words from a broken vessel

If God, Then Why Evil?

A common objection to the existence of God is the existence of evil. The basic argument is that if God is good and all powerful, then why does evil exist? So, either God is not who He says He is or (as many atheists claim) He doesn’t exist! To put it simply, the existence of evil (and its fruit, suffering) negates the existence of God.

I won’t go into the logical and probability defenses of how there can indeed be evil and God at the same time (I will post clips about those topics at the end of the blog) but I will share a couple points I came up with during times of deep reflection and seeking God on the subject.

There is a story (possibly apocryphal) that a British newspaper, The Times, asked the question, What’s Wrong With The World Today? to many famous authors over a century ago. G.K. Chesterton simply replied,

“Dear Sir,

I am.

Yours, G.K. Chesterton.”

What G.K. recognized, but most of us do not, is that evil is not something you catch, like a virus. It is something that is inherently internal; it comes from within us. So, if God was to get rid of evil, He needed to wipe the planet clean of every human being. And even then, you would still have the effects of our sin upon all of creation, since we were supposed to be the guardians and stewards of it at the beginning.

Jesus confirmed this. When certain religious leaders were complaining that his disciples ate before ceremonially washing their hands, he corrected their thinking by stating that it’s not what you physically consumed that defiles you (make you impure thus evil), but impurity comes from within the innermost part of man, usually known as the heart.[1] It’s already there, waiting to pounce and devour us.[2]

This is a very humbling accusation. We instantly want to prove otherwise. The world claims that man is mostly good, and evil is an exception, caused by either our environment, a faulty strand of DNA, bad nurturing as a child, or a combination of all three. But if we are truly honest with ourselves, and take a good look into our hearts, we know that what Jesus said is true. History and reality proves it to be true.

Another jab is that if God is all-knowing (known as omniscience), then He knew that if He created man he would fall; so why would He do that? If it’s true, then God is sadistic. To answer this, I could simply state that I am not God, but many will claim the answer is a cop out. However, it is logically consistent with an all-knowing, all-powerful God who obviously knows more than me and can think of possibilities beyond my limited mental capacities. However, I think the question doesn’t go far enough. The question that floors me in amazement and wonder is this: if God is all-knowing and knew that man would fall, why would He create him (and by extension, her), knowing full well that to redeem mankind http://murray.ca/mortgage He would have to empty Himself and become like his frail creation, then suffer and die horribly on a cross to rescue mankind?[3]


I leave you with those two thoughts to ponder on. For a more detailed discussion about the problem of evil here are two links to consider from Christian philosopher and apologist, William Lane Craig:

Suffering and Evil: The Logical Problem



Suffering and Evil: The Probability Version



A Viral Video on the Problem of Evil – Reasonable Faith Video Podcast



[1] Mark 7:18-23

[2] Genesis 4:7

[3] Philippians 2:6-8