Problem of Evil and Pain, The

Is he willing to prevent evil, but not able? Then he is impotent. Is he able, but not willing? Then he is malevolent. Is he both able and willing? Whence then is evil? (Epicurus, 341-270 BC)

God is All-Powerful, All-Knowing, All-Loving and Good. So how could such a God stand by when God’s children were herded into the gas chambers at Auschwitz? How can such a God watch a child die of leukemia or a beloved parent slowly fail from Alzheimer’s disease? How can such a God tolerate the evil and suffering that pervades the world and each and every life?

Attempts to explain why God would allow the presence of evil and suffering in the world are called theodicies (theos, god and dike, justice: “to justify the ways of God”). In this seven part series, we tried to live up to our calling as a new Israel (Israel = “the people that wrestle with God”) and explored how believers and theologians have struggled to approach some answers to the problem of evil and pain.

Presentations were by David Monyak.

Downloads: Presentations

Introduction to the Problem of Evil and Pain

The Explanation of St. Augustine: The Fall and Original Sin

The Explanation of Leibniz: The Best Possible World

The Explanation of St. Irenaeus: A World of Soul-making

The Explanation of Process Theology

The Existential Problem of Evil and Redemptive Suffering

Summary and Conclusions: The Problem of Evil and Pain

References

 

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The Problem of Pain, C.S. Lewis, HarperSanFrancisco, 1940, ISBN 0-06-065296-9