God, Evil and Theodicy…Say What?


To address the debate on theodicy, we must first define what evil is. According to dictionary.com, the definition of evil is, “morally wrong or bad; immoral; wicked.” To me this definition brings up more questions than answers, such as, what’s the definition of “morally wrong”? The Bible says, “There are six things that the Lord hates, seven that are an abomination to him: haughty eyes, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood, a heart that devises wicked plans, feet that make haste to run to evil, a false witness who breathes out lies, and one who sows discord among brothers (Proverbs 6:16-19).” According to powerthesarus.com a synonym for “abomination” is the word “evil”. Now that we have God’s definition of evil, we can try and unravel where evil came from.

If God created everything, then didn’t God create evil? I take the stance that evil is the result of the absence of good. Gotquestions.org gives this analogy, “For example, holes are real but they only exist in something else. We call the absence of dirt a hole, but it cannot be separated from the dirt.” Genesis says that after God made everything He saw that is was good. Genesis is telling us that God created a world that was good. When God made man in His image He made them perfect and good. There was no absence of good, therefore there was no evil. He created man with free will, in order that His glory might be revealed. With free will comes decisions, and the opportunity for a lack of good. The fall of man brought evil into the world. Therefore, to the question of, “Did God create evil,” my answer is no. God cannot create something that is the opposite of His nature. If God is a good God, then He cannot create evil. Evil cannot come from where goodness is found, only from the absence of good can evil be found. Understanding the origins of evil only answers a part of the question.

Now, the question of theodicy arises. I’m going to use the analogy of murder to try and explain my viewpoint. “If God knows that person “A” is going to murder person “B”, when did he know that?” I agree that God is omniscient, so He knows that person “A” is going to murder person “B”. But, there is a difference between knowing that something is going to happen and causing something to happen. God has the power to do whatever He wants to do, whenever He wants to do it. But, what displays God’s glory more? What makes a follower of Christ want to follow Christ more? Would you prefer to follow a God who displays His glory through our lack of good? Or, would you prefer to follow a God who controls everything and micromanages our every move? How much more is God’s glory revealed through His redemption of the unredeemable?


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