Apologetics: Why is the world broken?

By Rob Phillips

Nearly everyone admits the world is broken, at least to some extent. There’s a disconnect between “what is” and “what ought to be.”

People pursue happiness, only to die sad and alone.

Our stuff wears out, loses its luster, or gets stolen.

Buses run late, baristas can’t make a decent latte, and the wrong team wins the Super Bowl.

Worse, evil runs rampant. ISIS bombs innocent concert-goers. Governments starve their people, even in resource-rich countries. Twitter wars trash reputations.

And on it goes. When we stop to ask our friends why they believe the world is broken, we get a variety of opinions.

Some say the existence of evil proves there is no God – at least not a benevolent, all-powerful deity. But as Gregory Koukl points out in The Story of Reality, “getting rid of God because bad things happen, though an understandable impulse, does not solve anything. It neither explains the world’s brokenness nor helps us repair it.”

Many who hold a naturalistic worldview, which argues that the material world is all that exists, say that the world is exactly the way it’s supposed to be. Yes, it’s broken, but what do you expect from a universe that runs on blind processes and survives by chance and adaptation?

Noted atheist Richard Dawkins explains it like this: “In a universe of blind physical forces and genetic replication, some people are going to get hurt, and other people are going to get lucky; and you won’t find any rhyme or reason to it, nor any justice. The universe we observe has precisely the properties we should expect if there is at the bottom, no design, no purpose, no evil and no good. Nothing but blind pitiless indifference.”

Many are not so jaded in their despair. These folks argue that our problems reflect society’s failure. If only people had more education, they would get better jobs, live in nicer neighborhoods, marry into the higher echelons of society, and be happy.

Or, if only poverty were eradicated, we’d have less crime, higher levels of overall health, longer lifespans, and greater universal harmony.

There are many problems with this view…


Apologetics: Why is the world broken? | The Pathway