“If there is a good God, why is there so much EVIL in the world?”, my non-Christian friend asks. And “why do the wicked prosper and the righteous take it on the chin? If there is a good God,” he continues, “He wouldn’t want evil in His world. And if He is a powerful God, He could put a stop to it. Why doesn’t He?”
These questions can’t be avoided, especially in light of the February 14th mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida (17 people killed and 17 wounded), or the October 1, 2017 massacre of 58 people (and 851 injured) on the Las Vegas Strip in Nevada while they were at a music festival, or the April 17, 2007 mass shooting at Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, VA which left 33 people dead.
And that’s only one kind of evil. How about so-called “natural” disasters? In 1931 the death toll from floods in China was estimated to be between one and four million. In 2004 an earthquake and subsequent tsunami in the Indian Ocean took the lives of over 280,000. In 1920 the Haiyuan earthquake killed over 270,000. The Bhola cyclone in 1970 left between 250,000 and 500,000 dead. A cyclone in 2008 made landfall in Myanmar (where I am going in August) and killed 84,500 people with 53,800 missing. In 2005 a Pakistan earthquake registered 7.6 on the Richter scale. The official death toll was 75,000 people along with 106,000 injured. Need we continue with additional examples?
But the problem of evil is not a new one. The Bible does not sugarcoat the issue. The people in the Bible knew suffering, perhaps much more than we do.
So, how are we to respond to the problem of evil? (to be continued)