The Problem of Evil & Suffering was the topic of this months Men's Group at Kaleo Church. I encourage you to visit David's site, as he put the study up and it an excellent work on the subject (philosophically, theologically & pastorally).
One observation: David quotes a professor at Oxford by the name of John Mackie. Mackie states, "If God exists, there couldn’t be evil unless he would have a reason for justifying his permitting it." And Mackie assumes God couldn't have a reason to justify this. This reminded me how evil is necessary for us to understand God. Since we are created in God's image and are not like the angels, we have been created for a different purpose. It is only through evil we are able to see God's mercy, grace, righteousness, justness, love, compassion, etc. In light of eternity, we would not truly comprehend the fullness of God if we didn't go through this season. (Now I say this knowing this is not the comment I'd give to someone experiencing suffering. And the article clearly states it is wrong to deal with the problem of evil and suffering purely academically. It must always be done with the heart of a pastor.)
Read the article, it begins:
Q-How can an all-powerful and all-good God allow evil and suffering in His world?
This question has a long history. It is a question that is not asked in academia alone, but increasingly the man on the street is aware of this problem and is either seeking an answer out of genuine curiosity, or is using this problem as a way to bolster their reasoning for disbelief in the Christian God.
As we come to this problem and attempt to consider whether or not a solution is possible, let’s do so from a couple of different perspectives. Since this is as much a personal problem as it is a professional academic one, we should strive to understand how to handle this question from both angles.
We need to think of this problem at the level of the philosopher as well as a Christian or counselor. For me to give you tips and hints to disarm someone from a philosophical perspective without addressing this issue as a pastor or counselor who is seeking to reach the person is not only damaging, but has no warrant Scripturally.
Continue reading: Problem of Evil & Suffering