How Do Christians Deal with the Problem of Evil? Part One.

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I'M BACK!  It has been a while but I am back to blogging!  To begin with, I might as well jump into the proverbial deep end of the pool!

Atheists have argued over the last few centuries that the presence of evil precludes the existence of God.  The following quote from philosopher Robin Le Poidevin is typical “It is an indisputable fact that the history of the world contains some of the most appalling suffering imaginable, suffering that is either the result of natural disaster, such as earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, disease and famine, or the result of human actions, such as wars, ecological disasters and religious persecution. Does this present a problem for theism? Certainly there is a case to answer if we believe in a deity who is all-knowing, all-powerful and perfectly good. If he is all-knowing, he will be aware of suffering; if he is all-powerful, he will be able to prevent suffering; and if he is perfectly good, he will desire to prevent suffering. But, clearly, he does not prevent suffering, so either there is no such deity. Or, if there is, he is not all-knowing, all-powerful and perfectly good. Though he may be one or two of these.”

Atheists often act as if this is a slam dunk but many outside of the academic halls of philosophers of religion are unaware that Christian thinkers of various stripes have thoughtfully addressed this "problem" for nearly two thousand years.  In the wake of the enlightenment over the last few hundred years, believers from both academia and the church have written extensively on reconciling the existence of God and evil and suffering in our world.  

Over the next few blog posts, I will try to accurately but simply and briefly summarize the prevailing beliefs from the Arminian, Molinist and Reformed camps.  So, tune back in soon!  Lord willing, I promise not to be gone long again.