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The Problem of Evil Proves God? - Cold-Case Christianity - J. Warner & Jimmy Wallace

The Problem of Evil Proves God?

How The Problem of Evil Points to God’s Existence

"If you have ever struggled with the problem of suffering—why an all-good and powerful God would create or allow pain—then I have a solution for you. You can start by reading the Bible.

These days, whenever I begin a Bible study with people curious about Christianity, I begin with the problem of suffering, because I have found when looking at the biblical narratives—whether Abraham and Isaac, or jolly ol’ Job, or Christ and his Apostles—that God’s allowance of suffering can not only be seen as morally acceptable but in fact elevated to something of unbelievable allure. This sounds strange, of course, which is why I call it unbelievable (most people don’t believe me). How could so many abominable things in everyday life—from genocides to sickle cell anemia—be redeemable? I argue: in the Bible at least, they are redeemed, even the worst of them, and that is what gives us hope.

However, to understand what possible (read: morally sufficient) reasons God could have for allowing suffering into creation, we cannot consider pain entirely in the abstract nebulous atmosphere of philosophy. Rather, we must enter into what Eleonore Stump calls second-person biblical narratives to truly understand and more fully appreciate the depths of a pain-ridden individual’s heart, and how, through their often exceedingly backbiting trials, they are not only brought to an objectively higher state of human perfection, but also given, in a real sense, their deepest and most intimate desire.

Abraham wants to be a memorable patriarch—God permits that, but only after Abraham is taught to trust fully in God’s goodness, and to stop being so double-minded in his faith. Job, on the other hand, wants to be a man of outstanding righteousness—again, God grants it, but in a way that might not have been possible previous to the afflictions that God allowed Satan to render unto him, an event, Stump argues, which shows considerable attention on God’s part to Satan, too, if only to demonstrate to Satan that his cynicism is unwarranted and thus to possibly prevent him from falling even more deeply into a narcissistic pit of self-isolated despair. (If this is true, then Satan and Job are, fascinatingly, both instruments for one another while being ends in themselves.) And so on.

Because God is love, God wants only what is best for us, both objectively and subjectively. Objectively, God desires we have union with himself, the highest good. There is nothing of more ontological worth than obtaining the Beatific vision of the supreme Godhead. God wants to give us himself because that is the most God can offer, the perfection of unrestricted Being itself. Eternal bliss, sharing in the divine life. Bada-boom, bada-bing..." from the article: How The Problem of Evil Points to God’s Existence

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