Friday, March 09, 2007

The Problem of Evil

In over 20 years of debating atheists, the most common complaint they have against the Christian God usually revolves around how a omnipotent God could allow so much evil in the world. Even more problematic for most is that God was the author of what they see as evil, especially in the Old Testament. The Great Flood, Sodom and Gomorrah, and the utter destruction of some cities or people groups, including the take over of Jerusalem.

I have done my best to offer answers to these issues over the years, but I found a great essay that really pulled things together in a very different way. The article pointed out that in every case God:

1. Had clearly declared years in advance that certain things were going to happen, therefore putting people on notice with regard to his intent.
2. Had given many opportunities for either changing their ways or moving out of the way.
3. Had provided evidence of his mercy.
4. Had even given last chances near the time of the destruction
5. Made it clear that these actions were judgments in response to horrific behavior. Usually this behavior was sexual and violent.
6. Meted out the same exact consequences to the Jews when they were judged to be behaving badly.

Interestingly to me, it seems as if this is exactly how God works in our individual lives, and how He has promised to work at His future coming.

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