The Problem of Evil

David Hume, a philosopher, once argued that the existence of evil poses a problem for the existence of a good God. His argument can be summarized like this:

Premise 1: If God is good, then he would get rid of evil.

Premise 2: If God is powerful, then he would eliminate evil.

Conclusion:  Evil exists, therefore God does not.

Initially, this argument sounds convincing. But what it doesn’t consider is the possibility that God has his own timeline for doing away with evil.

The Bible tells us that God is good, and he has a purpose for evil—to use even all evil for good (Gen. 50:20; Rom. 8:28).

The first premise (if God is good, then he would eliminate evil) assumes that God has to get rid of it right away. But if he deals with it in his own timing, then this statement is false. God has promised that he will eliminate evil, and he has done so most definitively through the death of his Son on the cross.

The apostle Paul encourages us in the face of evil with these words:

“Death is swallowed up in victory.” “O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting?” The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. (1 Cor. 15:54–57)

Photo of Nicholas Davis

Nicholas Davis

Nicholas Davis is lead pastor of Redemption Church (PCA) in San Diego, California. Nick has worked for White Horse Inn for several years, has contributed to Modern Reformation and other places, and is a writer for Core Christianity. Nick and his wife, Gina, have three sons. He blogs at Connect with Nicholas on Twitter @MundaneMinister.

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