Why I Am a Christian: Because of the Problem of Evil
by Lenny Esposito
Yesterday, I began to explain why I hold to Christianity. Of course, as I’ve said before, there is only one good reason to believe anything and that is if it’s true. I believe Christianity is true and I’ve been laying out my reasons why Christianity is true. One reason I want to talk about today seems rather backwards. In fact, many will tell you that this particular issue is the toughest challenge to Christianity and a lot of atheists became such because of the problem of evil in the world. But I believe that Christianity is true because of its approach to the problem of evil.
The problem of evil is usually presented like this, “How can an all-powerful, all-loving God exists when there is so much evil in the world?” That seems to be a hard question, and even though the argument fails logically, it intuitively strikes people as an objection needing an answer, and Christianity does offer one. Christianity teaches that God simply isn’t done with us yet. God allows evil for certain period of time in order to accomplish the purposes He set out for man and His creation. Once those purposes are complete, He will vanquish all evil. The cross of Christ has guaranteed that Jesus has triumphed over death and sin and the Christian rests assured that evil will not exist for all eternity. In a relatively brief period, God will vanquish all evil yet preserve our freedom to exercise our love towards Him forever.
What other worldview provides a better answer?
The interesting thing in this question, though, is that it isn’t incumbent on only the Christian to answer it. Evil is recognizable in any religious system or non-religious system. Every worldview needs to account for the problem of evil; not just Christianity. How do the other belief systems measure up?
When someone offers an objection to God on the basis of the amount of evil in the world, they are conceding at least two things:
- There is an objective “good” whereby we can measure actions and label them as good or evil.
- The fact that evil actions exist means there are problems in the world that need to be solved.
Given that those two facts can be established, they open up questions of their own. For the first, one must ask “Where are you getting this idea of good and evil from? Is evil real? If so, what is that objective standard whereby we can measure actions as good or evil?” The next question can then be, “and what is the solution to evil according to your worldview?”
These questions pose significant problems for other worldviews…
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