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Is God Evil for Allowing Evil?

Part 1 of this series looked at the logical problem of evil. That argument is, if God is all-good, then he would want to stop evil. If God is all-powerful, then he could stop evil. Evil exists. Therefore, God doesn’t.

I showed why the logical version has failed, but that still leaves the probability version. It may be logically possible for God and evil to both exist, but since there is so much pointless suffering, it is more likely that God doesn’t exist.

How would you respond? Why does God allow evil? Why do bad things happen to good people? Why doesn’t God limit the pointless suffering we endure?

There are good reasons to believe in a good God in the face of evil and suffering. Hopefully, these videos help you see exactly that.

YouTube – Logical Problem of Evil:

YouTube – Probability Problem of Evil:

Podcast:

Other Resources on the topic:


You can follow the Coffeehouse Questions Podcast and have it automatically downloaded to your device by subscribing on iTunes. If you don’t have iTunes, find the podcast and follow on SoundCloud or search “Coffeehouse Questions with Ryan Pauly” on your Android podcast player. Finally, if you’d rather stick to the radio, you can listen to the show on 100.1 KGBA every Saturday night from 9-10 pm PST.

Like the Facebook page, follow on Instagram, or subscribe on YouTube to interact with Ryan and his guests on future shows. Your questions and comments help to make the show more interactive. Go ahead and send in those questions to contact@coffeehousequestions.com, Facebook, TwitterInstagram (@ryanpauly3), or by text at (714) 989-6927 (Google Voice number for texts only). Finally, don’t forget to give it a rating on your podcast app and find me on Patreon if you enjoy what you hear!

Does evil exist, or is it the absence of good?

I don’t think this question is an either/or question. Check out my response.

What is evil? (Video)

Why does God allow evil? What is evil anyway? (Podcast)

When faced with the problem of evil, the first question you should ask is, “Why are you asking this question?” It is absolutely necessary to understand who you are talking to. Are they coming at this issue from the emotional problem of evil or the intellectual problem? This will drastically change the way you respond.

If you confirm that you are talking about the intellectual problem, the second question should be, “What is evil?” We better know what evil is if we are going to complain about God allowing it. But, can we actually define it or just give examples? Listen below!


Great Resources:

The logical version of the problem of evil

The probability version of the problem of evil

If God, Why Evil?


You can follow the Coffeehouse Questions Podcast and have it automatically downloaded to your device by subscribing on iTunes. If you don’t have iTunes, find the podcast and follow on SoundCloud or search “Coffeehouse Questions with Ryan Pauly” on your Android podcast player. Finally, if you’d rather stick to the radio, you can listen to the show on 100.1 KGBA every Saturday night from 9-9:30 PT.

Like the Facebook page or follow on Instagram to interact with Ryan and his guests on future shows. Your questions and comments help to make the show more interactive. So, send in those questions at contact@coffeehousequestions.com, FacebookTwitterInstagram, or by text at (714) 989-6927 (Google Voice number for texts only).

If God is all-powerful, why doesn’t he make the devil disappear?

If God, Why Evil?

This is probably the most common objection to Christianity and the most difficult to answer. Watch as Ryan walks through different responses with a group of junior high students.

If you are interested in having me speak at your church, camp, or youth group, click on the Endorsements & Speaking page to see my list of topics and contact me at Speaking Requests and email me at contact@coffeehousequestions.com. You can select a topic from the list or suggest your own. I am happy to help in any way I can. God bless!

Why does God allow evil? Interview with Dr. Clay Jones

This question is probably asked more than any other, and it is one of the most common objections against the Christian view of God. If God is all good and all powerful, why doesn’t he stop evil? Questions like these are frequently asked and it is important for Christians to respond well.

God Evil

Dr. Clay Jones, an Associate Professor of Christian Apologetics, joined me to discuss his new book, Why Does God Allow Evil? This book covers a wide range of questions helping you to have answers for some of the toughest questions.

What is evil? Why do bad things happen to good people? Why didn’t God create a world with free creatures who always choose good? How does eternity relate to our suffering here?

Listen and get answers to these questions and more!

What are other questions you have about the problem of evil? Comment below!

You can follow the Coffeehouse Questions Podcast and have it automatically downloaded to your device by subscribing on iTunes. If you don’t have iTunes, find the podcast and follow on SoundCloud or search “Coffeehouse Questions with Ryan Pauly” on your Android podcast player. Finally, if you’d rather stick to the radio, you can listen to the show on 100.1 KGBA every Saturday night from 9-9:30 PT.

Like the Facebook page or follow on Instagram to interact with Ryan and his guests on future shows. Your questions and comments help to make the show more interactive. So, send in those questions at contact@coffeehousequestions.com, FacebookTwitterInstagram, or by text at (714) 989-6927 (Google Voice number for texts only).

If God created Satan, does evil and sin come from God?

One of my former professors, Dr. Clay Jones, recently released a book titled Why Does God Allow Evil? One of the classes I took from Dr. Jones also went by the same title, and it was arguably the most important class I have taken so far. What I realized is that even though we can’t know the exact reason God allows evil, we can still have good answers when asked.

It is also a good reason I took this class because this question comes up more than any other when I am speaking to students. Here is a recent message I received on Twitter.

Ryan, help! Why does God allow evil? Perhaps a bigger question is why Satan? If God created Satan, does evil & sin come from God?

This question is very similar to another common one that is asked. Some people ask, “If God created everything, and evil/sin is a thing, then didn’t God create evil?” The first step in answering this question is to first define evil.

What is evil?

Evil is usually thought of as something that is morally wrong, causes harm to someone, or a sinful behavior. In Understanding The Culture, evil or sin is defined as any action or inaction that violates the will of God. When we look at evil in this way we see that evil is not a thing. Since it is not a thing, it is not something that comes from God.

Instead, evil is the absence good. We can have good without evil, but we cannot have evil without good. Dr. Frank Turek explains it by saying that if you take all the rust out of a car you have a better car, but if you take all the car out of the rust you have nothing. In the same way, evil is the privation of good. It is the mistake in something, and if gone, if you have something better.

So, why Satan?

God did not create Satan evil. Satan began as an angelic-like creature who chose to rebel against God. This rebellion was only made possible by free will. Why does God allow evil? One reason is that God allows evil in order to keep our free will intact. Free will is the perfect good that God desires for his creatures. It is free will that allows us to freely love or reject God. This is what is required to have a loving relationship with someone since you cannot force someone to love you.

In response to the original question

God allows evil in order to keep our free will intact. Satan was created as a good creature with free will to choose to love or reject God. It was Satan’s rebellion against God that brought evil into the world and led to the fall. Therefore, evil and sin did not come from God.

Is free will really worth the pain and evil it causes? Read my previous article on the value of free will.

Are evil and God incompatible?

Evil exists inside of our universe and appears to be incompatible with an all-loving God. However, the existence of evil is evidence for the existence of God.

The biggest argument against the existence of God is the fact that evil exists in our universe. Many believe that if God is all-loving and all-powerful, evil would not exist. Since evil does exist, God cannot exist. What this fails to recognize is that there may be good reasons for God to allow evil to exist in this world.

First, we are able to have a better understanding of evil when we have an accurate view of eternity. This life is not all that there is. If God exists, we will live for an eternity and the evil of this world will shrink down to non-existence.

Second, we can also understand the existence of evil when we understand free agency. God created each person with the ability to freely choose love. In order for love to be a free choice, one also has the ability to hate. This is the cause of much evil.

Third, we have the problem of limited knowledge. There is no way to understand the purpose God has for allowing every evil act. Now I’m not using this as a cop-out. I’m not saying “we just can’t understand” every time God does something we don’t like. There are many responses to difficult questions that I have dealt with here. What I am saying is that in order to understand everything we would have to have knowledge of everything, and since we are limited beings we simply don’t. When we recognize this, then we can know that even though we don’t understand it, God may have a good reason for allowing the evil in our lives.

Naturalists will use this argument against Christians to show that God does not exist. What they fail to understand is that without a mind, free will, or an objective moral standard, there is no evil. Evil cannot exist if we are only physical beings. We would only be reacting to our chemicals and one would be unable to judge another for actions committed. So, rather than evil being used as an argument against the existence of God, we see that evil only exists because God exists.

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The following blog series comes from a paper I wrote for J. Warner Wallace on his book, God’s Crime Scene. He has given me permission to post my summary of each chapter for this series. This is a short summary of the eighth chapter, not an exhaustive look at all of the possibilities. If you would like more information, you can purchase God’s Crime Scene here, visit his website, or email me and I will provide further resources.

Can God use evil for good? (Podcast)

This week’s podcast is an interview with Rose Pauly, the author of Desperate Hope. Rose shares her story of how God was able to use a devastating circumstance for good.

One beautiful fall day, two lives collide. One busy balancing family, work, and school. The other on a trajectory of desperation, destruction, and evil.

They will never be the same again. Beginning with an assault at knifepoint and a surprising response from the victim, this story unfolds a future neither could have anticipated. Sixteen years later, they have come together to tell their stories. His of addictions, arrests, and prisons, followed by redemption, recovery, and reconciliation. Hers is the story of overcoming fear, embracing forgiveness, and forsaking victimhood and shame to experience God’s overwhelming love.

THIS BOOK DOES MORE THAN TELL A STORY.

It brings hope to anyone in the grip of addiction, pornography, or despair, and help for victims, the fearful, and the traumatized—anyone desperate for hope. Two lives brought together first in violence and then in forgiveness tell this unusual yet true story of God’s love and his overarching hand working in dramatic ways.

Desperate Hope
Purchase your copy of Desperate Hope here.

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