The problem of evil is inescapable in this fallen world. From worldwide terror like the Holocaust to individual evils like abuse, evil touches every life. However, evil is not a creation of God, nor was it in His perfect will. As Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn wrote as he described the atrocities that occurred during Stalin’s purges in The Gulag Archipelago, “Gradually it was disclosed to me that the line separating good and evil passes not through states, nor between classes, nor between political parties either -- but right through every human heart.” Evil comes from the actions of fallen people as they pursue their wills over the will of God. So why does God allow this evil; why does He not stop people like Hitler or Stalin before they begin their horrors? These are the hardest questions, and ones with no good answers.
The most satisfying answer I have discovered during my exploration of the problem of evil comes from Alvin Plantinga’s God, Freedom, and Evil. He presents the following free will defense:
Now God can create free...
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...il will be defeated and thrown into the lake of burning sulfur. Then God will establish his kingdom on earth and it will be perfect, free from evil for all eternity. This promise of Christ’s return gives hope in a world that often seems hopelessly overcome by evil.
The world we know is fallen and home to human and supernatural evil. No life escapes this world without being touched by evil, however some lives face the full magnitude of human and supernatural evil such as the Holocaust. In the midst of this evil, comfort is found in knowing God understand our suffering and that in the end good overcomes evil. In the mean time, each person can do his or her part to reduce evil in this world by serving the “least of these” and standing against evil with all that is within his or her power. In this way, before the last battle, good can triumph over evils in this world.
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