In his book A Grief Observed, C.S. Lewis sets aside the task of theodicy that he shouldered in The Problem of Pain in favor of a searing personal account of pain and loss centered on the death of his beloved wife Joy. At one point in the book, he reflects, “Not that I am (I […]
God Allowing is Not the Same as God Commanding
Yesterday, I posted the following tweet. Genocide apologists insist the Canaanites needed to be slaughtered in toto because they sacrificed their children. But herem slaughter to Yahweh is itself a form of *human sacrifice*, one that included children. It's like killing a man's dog to punish him for killing his cat. — Tentative Apologist (@RandalRauser) […]
The Problem of Evil: My Friendly Debate with Alex Malpass
Is the problem of evil less of a problem if evil is not a thing?
Some theists attempt to lessen the problem of evil by arguing that evil has no independent ontological existence: instead, it is merely the absence of good. Let’s consider that defense for a moment by trying out the logic in an analogous case. Imagine that Mr. and Mrs. Jones leave town for the weekend and they […]
Can You Preach it at the Gates of Auschwitz?
Many people think the adequacy of a theology of providence or a theodicy is dependent on whether it can be “preached at the gates of Auschwitz”. But is that a reasonable criterion? In this video, I suggest otherwise.
Actually, God Can: A Response to Thomas Jay Oord (Part 1)
Last week, I posted a review of Thomas Jay Oord’s book God Can’t. While the book was well written with admirable pastoral sensitivity and compassion for those who suffer, I wasn’t particularly taken with the main argument. Not surprisingly, Dr. Oord was not particularly taken with my review and he posted a response here. Since I […]
Should we hope that God has a reason for allowing evil?
Many people find the idea that God has a reason for allowing great evils to be implausible, even offensive. But does that make sense? Should we really prefer that evil occur for no reason at all? Or should we hope there is a reason, even if we can’t understand it? In this video, I take […]
What do you mean “God can’t”? A response to the Peckham-Oord Debate
Here are some quick evil thoughts pertaining to the most recent episode of Unbelievable featuring a conversation between John Peckham and Thomas Jay Oord. I’m not going to recap their positions here. Just listen to the show and then join the conversation. First, I didn’t hear enough about John Peckham’s (very Greg Boydian sounding) council […]
Turning the tables on the problem of evil
Today, I had an extended back and forth with atheist video blogger (and actor) Scott Clifton. I wanted to post one bit of the exchange here because I address a very common type of question about the problem of evil. Clifton: Can you name a good—any good—that can’t be brought about by an omnipotent being […]
The Problem of Evil and Biblical Violence: A Conversation with an Exvangelical
Clint Heacock is a former senior pastor with a PhD in theology who has since left Christianity and bills himself as an exvangelical. In this conversation, Dr. Heacock and I discuss his objections to theodicy and the problem of biblical violence in particular. To learn more about Dr. Heacock, you can visit him online at […]
Is atheism a more hopeful view of the future than Christianity?
Honestly, it's one of the best facts about life that major religions like Christianity and Islam are false. There is no hell, no billions of people suffering eternal conscious torture. Simple non-existence after death is literally infinitely better. — Counter Apologist (@CounterApologis) August 2, 2018 I have often heard atheists express sentiments like this, so […]
Natural Evil and Young Earth Creationism
In this short discussion (short being a relative term: it’s under ten minutes) I explain why young earth creationists have a problem of natural evil that they need to explain. Music Credit: Apero Hour Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com) Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/
I feel love. It’s about love: Still Alice as Theodicy
Lisa Genova’s 2007 novel Still Alice tells the story of Harvard professor and scholar Alice Howland and her journey living with early onset Alzheimer’s Disease. Howland is a few months into her fiftieth birthday when she receives the terrible diagnosis. From there the book follows her on her slow and painful decline into dementia. At first […]
Calvinism and the Problem of Evil: A Review
David E. Alexander and Daniel M. Johnson, eds. Calvinism and the Problem of Evil. (Eugene, OR: Pickwick, 2016). Calvinism represents one of the richest and most formidable intellectual traditions in Christianity, one that has enjoyed a popular renaissance in North America in the last several years. Given these facts, you might expect that Calvinism would attract significant […]