In what follows, I provide a brief argument (four propositions and a conclusion) that seeks to make sense of evil in the world. The argument is based on the metanarrative of Scripture—creation, fall, and redemption; together with the revelation of God concerning his overarching purpose for creation and history. I call this the Greater Glory Theodicy because it seeks to locate the primary solution to the problem of evil in that which brings God the greatest glory—the atoning work of Christ.
One of the perennial conundrums of the Christian worldview is seeking to make sense of the ubiquitous presence of evil in the world. How can such malevolent conditions persist under the hand of a perfectly righteous God who abhors all manner of wickedness and yet has the requisite power to quickly dispense with it? This is the classic problem of evil or theodicy. A theodicy is an attempt to justify the ways of God in the face of evil. The logical problem poses a trilemma. God has revealed himself as being (1) omnibenevolent and (2) omnipotent which is juxtaposed with the fact that we also have a world filled with (3) evil. The undeniable reality of evil would appear to place one or both of these suppositions about God in jeopardy. However, to be faithful to God’s infallible self-revelation, we cannot dispense with these truths. This means there is some explaining to do.
Scholars - Problem - God - Goodness - Power
Most Christian scholars who tackle the problem of evil accept God’s perfect goodness and power. However, they are content to simply defend God against charges that he is somehow culpable for the seemingly unfortunate intrusion of evil upon his good creation. Few are compelled to speculate about whether God has a positive purpose in permitting evil; or dare we say, ordaining it for some good end? But is...
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