How Could God Let This Happen?

From Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal. You can insert many other remakes and make the same point. Although the fact that some of us have the luxury of asking why a benevolent God would allow bad movies, rather than why we have not had any food for a week, itself raises the problem of evil. Be [Read More...]

The Hummingbird and the Parasite

Open Parachute shared the above image with a quote from David Attenborough. This illustrates well the theological objection that is raised not by atheists and agnostics in the first instance, but by liberal religious believers. And it relates not just to matters of creation but to the implications of thanking God for the good as [Read More...]

Could the Problem of Evil Become a Thing of the Past?

Students in one of my classes wrote about the problem of evil this semester, and some chose to do their final paper on that topic. For many of them, the problem of evil seems to be something simple. Sure, there may be suffering, but all the joys and pleasures of life make up for them. [Read More...]

Is God an Economist?

First, here’s a cartoon from Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal: Now, let’s note what the cartoon doesn’t show. At the end of the Book of Job, Job receives back double of every type of property he owned. But he only receives the same number of children as he previously had. I suspect that, if anything, this [Read More...]

Job Notwithstanding

That the view that suffering is due to sin is still prevalent, even in traditions that have the Book of Job, just goes to show how tenacious that way of viewing things is. It is easier to accept the view of Job's friends (even if one accepts as authoritative the Book of Job, which condemns [Read More...]

A Whirlwind of Inconsistencies

In the wake of the devastating tornado in Oklahoma, a number of people have drawn attention to John Piper’s tweet of Job 1:19. Far from this verse indicating the notion that God is judging Oklahoma (which is what some have come to expect to hear from spokespeople for conservative Christian viewpoints), in context the verse [Read More...]

Evolution Doesn’t Make the Problem of Evil Worse

I continue to encounter – and to find incredibly puzzling – the claim that depicting God creating through evolution portrays God less favorably than depicting God creating directly and instantaneously. Here is why: In either view of creation, the world includes suffering, starvation, carnivores eating other animals, parasites devouring hosts alive, illnesses of a variety [Read More...]

Lecture on Wisdom Literature in the Bible

The first couple of words seem to have been cut off. I am not sure why it does that on some occasions but not others. All that is missing is my mention that a theme for this week is “Diversity in the Bible” which I then point out connects naturally with the Wisdom literature. [Read more...]

Young-Earth Creationists Don’t Believe That Creation Was Finished in Six Days

I have been having an interesting conversation on Facebook with someone who describes himself as a young-earth creationist. I was surprised when this individual said that it is a problem for Christians who accept evolution that God is said thereby to have made diseases and other things which Christ fought against. It seems to me [Read More...]

Prayers for Parking Spaces and the Problem of Evil

A post at imago*futura got me thinking about just how reprehensible American Christians make God out to be when they attribute their finding of a parking spot to answered prayer (and this post on the topic from about a month ago by Randal Rauser). The belief that God micromanages the universe for the benefit of [Read More...]

Academic Job?

We’ve been talking about the Book of Job and more generally about the problem of evil in my freshman course on Faith, Doubt and Reason. It struck me that one can make a point relevant to academic assignment writing from the Book of Job (although I wonder how appropriate it is to do so). One [Read More...]


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