The Problem of Evil: Why Doesn’t God Stop Tragedy?-Alvin Plantinga

Our world has never been a place of ease. Torn by war, famine, disease, and natural disasters, the earth, and the humanity that dwells upon it, are regularly rocked by tragedy. Our recent past, certainly, is rife with it, with incidents such as the shooting at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando being a prime example. But how do we reconcile the reality of tragedy—of the existence of evil—with the existence of God? How do we hold to the idea that God is all-powerful, all-knowing, and also all-loving, yet allowed something like the Holocaust to happen? Do we simply let go of our faith, declaring it untenable? No—this is a problem worthy of exploration, one that Christians have struggled with since the Fall, but it’s not one that is without an answer. The answer to this problem boils down to one concept—that of free will.

God is inarguably good. Psalm 145:9 sums up God’s scriptural character well with “The Lord is good to all; He has compassion on all He has made”. Jesus later reinforces this in Matthew 19:17, saying that “There is only One who is good,” speaking of God. He is also definitively all-powerful and all-knowing, attributes which God, Himself declares to Job throughout Job 38. So if God is, scripturally, all-knowing, all-powerful, and good, shouldn’t all evil intention be squashed before it can bloom into consequence?

The answer to that lies in what Alvin Plantinga, noted scholar of Christian apologetics, calls libertarian free will—free will that is genuinely free. This kind of free will is morally significant—we are free to choose between the moral and the immoral. In that way, we, as God’s creations can be rightfully punished or praised for our actions, as God does throughout scripture. For complete article, here

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