure: –Few enduring lessons are learned through pleasure. –Most enduring lessons are learned through pain.

55 The Real Question: Why Isnt There More Pain Considering how effective pain is, the Real question-- It is not why is there so much pain, but-- why is there not more pain? Considering how effective pain is, the Real question-- It is not why is there so much pain, but-- why is there not more pain?

56 The Real Truth is-- 1. God is more interested in our character than He is our comfort.

57 The Real Truth is-- 1. God is more interested in our character than He is our comfort. 2. God is more interested in our holiness than He is our happiness. 1. God is more interested in our character than He is our comfort. 2. God is more interested in our holiness than He is our happiness.

58 The Real Truth is-- 1. God is more interested in our character than He is our comfort. 2. God is more interested in our holiness than He is our happiness. There is no verse that says, Be ye happy as I am happy, saith the Lord. 1. God is more interested in our character than He is our comfort. 2. God is more interested in our holiness than He is our happiness. There is no verse that says, Be ye happy as I am happy, saith the Lord.

59 The Real Truth is-- 1. God is more interested in our character than He is our comfort. 2. God is more interested in our holiness than He is our happiness. There is no verse that says, Be ye happy as I am happy, saith the Lord. There is a verse that says, Be ye holy as I am holy, saith the Lord (Lev. 11:45) 1. God is more interested in our character than He is our comfort. 2. God is more interested in our holiness than He is our happiness. There is no verse that says, Be ye happy as I am happy, saith the Lord. There is a verse that says, Be ye holy as I am holy, saith the Lord (Lev. 11:45)

60 Pain is Gods Megaphone God whispers to us in our pleasures, speaks in our conscience, but shouts in our pains: it is His megaphone to rouse a deaf world (C.S. Lewis, The Problem of Pain, 81).

61 What God Does Through Allowing Suffering You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives (Gen. 50:20)

62 What God Does Through Allowing Suffering You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives (Gen. 50:20) No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness... (Heb. 12:11). You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives (Gen. 50:20) No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness... (Heb. 12:11).

63 What God Does Through Allowing Suffering You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives (Gen. 50:20). No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness... (Heb. 12:11). For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all (2 Cor. 4:17). You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives (Gen. 50:20). No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness... (Heb. 12:11). For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all (2 Cor. 4:17).

64 What God Will Do Through Suffering However, –An all-knowing God knows the end of all things. However, –An all-knowing God knows the end of all things.

65 What God Will Do Through Suffering However, –An all-knowing God knows the end of all things. –An all-good God wants to bring all things to a good end. However, –An all-knowing God knows the end of all things. –An all-good God wants to bring all things to a good end.

66 What God Will Do Through Suffering However, –An all-knowing God knows the end of all things. –An all-good God wants to bring all things to a good end. –An all-powerful God can bring all things to a good end.

67 What God Will Do Through Suffering However, –An all-knowing God knows the end of all things. –An all-good God wants to bring all things to a good end. –An all-powerful God can bring all things to a good end. –Therefore, all things (including suffering) will come to a good end. However, –An all-knowing God knows the end of all things. –An all-good God wants to bring all things to a good end. –An all-powerful God can bring all things to a good end. –Therefore, all things (including suffering) will come to a good end.

68 What God Will Do Through Suffering However: –An all-knowing God knows the end of all things. –An all-good God wants to bring all things to a good end. –An all-powerful God can bring all things to a good end. –Therefore, all things (including suffering) will come to a good end. –Note: Only a theistic God guarantees a good end. However: –An all-knowing God knows the end of all things. –An all-good God wants to bring all things to a good end. –An all-powerful God can bring all things to a good end. –Therefore, all things (including suffering) will come to a good end. –Note: Only a theistic God guarantees a good end.

69 When Bad Things Happen to Good People Rabi Kushner But if we can bring ourselves to acknowledge that there are some things God does not control, many good things become possible (p. 45). Are you capable of forgiving God even when you have found out that He is not perfect…? (p. 148) But if we can bring ourselves to acknowledge that there are some things God does not control, many good things become possible (p. 45). Are you capable of forgiving God even when you have found out that He is not perfect…? (p. 148)

70 When Bad Things Happen to Good People Some Serious Problems:

71 When Bad Things Happen to Good People Some Serious Problems: –How can a limited god exist w/o a Creator?

72 When Bad Things Happen to Good People Some Serious Problems: –How can a limited god exist w/o a Creator? –How can a limited god overcome evil?

73 When Bad Things Happen to Good People Some Serious Problems: –How can a limited god exist w/o a Creator? –(Every finite thing has a cause). –How can a limited god guarantee victory? over evil? –How can we know God is not perfect w/o there being a Perfect standard by which to measure Him (which would be more ultimate than God)? Some Serious Problems: –How can a limited god exist w/o a Creator? –(Every finite thing has a cause). –How can a limited god guarantee victory? over evil? –How can we know God is not perfect w/o there being a Perfect standard by which to measure Him (which would be more ultimate than God)?

74 A Former Atheist on Evil My argument was that the universe seemed so cruel and unjust. But how had I got this idea of just and unjust. A man does not call a line crooked unless he has some idea of a straight line.... Of course I could have given up my idea of justice by saying it was nothing but a private idea of my own. But if I did that, then my argument against God collapsed too… (MC, 45).

75 The Painful Logic 1. We cant know something is ultimately in-just (not-just), unless we know what is ultimately just. 2. But an ultimate standard of justice implies there is a God, since-- –a. There cannot be a ultimate moral law, unless-- –b. There is an Ultimate Moral Law Giver (=God). In brief, this argument against God turns out to be an argument for God.

76 Overheard in an Orchard Said the Robin to the Sparrow, I should really like to know Why these anxious human beings Rush about a worry so. Said the Sparrow to the Robin, Friend, I think that it must be That they have no heavenly Father Such as cares for you and me. --Elizabeth Cheney Said the Robin to the Sparrow, I should really like to know Why these anxious human beings Rush about a worry so. Said the Sparrow to the Robin, Friend, I think that it must be That they have no heavenly Father Such as cares for you and me. --Elizabeth Cheney

77 God Cares That You Suffer Christ Suffered for You

78 Outline I. The Nature of Evil II. The Origin of Evil Persistence III. The Persistence of Evil IV. The Purpose of Evil V. The Avoidability of Evil

79 1. A theistic God did not have to create this world. a. He was free not to create any world. b. He was free to create other worlds. 2. He could have created a better world. a. One with no evil, or b. One with less evil than this one. 3. He is all-knowing and knew in advance what would happen. 4. But this world has more evil than the others. 5. Hence, a theistic God does not exist.

80 The So-called Better Alternatives 1) No world at all is not a better world, since:

81 V. A Response to The Better World Argument 1) No world at all is not a better world, since: a) Nothing cant be a better world than something, since nothing is not even a world; it doesnt even exist.

82 V. A Response to The Better World Argument 1) No world at all is not a better world, since: a) Nothing cant be a better world than something, since nothing is not even a world; it doesnt even exist. b) Nothing and something have nothing in common to compare them.

83 V. A Response to The Better World Argument 2 ) A non free world is not a better world, since: a) There is no basis to compare them. b) One is a moral world and the other is a non-moral world (which are not even in the same category).

84 V. A Response to The Better World Argument 3 ) A free world that cant sin is not even a possible world, since: a) It is a contradiction which is impossible. b) Free means can do otherwise, and this claims they cant do otherwise.

85 V. A Response to The Better World Argument 4 ) A free world that would not sin may not be actually possible. a) It may be only logically possible but not actually achievable. b) It may be that in every free world that God could have made that someone would have freely chosen to sin. c) Or, even if it was actually achievable, it would have been morally inferior (since no greater good could come from it).

86 The Best Way to the Best World This is not the best world possible (cf. Candide). But it may be the best way to the best world, since:

87 The Best Way to the Best World This is not the best world possible (cf. Candide). But it may be the best way to the best world, since: 1) Evil has to be permitted to be defeated.

88 The Best Way to the Best World This is not the best world possible (cf. Candide). But it may be the best way to the best world, since: 1) Evil has to be permitted to be defeated. 3) Permitting evil is necessary to producing higher goods.

89 The Best Way to the Best World This is not the best world possible (cf. Candide). But it may be the best way to the best world, since: 1) Evil has to be permitted to be defeated. 3) Permitting evil is necessary to producing higher goods. –a) No courage without danger.

90 The Best Way to the Best World This is not the best world possible (cf. Candide). But it may be the best way to the best world, since: 1) Evil has to be permitted to be defeated. 3) Permitting evil is necessary to producing higher goods. –a) No courage without danger. –b) No patience without tribulation.

91 The Best Way to the Best World This is not the best world possible (cf. Candide). But it may be the best way to the best world, since: 1) Evil has to be permitted to be defeated. 3) Permitting evil is necessary to producing higher goods. –a) No courage without danger. –b) No patience without tribulation. –c) No character without adversity.

92 The Best Way to the Best World This is not the best world possible (cf. Candide). But it may be the best way to the best world, since: 1) Evil has to be permitted to be defeated. 3) Permitting evil is necessary to producing higher goods. –a) No courage without danger. –b) No patience without tribulation. –c) No character without adversity. –d) No gain without pain.

93 The Best Way to the Best World This is not the best world possible (cf. Candide). But it may be the best way to the best world, since: 1) Evil has to be permitted to be defeated. 3) Permitting evil is necessary to producing higher goods. –a) No courage without danger. –b) No patience without tribulation. –c) No character without adversity. –d) No gain without pain. –e) No forgiveness without sin.

94 V. A Response to The Better World Argument 5 ) A free world were all would be saved may not be actually possible. a) It may be only logically possible but not actually achievable. b) It may be that in every free world that God could have made someone would have freely chosen not to be saved. c) The only way to guarantee all will be saved is to force their freedom (which is contradictory. They would be puppets, not people ).

95 Thy Will be Done! Jesus said, O Jerusalem, Jerusalem,…how often I have longed to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but you were not willing (Mt. 23:37). C.S. Lewis said, There are only two kinds of people in the end: those who say to God, `Thy will be done, and those to whom God says, in the end. `Thy will be done. All that are in Hell, chose it. Without that self-choice there could be no Hell.

96 The Problem With Universalism When one says, All will be saved, my reason retorts, Without their will, or with it? If I say, Without their will, I at once perceive a contra- diction; how can the supreme voluntary act of self-surrender be involuntary? If I say, With their will, my reason replies, How, if they will not give in? (The Problem of Pain, ).

97 Satan Said: Better to reign in Hell than serve in Heaven (in Miltons Paradise Lost)

98 Satan Said: Better to reign in Hell than serve in Heaven (in Miltons Paradise Lost) God Said:

99 Satan Said: Better to reign in Hell than serve in Heaven (in Miltons Paradise Lost) God Said: Youve got it!

100 Outline I. The Nature of Evil II. The Origin of Evil III. The Persistence of Evil IV. The Purpose of Evil V. The Avoidability of Evil VI. The Problem of Physical Evil

101 The Problem of Physical Evil The Problem Stated: 1) Moral Evil can be explained by free will.

102 The Problem of Physical Evil The Problem Stated: 1) Moral Evil can be explained by free will (above). 2) But physical evil does not result from free will. (e.g., earthquakes, tornadoes, hurricanes, meteors, floods, genetic deformity, and cancer.)

103 The Problem of Physical Evil The Problem Stated: 1) Moral Evil can be explained by free will. 2) But physical evil does not result from free will. (e.g., earthquakes, tornadoes, hurricanes, meteors, floods, genetic deformity, and cancer.) 3) Hence, Physical evil cannot be explained by free choice (No one chooses to have these things happen to them).

104 The Problem of Physical Evil I. The Problem Stated II. Response to the Problem : A. All physical evil can be connected to free will. B. Free will explains evil. C. Hence, physical evil can be explained by free will.

105 Free Will Explains Physical Evil 1) Some are directly self-inflicted (e.g., abuse of body). 2) Some are indirectly self-inflicted (e.g., poverty from laziness). 3) Some directly results from free choice of others (e.g., child abuse or spouse abuse). 4) Some results indirectly form free choice of others (e.g., poverty of children from parents alcoholism) 5) Some are byproducts of a good process: a) Rain produces food (floods are byproducts). b) Winds renews the air (tornadoes are a byproduct).

106 Free Will Explains Physical Evil 6) Some are necessary for a greater good physically (The bird gets the worm, but the worm gets eaten). 7) Some are needed for a greater moral good (e.g. character). 8) Some may be inflicted by God as punishment for our free choices (1Cor. 11:30). 9) Some are a result of Adams free choice (Gen. 3:1- 19; Rom. 5:12; 8:18-23). 10) Some may be inflicted by evil spirit beings (Job 1; Mark 5:1-14). All 10 easily account for all physical evil!

107 Problem: Since God can do miracles, why does He not intervene and prevent evil? Answer: 1. He has in the past (First Coming) and will in the future (Second Coming of Christ). 2. If He did it regularly, then a. God couldnt defeat evil (it must be permitting). b. We would never learn from our bad choices. c. We could not even live a moral life since it depends on knowing natural consequences of our actions, for example, that 1. Weapons can kill. 2. Driving too fast is dangerous. 3. Drunk driving can be fatal. 3. He cant destroy all evil without destroying all freedom.

108 Why Doesnt God Intervene and Stop All Evil? I.Why God Cant Destroy All Evil. Because:

109 Why Doesnt God Intervene and Stop All Evil? I.Why God Cant Destroy All Evil. Because: A. He cant destroy all evil without destroying all freedom.

110 Why Doesnt God Intervene and Stop All Evil? I.Why God Cant Destroy All Evil. Because: A. He cant destroy all evil without destroying all freedom. 1. But freedom is a good which God has willed.

111 Why Doesnt God Intervene and Stop All Evil? I.Why God Cant Destroy All Evil. Because: A. He cant destroy all evil without destroying all freedom. 1. But freedom is a good which God has willed. 2. Hence, God cant destroy all evil without destroying the good He has willed.

112 Why Doesnt God Intervene and Stop All Evil? I.Why God Cant Destroy All Evil. Because: A. He cant destroy all evil without destroying all freedom. 1. But freedom is a good which God has willed. 2. Hence, God cant destroy all evil without destroying the good He has willed. B. This would also destroy all good.

113 Why Doesnt God Intervene and Stop All Evil? I.Why God Cant Destroy All Evil. Because: A. He cant destroy all evil without destroying all freedom. 1. But freedom is a good which God has willed. 2. Hence, God cant destroy all evil without destroying the good He has willed. B. This would also destroy all good. 1. Destroying the freedom to curse God also destroys the ability to love God.

114 Why Doesnt God Intervene and Stop All Evil? I.Why God Cant Destroy All Evil. Because: A. He cant destroy all evil without destroying all freedom. 1. But freedom is a good which God has willed. 2. Hence, God cant destroy all evil without destroying the good He has willed. B. This would also destroy all good. 1. Destroying freedom to curse God also destroys the ability to praise God. 2. Destroying the ability to hate God also destroys the ability to love Him.

115 Why Doesnt God Intervene and Stop All Evil? I.Why God Cant Destroy All Evil

116 Why Doesnt God Intervene and Stop All Evil? I. Why God Cant Destroy All Evil II. Why God Can Defeat All Evil. Because:

117 Why Doesnt God Intervene and Stop All Evil? I. Why God Cant Destroy All Evil II. Why God Can Defeat All Evil. Because: A. He allows everyone to freely choose their destiny (So freedom is preserved).

118 Why Doesnt God Intervene and Stop All Evil? I. Why God Cant Destroy All Evil II. Why God Can Defeat All Evil. Because: A. He allows everyone to freely choose their destiny (So freedom is preserved). B. He defeats evil by: 1. Separating good from evil forever (Mt. 25:31-41).

119 Why Doesnt God Intervene and Stop All Evil? I. Why God Cant Destroy All Evil II. Why God Can Defeat All Evil. Because: A. He allows everyone to freely choose their destiny (So freedom is preserved). B. He defeats evil by: 1. Separating good from evil forever (Mt. 25:31-41). 2. By quarantining evil forever (in Hell).

120 Why Doesnt God Intervene and Stop All Evil? I. Why God Cant Destroy All Evil II. Why God Can Defeat All Evil. Because: A. He allows everyone to freely choose their destiny (So freedom is preserved). B. He defeats evil by: 1. Separating good from evil forever (Mt. 25:31-41). 2. By quarantining evil forever (in Hell). 3. By Punishing evil and rewarding good (in Heaven).

121 Why Doesnt God Intervene and Stop All Evil? I. Why God Cant Destroy All Evil II. Why God Can Defeat All Evil. Because: A. He allows everyone to freely choose their destiny (So freedom is preserved). B. He defeats evil by: 1. Separating good from evil forever (Mt. 25:31-41). 2. By quarantining evil forever (in Hell). 3. By Punishing evil and rewarding good (in Heaven). 4. By defeating death and Satan:

122 Why Doesnt God Intervene and Stop All Evil? I. Why God Cant Destroy All Evil II. Why God Can Defeat All Evil. Because: A. He allows everyone to freely choose their destiny (So freedom is preserved). B. He defeats evil by: 1. Separating good from evil forever (Mt. 25:31-41). 2. By quarantining evil forever (in Hell). 3. By Punishing evil and rewarding good (in Heaven). 4. By defeating death and Satan: a. Officially at Christs First Coming (Col. 2:14-15)

123 Why Doesnt God Intervene and Stop All Evil? I. Why God Cant Destroy All Evil II. Why God Can Defeat All Evil. Because: A. He allows everyone to freely choose their destiny (So freedom is preserved). B. He defeats evil by: 1. Separating good from evil forever (Mt. 25:31-41). 2. By quarantining evil forever (in Hell). 3. By Punishing evil and rewarding good (in Heaven). 4. By defeating death and Satan: a. Officially at Christs First Coming (Col. 2:14-15) b. Actually at Christs Second Coming (Rev )

124 The Official Defeat of Evil

125 The Actual Defeat of Evil I never said it would be easy…. I only said it would be worth it.


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