How Can There be a God When There is so Much Evil and Suffering in the World?

Question in Response:

How does removing God make the problem of evil and suffering any less of a problem?

One Minute Response:

Removing God only makes evil and suffering absurd. Other religions deal with it by saying it is an illusion or that God is not all powerful or loving.

But, if you really believe, like I do, that the problem of evil and suffering is real and a problem then you can at least be assured of this: that Jesus Christ and His followers are on your side because not only is the problem of evil and suffering treated as the main problem in Christianity, but the solution is the main theme of the Bible.

The Bible (third chapter) says that all evil and suffering is the result of man’s choice to run from, or cut himself off from, God, the author of life and goodness.

The solution, according to the Bible, is to come to Christ who saves us from our sin and from this world and promises to bring us into a perfect world where there will be an end to pain, evil and suffering .

Prolonged Response

(Borrowed from Gary Stanley, International School of Theology)

1. Something is wrong. Something has clearly gone wrong in this universe. Evil and suffering are real and a real problem.

2. The possibility of evil was a necessary requirement when God created free creatures.

God can create free creatures, but God cannot create free creatures who are determined to always choose good. If He did, then they would not be truly free.

God created free creatures who themselves are responsible for evil.

3. If God were to intervene every time evil was about to happen, the universe would become absurd.

4. A little short term evil is better than an eternity of evil.

5. There may be some sorts of evil that we can never fully understand or explain.

“A God whom we could know exhaustively would be a God created in mans image and therefore not be worthy of our worship” J. I. Packer


William Lane Craig, The Only Wise God

C.S. Lewis, The Problem of Pain

Alvin Plantiga, God and Evil

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