Free Will, Loving God, and the Problem of Evil

As I’ve been reading student papers about the problem of evil, several have offered the free will defense, arguing that free will is necessary for there to be love. That seems to me to be correct, but it has some corollaries that should not be missed. If creating free beings who can love you freely [Read More…]

Faith, Theodicy, and the Best of All Possible Universities

As I’ve been talking with my students about the problem of evil, and their papers on the topic, it struck me that there is a parallel between the educational experience that I’ve been subjecting them to, and the idea of greater good emerging out of first order evils that is discussed and rejected by J. L. [Read More…]

Batman Theodicy

From Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal. It provides a nice illustration of how we sometimes accept an argument from a premise that we take for granted, without realizing that the premise itself is problematic and deserves examination.   [Read more…]

Why Do Unsexy Things Happen to Sexy People?

SMBC has tackled the problem of evil. What do you make of its response? I have this discussion (about the problem of evil – not about fetishes) in my First Year Seminar class regularly. Does anyone actually want to live in a universe in which you get a cookie every time you do something good, and as a [Read More…]

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…]