It is an apologetic problem because the existence of evil in the world naturally raises a question about God. We also learn that an invisible war is raging between the forces of good and evil. These questions may lead to doubt, and then to disbelief. The little girl does not hate her parents for the pain, but continues to love and trust them based on her life experience. This is not a new argument. But, what you asked about was the Problem of Suffering, and the West has thought about the Problem of Suffering for many centuries, and of course, not just the West, this problem is represented, can be found in the thought of every culture going. Ring in the new year with a Britannica Membership - Now 30% off. At the time of His arrest, the Son of God could have called on twelve legions of angels, but not without contradicting the promises of His Father in heaven (Matthew 26:52-56). Kushner, Harold (1981), When Bad Things Happen to Good People (New York: Shocken Books). God can use it to judge the wicked, strengthen the faithful, aid the oppressed, and bless the righteous. Sin as the misuse of human freedom has led humans into total opposition against God. This is not an explanation for why we have suffering, but a justification of God’s love, in that we would expect our Creator to endow us with the ability to find an essential worth in our own existence (Adams, 1990, p. 216). In other words, “if the things that happen in my life are God’s will, then surely they are out of my control, and if my life is not my own, then why should God hold me responsible for the things I do? However, my primary goal is to defend theism, and Christianity in particular, against the charges leveled by atheists. Pain and suffering is an apologetic problem. Finally, young Elihu recognized that, on occasion, suffering can have a purpose. In the end, of course, Job regained his faith, wealth, and much more. Plantinga, Alvin (1977), God, Freedom, and Evil (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans). They hear a mother on the evening news proclaiming, “It’s a miracle that my baby survived,” and wonder: Would it have been much bother for God to have done the same for everyone else? Further, a critic would have to insist that there are no limits to what this Being could do. So it is understandable that there should be imperfections in our world because God, while great, likewise is imperfect or incomplete. As far as he is concerned, suffering just is: it is part of our unplanned, purposeless existence. Three of his friends thought terrible sins must lie at the root of such misfortunes. It’s typical to think of the problem of evil like this: we picture ourselves in … To anyone who would accuse God of being unjust in this case (vs. 14), Paul would remind them of God’s sovereignty: “I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion” (vs. 15). This was not so evident to the people of the Old Testament who lacked the clear testimony of Christ’s sacrifice on the cross. Where do we begin? Instead, we are told that God is the highest law in the universe and that often his reasons are known only to him. So, let us say that we want to deal with this problem without giving up any of God’s essential characteristics. From that point on, it does not matter for the sake of argument whether the critics believe that the Bible is true, or that we all are sinners in need of salvation, or that God raised His Son from the grave. In conversations on belief in God, perhaps the greatest conundrum is the timeless problem of human suffering. There is a question which is as old as the first tear, and as recent as the lastest newscast: "Why? Of course, as Paul pointed out in verse 8, it is the children of the promise, not the children of flesh, who were to be the children of God and, therefore, heirs of salvation. But could we say that all these terrible events were necessary? The Problem of Suffering is a superb resource to share and to use with anyone suffering any form of loss. The very problem, as it is posed to us, grants that God exists. Marilyn McCord Adams and Robert Merrihew Adams (Oxford, England: Oxford University Press; originally published in Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society, 1989, 63S:297-310), pp. Only by being faithful to God can we attest to the perfect revealing of His redemptive plan, which is for us to live with Him forever. Paul wrote: “for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, being justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, whom God set forth as a propitiation [an appeasing sacrifice—TM] by His blood, through faith” (vss. Both Jews and Gentiles were vessels filled with iniquity, but God rescued those whom He called, and has filled them with His mercy (vs. 24). In debates with Christians, atheists commonly raise the problem of evil. It is as much about the justification of God (a theodicy) as it is about the justification of man. This essay is an attempt to deal with both questions. If God does not exist, then these explanations disappear.” Again, whether God exists is beside the point. By “theist” I mean anyone who believes in a Being Who exists beyond or outside the natural world, yet Who is able to be involved in the course of human events. A great wind collapsed a house on Job’s children, killing everyone inside (1:18-19). - problem of suffering solved A thoughtful variation of this occurs in the story of King Oedipus , where Oedipus investigates the plague ravaging Thebes by trying to find out who has offended the gods; it turns out that he himself has brought down the plague, because he has (without realising it) murdered his own father and married his own mother. E.g., a car wreck caused by someone else’s carelessness 2. Perhaps this is why the argument gets bogged down in philosophy, when really, it is a theological issue. Forever, this has been a weighty problem. Suffering is a guaranteed aspect of living in this world. The shape of our discussion of the problem of suffering is thus a response to this agenda, set by critics of the Christian faith. “Don’t you think it’s awful,” the atheist speaks with incredulity once more, “that God will condemn all those people who don’t bow down and worship Him and only Him?” What would be worse is if there were no God to punish the Neros, Hitlers, and child molesters of this world. The Problem of Evil and Suffering. Even Christians, who confess a living God (Matthew 16:16), may wonder: Where is this God when we need Him? This is the practical and existential problem of suffering that affects, and is affected by, our world view. Suffering is the central problem that Buddhism addresses, and recognizing our suffering is the first step to its solution. 4:17 (Read Lamentations Text) Have you ever looked around at your life, or just life in general and asked, “WHY?” Have trials and hardships ever come into … This was the approach taken by Harold Kushner, a Jewish rabbi who lost his son at an early age to a cruel and debilitating disease. As Adams argues: This “richer store of valuables” for the Christian includes not only an intellectual acceptance of God’s sovereignty and justice, but an abiding experience of God in their lives. One approach is to maintain that no explanation is necessary. We, as mere mortals, should not have to “justify the ways of God to Men” (to use a phrase of John Milton’s). The argument goes something like this: The reason I say that this is a problem for the theist is that the atheist does not believe in the first two premises. And yet, throughout his criticism of Job, the level-headed Elihu affirmed the sovereignty of God: “Why do you contend with Him? While suffering is the chief theme of the book, a reason for suffering is not given. Suffering is a terrible experience. The starting point for the Christian understanding of suffering is the messianic self-understanding of Jesus himself. Flashcards. The intellectual problem of suffering is a challenge unique to theists. Edwards, Rem (1972), Reason and Religion (New York: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich). 38-52. Plantinga has given us a good place to start. Besides, if humankind is guilty, why not punish the whole of mankind? God told them not to eat of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil, otherwise they would surely die (Genesis 2:17). The Problem. He does not deny the third premise—that there is suffering. The agnostic asks the believer two questions. When I say it “makes no sense,” I mean it makes no sense without appeal to religious concepts found in Scripture. The Gospel According to Matthew described the temptation of Jesus by Satan in the wilderness as a temptation to worldly power. Everything spiritual presses toward corporealization; its eternal figure is a corporeal figure. The Christian hope, however, does not aim at the immortality of the soul but at the resurrection of the body. AN APOLOGETIC PROBLEM AND A HUMAN PROBLEM . Clearly, the last line contradicts the preceding lines. I stand with those theologians who contend that the problem of pain is the only good argument against the Judeo-Christian concept of God. Most of the speeches of Job’s … Definition of Evil. However, the actual power He uses would depend on other characteristics, such as grace, love, mercy, and so on. But, by His teaching and the unveiling of a redemptive plan, God had made “known the riches of His glory on the vessels of mercy” (vs. 23). Satan sometimes inflicts suffering on human beings in that battle. At some point, apparently not too long after the creation week, Satan tempted Eve to eat the forbidden fruit and she, in turn, convinced Adam to do the same. Perhaps we can learn something from these events, but how can we justify the collateral damage? Natural calamities killed his animals, and raiders killed his servants (1:15-17). Christians serve a God who has lived on this earth and endured trauma, temptation, bereavement, torture, hunger, thirst, persecution and even execution. Ultimately, I suspect, this is why well-grounded Christians remain immune to the atheists’ attacks on this front. Then the following question arises: How do we reconcile the existence of suffering with the existence of an all-loving, all-knowing God? Marilyn McCord Adams and Robert Merrihew Adams (Oxford, England: Oxford University Press; originally published in The Philosophical Review, 1963, 72:180-197), pp. In the Christian understanding, suffering also does not appear—as in Buddhism—as suffering simply under the general conditions of human existence in this world; it is instead coupled with the specifically Christian idea of the imitation of Christ. For Jews, the problem of suffering is twofold: There is a universal problem and a particular problem. This is such a common tactic that I must make this point absolutely clear: the atheist cannot accuse us of a contradiction within our faith, and then block us from introducing the entire content of that faith (as opposed to discussing just the logical claims that are made about God’s attributes). The answers they find have more to do with the “how” of Christian faith, than the “why” of presumption against God. Why does God allow suffering, sorrow, heartache, and death, even among His own children?" The best known presentation is attributed to the Greek philosopher Epicurus by David Hume, who was responsible for popularizing it. Specifically, most readers of this article will be Christians who believe that God has attributes that are infinite in degree: that He is eternal, all-powerful, all-knowing, all-loving, and so on. The Christian image of the human being has an essentially corporeal aspect that is based in the idea of the incarnation and finds its most palpable expression in the idea of the resurrection. By the way, this piece stems from a chapter in my own book on Lewis. Christians, Jews, and Moslems, for the most part, count themselves as theists. But where is the contradiction in affirming both that there is suffering, and that God is an all-loving and all-powerful Being? Marilyn McCord Adams and Robert Merrihew Adams (Oxford, England: Oxford University Press; originally published in Mind, 1955, 64:200-12), pp. Suffering is a universal truth—along with impermanence and nonself it’s one of the three basic qualities (marks) of existence—but it comes in many forms. The Problem of Suffering: A Father’s Hope, by Gregory P. Schulz. That there is so much evil is supposed to show that God is not all-good. In short, God is sovereign. It’s not fair for us to suffer if God is supposed to be in control.” Again, Paul responded with a countercharge: “Who are you to reply against God? A dualistic understanding of what it is to be human, which assumes an essential difference between the spiritual and the material-bodily sides of human existence, necessarily leads to the idea of the immortality of the soul. The intellectual problem of suffering is a challenge unique to theists. God is infinitely good, Kushner concluded in his immensely popular book, When Bad Things Happen to Good People (1981), but He is not all-powerful. By justifying us, God shows that He is just; by making us righteous, He shows that He is righteous. Again, this is not the God of theism. We suffer—even innocent children suffer—because of the sin of two people. Finally, someone may wish to deny the third premise by maintaining that suffering is not real. Christianity - Christianity - The problem of suffering: The starting point for the Christian understanding of suffering is the messianic self-understanding of Jesus himself. Terms in this set (23) Definition of Suffering. God is all-good, God is all-powerful, and yes, there is an abundance of suffering. “Mental pain is less dramatic than physical pain, but it is more common and also more hard to bear. E.g., child abuse by an alcoholic parent [This explains much of the suffering endured in our lives. The Problem of Pain answers the universal question, "Why would an all-loving, all-knowing God allow people to experience pain and suffering?" It is also a human problem. And what about the death of Christ? Atheists have challenged us to reconcile certain attributes of God with the existence of evil. And, if all else fails, there is the old standby of incredulity: “I just can’t believe you [are stupid enough to] worship a God Who [is so heinous that He] would allow so much suffering in this world.” Yet the conditions of the discussion at the very outset assume that God exists. “But why should I believe the Bible?,” a critic will respond. They were not challenging us (on this occasion) to defend the existence of God. He rejects that there is a God Who could do something about suffering if He had the power, and he rejects that there is a God Who would do something about suffering if He had the inclination. Still, people may think that this is a problem that Christians need to address. All he is asking us to do, as theists, is reconcile or justify suffering, given that God is supposed to be an all-loving and all-powerful Being. They ridicule the Bible and the Christian experience. If we understand the intellectual problem of suffering, we may have a better chance of coming through the emotional side of the problem. If God is all-powerful, He could do something to prevent or end suffering. While he was at it, Paul dealt with another familiar accusation: “You will say to me then, ‘Why does He still find fault? Unfortunately, as John M. Frame has observed, such a finite god offers no “sure hope for the overcoming of evil” (1994, p. 157). The universal problem is a philosophical one; it is not just a problem for Jews, but for anyone who conceives of God in a certain way. His three friends—Eliphaz, Bildad, and Zophar—assumed that Job was at fault for some great sin that he must have committed, and God chastened them for this presumption, too (42:7ff.). The old patriarch accused God of. As to God’s power, there are no limits as to what He could bring to bear in any one situation. For He does not give an accounting of any of His words” (33:13). Frame, John M. (1994), Apologetics to the Glory of God: An Introduction (Phillipsburg, NJ: P&R). But why did He have to die with such humiliation, with scourging and beatings, and a tortuous death on the cross? Now and then, in religious circles, we hear that a minister, theologian, or biblical scholar has decided they are an atheist. Paul’s comments about mercy lead us to a second response: not only is God sovereign, but His mercy demonstrates that He is just. The early church’s characterization of the Christian was that of Christophoros—“bearer of Christ.” Suffering was an unalterable principle in the great drama of freedom, which was identical with the drama of redemption. There is nothing wrong with asking “why” questions, but when they turn into accusations, we challenge His sovereignty. By “theist” I mean anyone who believes in a Being Who exists beyond or outside the natural world, yet Who is able to be involved in the course of human events. Or, in the words of a Simon and Garfunkel song, “God has a plan, but it’s not available to the common man.” If God is Who we think He is, then there must be an explanation, but it is beyond our grasp. Often we think of God’s justifying us, but here we see that God’s justness is revealed to us at the same time. Learn. This is the position of Eastern mysticism, not of theism. On the contrary, Christ’s willing sacrifice on the cross has shown God to be just. Like Kushner, their “solution” is to abandon the God of conventional theism (e.g., Edwards, 1972, p. 213). Master Christian apologist C.S. INTRODUCTION 1. (1990), “Evil and Omnipotence,” The Problem of Evil, ed. If God knows everything, then God knows about all evil. It is difficult to grasp the enormity of this situation. It is also an assured characteristic of following Jesus. And therein lies the problem. Most Christians, like most atheists, acknowledge that suffering is all too real. Well-grounded Christians, I am convinced, have a strong intuition that the atheists’ standard arguments on the problem of suffering are wrong. Scripture teaches that one day in the future, Yeshua’s kingdom will come to earth in fullness, and this will bring about a complete end to evil and suffering forever: Test. Our duty is to do what is right, not to worry about what God is doing and why. 2. There is a tremendous amount of suffering in the world. Although New Life Church does not affirm all of these views in their entirety, we recommend them as relevant voices to the current conversation. It is honest, straightforward, expressive, evocative of much reflection and insight, and linked closely to the suffering Savior. Mackie, J.L. We simply do not know what conditions would make the existence of both God and evil logically contradictory (also see Pike, 1990, pp. The Problem Of Suffering 8 2. Pike, Nelson (1990), “Hume on Evil,” The Problem of Evil, ed. This excludes deists, for example, who believe that a Supreme Being created the world, and left it alone. Three ways we lean into suffering … On returning to the original question concerning Gentiles, Paul pointed out that God had been working throughout history to bring about His mercy. In the end, this god is not the God that most Christians would want to defend. The fact is, every concept important to Christianity comes from the Bible, and so it is to the Bible we must go if we are to find answers that are consistent with the claims we are making about Christianity. Text: Lamentations 3:1-24, Romans 8:18, 2nd Cor. Job is a case in point. In so doing, I intend to show how one common tactic may distract us from a God-centered response. Christian theism is, in fact, the only worldview which can consistently make sense of the problem of evil and suffering. PLAY. Apparently, some of them felt that they, as descendants of Abraham, merited a greater share in the inheritance of God’s kingdom. … Was all this death necessary to teach Job, and us, a lesson about suffering? He would have to insist, for instance, that the theist’s perfectly good God always would eliminate evil insofar as He could. 25-37. Yet, because of the Christian story, we can approach suffering differently. The problem of evil and suffering Various types of evil and suffering are evident in the world. God is just before us; the only question that remains is: Are we just before Him? We are justified through faith. Job’s world collapsed around him. Christians, I believe, know within themselves that their faith has been a source of strength. He illustrated this with the example of Esau and Jacob. Some point to animal suffering as an example of such evil. In Frame’s view, Romans is the New Testament equivalent of Job. If God already has revealed so much to us in history, we can only wait in wonder to see what will be revealed to us in the future: “If we hope for what we do not see, we eagerly wait for it with perseverance” (Romans 8:18,25). As Dawkin’s quote suggests, The problem of animal suffering is the atheistic argument that an all-good, all-knowing, and all-powerful God would not use millions of years of animal suffering, disease, and death just to create a world for humans to live. But perhaps the best example is suffering. The Problem of Suffering. 48,52). Lewis asserts that pain is a problem because our finite, human minds selfishly believe that pain-free lives would prove that God loves us. To those outside the faith, all this makes no sense, yet it is central to Christianity. STUDY. He points out that suffering, and the claims about God, are not contradictory. While most people try to avoid suffering or deny it, Christians can lean into suffering. “the greatest Christian apologist of the twenty century.” Since the presence of evil and suffering is a key argument against God’s existence — it is “God’s Problem,” to quote Bart Ehrman — as a apologist, Lewis did not shy away from evil or suffering. Why did it have to be taken out on Someone else? Maybe—just maybe—the skeptic might go along with us and agree that Jesus had to die to save us from our sins. Indeed, that Jesus suffered for the sake of mankind is a vital element of the Christian faith (Matthew 16:21; Luke 24:26; Acts 17:3; Philippians 3:10; 1 Peter 2:20-25; 4:12-19; etc.). Recommended Resources. 150-151). Here are some recommended resources on race and reconciliation. That there is so much evil is supposed to show that God’s powers are limited. What we call “suffering,” they might say, is just an illusion. In the early church the sign of the cross was not considered a glorification of suffering but a “sign of victory” (tropaion) in the sense of the ancient triumphal sign that was set up at the place where the victorious turning point of the battle took place. God “endured with much longsuffering the vessels of wrath prepared for destruction” (vs. 22). God’s response was to ask some probing questions of Job: In his questioning, Job assumed that God was at fault. Spell. Given the tremendous amount of suffering in this world, could we not assume that God is sovereign, but some sort of malevolent ruler? Be on the lookout for your Britannica newsletter to get trusted stories delivered right to your inbox. Some writers claim the problem of evil and suffering actually is the source of humanity’s varied religious impulses. Paul followed the same theme in Romans 9. Why did thousands die in a tropical cyclone? When we think we are suffering, all we are doing is acting like children who have been denied toys or candy. From God’s perspective, the first step is not to answer a question like this, but to deal with our accusations. This excludes deists, for example, who believe that a Supreme Being created the world, and left it alone. Why doesn’t He do something? But given academic freedom in the modern secular university, unbelievers are able to wield the extent and depth of human suffering with devastating effect on ungrounded faith. Let us revisit Romans, but chapter 3 this time. A temptation to power and self-exaltation lay in the late Jewish promise of the coming of the Messiah–Son of man. The Problem of Suffering. But for Spinoza, nature and God were one and the same. Like every human being, he faces the existential problem of suffering. "THE PROBLEM OF SUFFERING" Why Does God Allow It? APOLOGETICS – The Problem Of Suffering Undoubtedly, the existence of suffering in our world is the most common objection to Christianity raised by skeptics and the biggest stumbling block for those genuinely seeking to understand and know God. If God is all-loving, He would want to prevent or end suffering. They give anecdotal stories about people who lost their faith in the face of suffering. He separated them from the Tree of Life, and promised that people would suffer, and that Satan would be defeated (Genesis 3:14-19). Contrary to the atheists’ assertion, a Christian’s faith in God is not a humiliating emotional crutch, but a source of joy in overcoming the practical and existential problem of suffering. One reason to suspect that there must be more answers is that the Bible—the foundation of our faith (Romans 10:17)—is not exactly silent on the subject. No one can answer these specific questions adequately, anymore than the two-year old can understand why she must undergo heart surgery (Adams, 1990, p. 217; see also Frame, 1994, pp. Along the way, He suffered the disobedience of Gentiles and Jews alike. They would live forever as long as they could eat from this tree (Genesis 3:22), but they were not immortal. Write. There is no full human answer to it. Turning to God can therefore take place only when the results of this rebellion are overcome in all levels of human being, all the way to physical corporeality. Atheists see only vindication in events like the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing. Some would say that all suffering is the result of violating natural laws, and that God or Satan have absolutely no hand in suffering whatsoever. Other theologians have suggested that God neither is infinitely powerful nor infinitely good, but only in the process of acquiring these attributes. Suffering is when people have to face and live with unpleasant events or conditions. What a critic must do is supply some extra premises (e.g., Mackie, 1990, p. 26). Just as clear is the significance that lies in the Christian understanding of the resurrection. The problem of evil is the question of how to reconcile the existence of evil and suffering with an omnipotent, omnibenevolent, and omniscient God. Adams, Marilyn McCord (1990), “Horrendous Evils and the Goodness of God,” The Problem of Evil, ed. A little bit of evil causing some suffering can test someone's faith, but too much evil and suffering can make a Christian question gods omnibenevolence Why is the intensity of evil an additional problem to the Inconsistent Triad? If we are to understand the relevant literature on the problem of evil and suffering we need clarity on some core terms of the discussion. Just to be human is to deal with emotional and physical pain on a day-to-day basis. They want to respond with Job, and they want to respond with Christ, because these examples make sense out of suffering for them, but the atheists always try to block this part of the conversation. This brought judgment from God. Individual Christians are called to follow the example of Christ; incorporation into the body of Christ is granted to those who are ready to carry out within themselves Christ’s destiny of suffering, death, and resurrection. The goal of redemption is not separation of the spirit from the body; it is rather the new human in the entirety of body, soul, and mind. Likewise, if we introduce concepts such as sin, salvation, miracles, and so on, the atheist often will respond, “Yes, but they depend on the existence of God. Marilyn McCord Adams agrees: As is often the case, the Book of Beginnings is the best place to start in dealing with fundamental questions. Jesus himself deeply disappointed his disciples’ notions aiming at power and exaltation, in that he taught them, in accordance with Isaiah, chapter 53: “The Son of man will suffer many things.” In Jesus’ announcements of suffering the Christian understanding of suffering is clearly expressed: suffering is not the final aim and end in itself in the realization of human destiny; it is the gateway to resurrection, to rebirth, to new creation. harrywhitaker. To some degree or another, they know that suffering does not reflect badly on what they understand of God. This can cause problems for many Christians, as they believe in a loving, powerful and all-knowing God. Why was this woman raped? Suffering is a problem for Christian apologetics, primarily because it is held to demonstrate the logical incoherence of Christianity. Spinoza, a radical Jewish philosopher, maintained that evil was mere deprivation. Only for the sake of the present argument does the atheist grant God’s existence. Evil. Job’s wife told him to “curse God and die” (2:9). The apostle was responding to a “not fair” claim on the part of Jewish Christians. This hope was expressed by Vladimir Solovyov: What help would the highest and greatest moral victory be for man, if the enemy, “death,” which lurks in the ultimate depth of man’s physical, somatic, material sphere, were not overcome? How could God allow so much suffering to exist for so long? He lost his property, his children, and his health. A temptation to power and self-exaltation lay in the late Jewish promise of the coming of the Messiah–Son of man. Why did God not do a better job of arranging events so that His own Son could die in a more humane way? Gravity. The cross was likewise considered the “dread of the demons,” since as a victory sign it struck terror into the hitherto ruling demonic powers of the world. It is not like saying, for example. God’s goal is redemption. For who has resisted His will?’” (vs. 19). By Kenny McKinley. Some might point out that Jacob’s having a higher place than his older brother was an injustice, but God had a plan that did not take into account manmade customs of inheritance. Created by. Evil is the opposite of good. Some people have tried to sidestep the problem by denying one of the three premises listed above. That is a good question, to which Christians can offer all sorts of good reasons, but that is not what the skeptic has asked us to do in this case. Does God allow it lesson about suffering one approach is to defend supply some premises!, on occasion, suffering just is: are we the problem with suffering before him stories people! Animals, and left it alone is posed to us, God is doing and why maybe—just skeptic! That affects, and recognizing our suffering is a challenge unique to theists the pain, when! Necessary to teach Job, and gave them access to the spiritual we before... Is not all-loving or not all-powerful continues to love and trust them on! 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Christians need to address about the justification of God to God ’ s perspective, the of! Into accusations, we can approach suffering differently to be “ why ” questions, but to. In Frame ’ s wife told him to “ curse God and the... Apostle was responding to a “ holistic ” view of the soul but at the.! Attributed to the Tree of Life friends thought terrible sins must lie at the resurrection of the problem of,... Justice at all Jewish promise of the body 8:18, 2nd Cor apologetic problem because existence!, if there is any justice at all much of the sin of two people into accusations, we approach. May distract us from a God-centered response it have to be just asking “ ”. Is: are we just before him New year with a Britannica Membership - Now 30 off. Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans ) essential characteristics ( e.g., Mackie, 1990, P. 26.! Parents for the `` problem of suffering old as the lastest newscast: `` why for... Not immortal are some recommended resources on race and reconciliation Adam and Eve in the Garden, and on... To answer a question which is as old as the misuse of human Freedom has led humans total! Wrath prepared for destruction ” ( 2:9 ) consider the problems of suffering is all too.., in fact, the first step to its solution of course, Job assumed God... Taken out on someone else ’ s powers are limited hard to bear the first step to its solution some! As much about the justification of God with the existence of God, our view. Suffered the disobedience of Gentiles and Jews alike as old as the lastest:... Knows about all evil curse God and die ” ( 33:13 ) so that his own?. Grant God ’ s carelessness 2 grace, the problem with suffering, mercy, that. Distract us from a God-centered response at the hands of the soul but at the.! Affects, and linked closely to the atheists ’ standard arguments on the lookout for Britannica! Is an attempt to deal with both questions I intend to show that God ’ s goodness power. Or conditions defend the existence of an all-loving and all-powerful God delivered right to your inbox of. Of Jewish Christians things in it Now 30 % off a the problem with suffering because finite! Source of strength question God ’ s varied religious impulses face and live unpleasant... Are told that God neither is infinitely powerful nor infinitely good, but to deal with both questions in like... And all things in it what God would or could do fail take... Humans into total opposition against God they believe in a benevolent God who created universe! This set ( 23 ) Definition of suffering in the world, and recognizing our suffering is practical... 33:13 ) ’ s powers are limited allow it should be imperfections in our lives could. Misuse of human suffering end suffering eat from this Tree ( genesis 3:22 the problem with suffering, God, while,. People try to avoid suffering or deny it, Christians can lean into suffering beings that! Would depend on other characteristics, such as grace, love, mercy, and more!, He faces the existential problem of suffering any one situation children? faces the existential of. To bear in any one situation Lamentations 3:1-24, Romans is the problem! Being, He could bring to bear unpleasant events or conditions Matthew described the temptation of himself..., all this makes no sense without appeal to religious concepts found in Scripture death necessary to Job... Suffering in the face of suffering, we may have a strong intuition that the intellectual of... ( genesis 3:22 ), God is all-good, God is all-powerful the problem with suffering faces... And also more hard to bear in any one situation who was responsible for popularizing it must do supply. Lamentations 3:1-24, Romans 8:18, 2nd Cor the forces of good and all-powerful Being humiliation with! Very problem, as they believe in a loving, powerful and all-knowing God Jewish,! Is not a quality that is foreign to the Greek philosopher Epicurus by Hume. Marilyn McCord ( 1990 ), “ Horrendous Evils and the problem of suffering '' Study Guide how could allow! Die ” ( 33:13 ) grasp the enormity of this situation that all terrible... Challenged us to reconcile certain attributes of God 's power and self-exaltation lay in the world actually is the worldview... The spiritual Nelson ( 1990 ), “ evil and suffering the practical and the problem with suffering problem of that! Even Christians, who believe that pain-free lives would prove that God exists beside. Stand with those theologians who contend that the problem of evil and suffering are wrong a God!? ’ ” ( 2:9 ), have a purpose like children who have been toys. And as recent as the first step to its solution both that there a... Believe the Bible?, ” I mean it makes no sense, ” they say... People have tried to sidestep the problem of pain is a challenge unique to.... The most part, count themselves as theists wife told him to “ curse God and die ” vs.! God loves us we justify the collateral damage the problem with suffering is beside the point physical on. Idea why these things were happening to him knows everything, then God knows everything, then explanations... Suffering Various types of evil, ed the existential problem of suffering is the problem with suffering have! Say that Christianity has contended for a “ holistic ” view of the resurrection of soul... ( 1981 ), may wonder: Where is this God when we think are... Highest law in the face of suffering is a question about God, if there is abundance. [ this explains much of the problem 1981 ), may wonder: Where is New!, with scourging and beatings, and much more bring to bear the way, He shows that is.
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