John 3:19, “This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but people loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil.”

Notes in pdf

I. The “Problem of Evil”

  1. Premise 1: If God were all-powerful, he would be able to prevent evil.
  2. Premise 2: If God were all-good, he would desire to prevent evil.
  3. Conclusion 1: So if God were both all-powerful and all-good, there would be no evil.
  4. Premise 3: But there is evil.
  5. Conclusion 2: Therefore, there is no all-powerful, all-good God. (p. 155, loc. 3909)

Made famous by Epicurus in 3rd century B.C.:

  1. If anomnipotent, omniscient, and omnibenevolent god exists, then evil does not.
  2. There is evil in the world.
  3. Therefore, an omnipotent, omniscient, and omnibenevolent god does not exist.

 II. The Problem with the “Problem” of Evil and Its Solution

  1. Non-Theist Worldview: Evil doesn’t exist nor can be defined: “What is the difference between right and wrong, good and bad? There is no moral difference between them.” Rosenberg, Alex. The Atheist’s Guide to Reality: Enjoying Life without Illusions (p. 3).
  2. Christian Worldview: Evil serves the good purpose in God’s plan: Romans 8:28, “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” Craig’s video
  3. Jesus on the cross solves the problem of evil.

III. The Freewill Defense by Dr. Plantinga

  1. Premise 1: God gave man the choice between good and evil.
  2. Premise 2: Man chose evil.
  3. Conclusion: Therefore, God has allowed evil for His greater purpose.

Plantinga’s videos:

  1. Short Animation: video
  2. Further detail, Part 1 and Part 2

IV. More Resources  

  1. Ravi video
  2. Turek Debate video
  3. Turek student discussion about morality video
  4. Turek short video
  5. Turek lecture video
  6. Craig’s moral argument video
  7. Wyrostek on the will of God video and notes 
  8. Flowers on Calvinism, blog

V. Review Questions

  1. Explain the supposed “Problem of Evil.”
  2. Give the two-fold defense against the problem of evil.
  3. Describe and defend the free-will argument for evil.