I’ve been thinking, “Why does God allow evil?” Sometimes, this topic comes up in conversation looking like an intellectual problem. And you can deal with it on a logical, philosophical level just fine. Other times, it’s more of an emotional problem that requires empathy, a listening ear, demonstrated compassion, and wise, pastoral counsel. I’ve been on both sides of the counselling room and it’s tough either way.
Jesus once told his friends, “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world” (John 16:33). William Lane Craig observes, “Christian theism is man’s last, best hope for a solution to the problem of evil.” If Christianity is really true, we’ve got to begin looking at suffering in light of eternity. Clay Jones has done some excellent work that’s helped me think though this idea. Be sure to check out his interview with my friend, Brian Auten, in the audio section below.
Here are some recommended resources on the problem of evil and suffering:
- C.S. Lewis, The Problem of Pain.
- Doug Geivett, Evil and the Evidence for God. Advanced Reading
- John Feinberg, The Many Faces of Evil. Advanced Reading
Joni Eareckson Tada and Steve Estes, When God Weeps.
J.P. Moreland and Tim Muehlhoff, The God Conversation. (Chapters 2 and 3)
- William Dembski, The End of Christianity: Finding a Good God in an Evil World.
- William Lane Craig, Hard Questions, Real Answers. (Chapters 4 and 5)
- Brian Auten, “Apologist Interview: Clay Jones.” Apologetics315. 2010.
- Bruce Little, “Evil and the God Who Knows.” bethinking.org. 2009. Outline
- William Lane Craig, “The Problem of Evil.” bethinking.org. 2009. Transcript.
- Doug Geivett, “The Problems of Evil.” Academy of Christian Apologetics. 2005.
- Greg Koukl, “Questions About God and The Problem of Evil (Series).” STR. 2007.
- Paul Copan, “Good God and Evil World (In 18 Minutes).” Buckethead Church. 2009.
Your turn. Is there a resource you’ve found helpful when talking to your friends about this? Feel free to post a link below.