Great piece. It's a thorny question to be sure.

Perspective seems to be very important. From the point of view of the gazelle, the lion is evil. From the lion's perspective, the gazelle is food. If God were to intervene to prevent every lion from ever catching, killing, and eating a gazelle, perhaps the gazelles might consider this good. Yet the lions would starve, and watch their cubs starve, and by and by there would be no more lions in the world. At the same token, the gazelles would no longer have as much need to run, as they would have no lions to escape from; they would grow fat and lazy, and would lose the simple joy of running through the grass, as well as the thrill of successfully escaping the pouncing lion.

Thus, were God to intervene to remove an evil, it would simply cascade into the production of other evils.

This may suggest something like a conservation law of evil: that evil cannot be eliminated in a system, but only moved around within it ... and perhaps also a law of symmetry, such that the good can only exist to the degree that the evil exists, that to diminish the amount of evil in one part of the system also necessarily diminishes the amount of good. If this is true, it implies that the optimal solution is a harmonious balancing of good and evil.

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If evil were not possible there would be no choice between good and evil, therefore no moral agency, which is a necessary condition of our moral status (human worth). If God made evil impossible He would thereby abolish humanity, reduce humanity to a deterministic animal possessing no capacity for moral discernment, but also negate his own moral being and thus violate the law of non-contradiction. Therefore, it is impossible to eliminate evil apart from all humans becoming a perfect image of God.

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Sep 29, 2022Liked by L.P. Koch

R. C. Sproul covered the topic of "What Is Evil & Where Did It Come From?" during the Ligonier Ministries' 2010 National Conference. It may be helpful from both the Biblical and Philosophical positions.


The entire conference "Tough Questions Christians Face"


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Thanks, I'll check it out. Haven't heard about R. C. Sproul before.

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"In other words, the question is: if God knows everything, can do everything, and is 100% good, he should stop evil in this world. Since he doesn’t seem to do this, God doesn’t exist."

Arguably the prime example in the Bible of God ridding the world of evil is the flood/Noah story:

"The LORD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that EVERY intention of the thoughts of his heart was ONLY EVIL CONTINUALLY. And the LORD regretted that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him to his heart. So the LORD said, “I will blot out man whom I have created from the face of the land."

The people who argue that God doesn't exist because He allows evil are typically the same people who condemn God for killing everyone but Noah and his family in the flood.

Can't have it both ways.

I appreciate Dr. Michael S. Heiser's comment on the issue:

"Can't God just get rid of evil? If He doesn't get rid of evil He can't be good. How many of you are "X-Files" fans? This is gonna date me a little bit. There's this wonderful episode in the X-Files where Mulder and Scully find a genie rolled up in the carpet. And Mulder figures out, THIS IS A GENIE... like in Aladdin. And so the genie says, "Congratulations numbskull, you get three wishes."

And so his first wish... it's the caricature wish... "I want world peace". And then Mulder goes outside of the room they're in...


And he's running down the street, "SKULLY, SKULLY... SURELY SKULLY IS HERE??!!"

Nope. Got anymore wishes?

It's a good illustration. Yes, God could wipe out evil like that. But to do it, He has to wipe out all of the beings He has made who are like him. Because when we're created as God's imagers... we're His representatives. To do the job of sort of being God, being a partner with God... God shared His attributes with us. In theology they're called "communicable attributes"...

Creativity. Intelligence. Rationality. Emotions. And... Freedom. Free Will.

You can't eliminate that one and keep the rest of them because then you wouldn't really be like God, would you? Free will is essentially to imaging. To the whole concept.

Now God knew... "you know what... I still think this is a really good idea. Because it's what I want - I see the end goal. I want an earthly family... I want to enjoy them partnering with me in their realm... I want a family."

It's the natural impulse of God to want a family and to want partners.

"But I know that when I make them as my imagers and I share my attributes, I also am aware of one other thing. They're not Me. They're like Me. But they're not Me. That means they lack My perfect nature. That means at some point, they're going to abuse the good gifts that I have given them."

And God's right. Rebellion happens in the supernatural realm and in the earthly realm.

What does it tell you about God, though?

You say, "That's not very satisfying because... look at all the misery, look at all the violence and the bad stuff in the earth. Look at all the suffering."

Since we know that wasn't what God intended, God hates it too. But here's the key point.

In God's mind - and you can blame God for this decision if you like - In God's mind, the terrible things that would result from his initial decision to make us... that was better than not having us at all.

You know at the end of the day, God makes that call. You can sit there and be the proud atheist and say, "Well I would rather not exist".

Why don't you just go out and jump off a bridge then? Show us your commitment to your statement... Here's a truck coming by, let's have it.

They're LYING to you. They're just trying to win a debate. We want life. Life is a wonderful thing. And even with suffering... some of the people who suffer the most will tell you that life is a wonderful thing...

We have to come to grips with suffering. That's why we were created to be family, to be community, to alleviate suffering of family members, to alleviate the suffering of other imagers of God.

If you looked at people this way, you might actually get off your butt and DO SOMETHING. Let's be honest - I'm going to be critical of church in general. Not every place I've been in church has been this experience, but I've seen it. A lot of churches tend to treat people - even a lot of small groups of Christians - tend to treat the collective like it's a business instead of a family.

You know you would think differently if you had some person in church come up to you and say, "I can't pay my rent this month, I don't know what I'm going to do."

If that was your brother, you'd know what to do. If that was your sister, you wouldn't even have to think twice about it... That is how God looks at us. That's the kind of thing God has as an expectation. If we would think of ourselves the way God thinks of us - as humans - and especially within the church. Because we are no longer estranged, we're redeemed, we're brought back into the family... this should be the most normal thing in the world...

If it actually happened with frequency, do you think people would notice? Of course they would notice. Because it's abnormal... It gives you a little taste of what life should be like in God's world. It all goes back to this imaging concept. Yes there is evil and suffering. But again, God was willing to be grieved HIMSELF.

You think you're grieved by suffering in the world? God sees EVERYTHING. You don't have anything up on God. You don't have a greater awareness of the misery and suffering in the world than God does. He is FULLY aware. This is why scripture says, "God hates evil". It grieves Him. Did He know it was going to happen? Yea, He did. But that was preferable to never having us at all."


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Wow, that is so brilliant, thank you. Such brilliant and intelligent thinking. So well balanced. It felt like you read the book "Eternal Humans and the Finite gods" (3rdEdition) by Theresa Talea, because it sounds like you're talking about the All That Is, The Pure Essence, the one Theresa and her mother have discovered and share with us the communication in this book. It's a fantastic book for getting a lot of knowledge. And by the sound of this post, I would think you have read it. But, it doesn't matter if you did or not, because truth works within us all, especially those who seek it continually, and hence why there are so many similarities in this work as in that work.

I have been studying that book, because I too wanted to know where, and why evil first began. But, I don't think I found the root in that book, meaning the Bourgha. They appear to be only one aspect of it. Just like that story in the Sophia of Jesus when looking at the evil which was done by the triple-powered-Self-willed-one who started all the evil influences in this Milky Way galaxy. So, through reading all the works that I have read through and studied, and through my own life experiences, I came to the conclusion that the root of all evil is in Self Denial. When one denies their inner Essence, then one stops the flow of goodness, and therefore the negative comes into the picture. And eventually, if one continues to deny their Self, then they lose their Essence, which turns them into a psychopath vampire. That severe selfishness eventually does them in. In other words, they fall into their own net that they set for others to fall into. And they disintegrate their own, what's left of them.

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