It is a riddle that philosophers have pondered, skeptics have flaunted, and theologians have debated for centuries. If God is all-powerful and all-good, then why is evil so rampant?
If God is all-powerful, then he would be more than able to rid the world of evil.
If God is all-good, then he would be more than willing to rid the world of evil.
But, there is evil in this world. Everywhere, it seems. So, what’s the deal?
Is God able but not willing? Then he is not good. Is God willing but not able? Then he is not powerful. Either way, he is not God.
Popularly attributed to 4th-century philosopher Epicurus, and popularized by 18th-century philosopher David Hume, this form of the problem of evil poses the question: How can we reconcile the existence of evil with the existence of God? In other words, if God exists, why is there so much evil? The philosophical/theological debate rages to this day.
However, the problem of evil is a problem for everyone, not just philosophers and theologians. We see horrific things happening every day. When we are on the receiving end of that evil, we find that no amount of philosophy can soothe, and no amount of argumentation can heal. In those movements, believers are left with their faith shaken, and unbelievers are left with their doubts confirmed. The pain and suffering leave us wanting, not an argument, but an answer.
So, is the evil we see in the world the indictment against God’s existence that so many for so long have said it is?
Here’s the thing…
Evil, both moral and natural, with all the pain and suffering it causes, does not drive us away from God. It drives us towards God.