The existence of pain and suffering in a world created by a good and almighty God is a fundamental theological dilemma and may be the most serious objection to the Christian religion. In the book, The Problem Of Pain , author C.S. Lewis addresses the issue of pain as a mere problem that demands a solution; he formulates it and goes about solving it. "If God were good, He would make His creatures perfectly happy, and if He were almighty He would be able to do what He wished. But the creatures are not happy.
In the opening of the poem, he writes “That to the heighth of this great Argument I may assert Eternal Providence, And justify the ways of God to men. (Book I, Lines 24-16)” It is by no means an easy task. Especially when put in the words of Covington, who writes “Traditionally, the most central source of enmity between God and philosophy is the problem of evil. In the vast field of arguments for or against the existence of God, it alone seems to have much strength or possible validity. A simple version of it could be stated thus: 1: God is an omnipotent, omnibenevolent being.
In addition, he defends his position by citing patterns of descriptions that characterize God throughout the Old Testament. “Our image of God will directly affect how we either pursue or avoid God. If we believe that the God of the Old Testament is really harsh, unfair and cruel, we won’t want anything to do with him” (Lamb 22). Clearly, they way Christians choose to see God will shape their relationship with Him. One of the main dangers in the way we chose to interpret God in both testaments, is our tendency to see the Bible as containing two different gods: the God of the
It seems impossible to answer these questions by denying that evil and freedom exist. It can be clearly seen and argued that bad things occur in this world, just as every person can understand they have freedom when they act. Classical theism puts an extreme emphasis on God’s omnipotence and seems to make God responsible for the pain and suffering in the world. As a result, God ends up getting the blame for the mistakes found in His creation. It becomes necessary, then, to propose a scheme in which God is not so powerful that He is incapable of relating and in which He also remains God.
At times it seems as if it is too much to bear and people begin to question the evil in the world. The problem of evil leads people to question the existence of God. Surely if there was a loving and all powerful God, there would be no evil. Why would a God who loves His people allow so much pain and suffering to occur? According to Moreland and Craig, “The greatest intellectual obstacle to belief in God is the so-called problem of evil (Moreland and Craig 536).” This paper will look at the logical argument for evil and the Christian’s response to the argument.
The problem of evil is a difficult objection to contend with for theists. Indeed, major crises of faith can occur after observing or experiencing the wide variety and depths of suffering in the world. It also stands that these “evils” of suffering call into question the existence of an omnibenevolent and omnipotent God of the Judeo-Christian tradition. The “greater good defense” tries to account for some of the issues presented, but still has flaws of its own. In the excerpt from Philosophy of Religion, John Hicks outlines the problem of evil as such: (a) If God were truly omnibenevolent, he would then wish to eliminate all evil; (b) If God is were truly omnipotent, he would then be capable of eliminating evil; (c) Evil exists in the world.
Let’s see what we can do to help explain the Christian view of these topics. Ethical dualism is an interpretation that, “asserts that there are two mutually hostile forces or beings in the world, the one being the source of all good, and the other the source of all evil,”1 and the idea that God and Satan are two eternal and equal forces that will struggle for eternity. This idea began around the third century. Some religions attempted to solve the problem of evil and held to the idea of dualism, which caused faulty teachings to arise. The Bible teaches that the origin and destiny of Satan contradicts ethical dualism.
Although the main theme of this sermon was the Anger of God, this sermon is meant to depict the relationship between the Holy God and sinful man. First of all, Edwards describes the natural condition of man as being bleak. He says that God’s fury “burns against them”, that God’s “glittering sword is whet, and held over them, and the pit hath opened its mouth under them” (196). What he means by this is that “unconverted men” are in a standing with God that is precarious (196). They have not yet fallen under the judgment of God, but could at any given time be swallowed whole by the wrath of God.
First, we blame Satan or the devil for suffering the cause of suffering. Satan challenged Job in three areas: Job's righteousness, Job's fear of God, and Job's separation from sin (Job 1:8-11). Satan claimed that Job fears God only because God protects and prospers him. The prosperity issue and its resultant retribution/ theology become a major focus in understanding suffering throughout the book (1:9-10; 2:4; 5:19-26; 8:6-7; 11:17-19; 13:15-16; 17:5; 20:21-22; 22:21; 24:1-12; 34:9; 36:11, 16; 42:10). The presentation of this false theology is therefore found in Satan's statements before the throne of God (chaps.
I found comparing our views very interesting. The problem of evil proves contradiction in religious philosophy, that a perfect God may or may not exist (Pecornio, 1). If a perfect God exists, why would he put evil into our world and promote suffering? Some philosophers have argued that this suffering is consequence for our own sins. If you willingly choose a path of evil, then evil will present itself onto you.