Christians need not be intellectually troubled that they can’t explain why God allows evil.

Chris —  September 28, 2009 — 2 Comments

A theodicy is “a defense of God’s goodness and omnipotence in view of the existence of evil.”  A theodicy speaks to the question, “If God is good and all-powerful, how do we explain the existence of evil.”

So how do Christians explain the problem of evil?

The reality is, we can’t provide an exhaustive theodicy or explanation of the existence of evil.  Our minds cannot fully fathom “why.”

But, in his recommended book, Return to Reason, Kelly Clark, explains why Christians need not feel intellectually compromised if they cannot explain the existence of evil.  Here is how he concludes the discussion.

The Christian theist need not be troubled by is his ignorance of a theodicy.  This ignorance is not insincere, questionable or obscurantist.  Rather, it is quite consistent with his theistic beliefs.  The Christian theist will believe that God has a good reason for allowing evil, although  he does not know what it is or know it in any detail.  He believes that God has a good reason because of God’s redemptive incarnational revelation.  It is not rationally incumbent upon the theist to produce a successful theodicy; the theist, in order to be rational, must simply believe that God has a good reason for allowing evil.  A God who shares in our pain, who redeems our sorrows and our shortcomings, who wipes away ever tear, is surely a good God. (page 89).

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If you want to stretch yourself intellectually, and learn more about Reformed epistemology, then this is an excellent place to begin. 

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2 responses to Christians need not be intellectually troubled that they can’t explain why God allows evil.

  1. I like that. I took a peek at the linked page. I definitely need more coffee before I can tackle that one.

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  1. two on suffering « Interstitial - September 29, 2009

    […] on suffering Posted on September 29, 2009 by bkingr first courtesy of Vitamin Z we get this comforting bit that we will never be able to fully explain the problem of evil but that we can trust God anyway: […]

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