The problem that the atheist has in the problem of evil is that in atheism there shouldn’t be a problem.
The problem of evil is a problem for everyone. It is a problem from the stage at a philosophical debate to the table at a corner coffeehouse. People struggle with the problem of evil because people struggle with evil.
Christians struggle with thinking and feeling our way through the problem of evil as much as anyone, and often more so. We are forced by reality to ask ourselves how we can believe in an all-good, all-powerful God that allows all this pain and suffering. Nevertheless, we understand a few things.
- Logically, there is no reason to believe that the existence of evil and the existence of God are contradictory.
- Emotionally, as terrible as pain and suffering are, Christianity offers the resources to find a peace that passes all understanding.
- Existentially, there is hope in the fact that Jesus Christ took on himself the consequences of evil and demonstrated his power to ultimately deliver us from it.
In Christianity, we have both definition for and deliverance from evil.
But, what about the nonbeliever? The problem of evil is typically offered as evidence that God does not exist. It is usually the atheist who leaves the problem at the feet of the Christian and demands an answer. However, “Criticism without alternative is empty.”
So, what answer does atheism offer for the problem of evil?
Here’s the thing…
It doesn’t, because it can’t. Continue reading “The Other Side of the Problem of Evil”