Conversational Theology

Why is there so much evil in the world?

Why is there so much evil in the world?

This is a great question, which lots of much cleverer people than me have struggled to answer. I think a helpful way to start thinking about it is to imagine how you could ever answer that if you didn’t believe in God. The only answer could be ‘that’s just the way it is’ – there would be no hope for anything better nor any explanation for why we all feel it ought to be better.

As a Christian I want to say first that the world was made without evil – perfect and good (look at Genesis 1) – and that the world will be made perfect again, all evil destroyed – that’s the hope that the gospel gives us (look at Revelation 21). So we’re right to feel that something’s wrong with the world the way it is – it’s not designed to be like this and it’s not always going to be like this.

So how did it go so wrong? The answer that the bible gives is sin. As a result of people disobeying and ignoring God (which is what sin is), things started to fall apart at every level – in the lives of individuals, in families, in society, and in the world as a whole. Genesis 3-11 illustrates this very vividly, with sin tearing people apart in all kinds of ways, getting worse and worse, all stemming from the first act of disobedience in the garden of Eden.

How will it be put right? Sin has to be dealt with. This happens in two ways. Some people will be judged and condemned for their sin, and banished from God’s presence, i.e. in hell (see 2 Thessalonians 1:6-9). The bible says this will happen to everyone who does not know God. But other people will be entirely forgiven from their sin, cleansed and put right. This happens because their sin has been paid for by Christ, when he died on the cross. Those are the only two ways for sin to be dealt with – by Christ on the cross, or by ourselves in hell. The offer of forgiveness is freely made to anyone who will trust Christ to be their Lord and saviour.

We’ll never deal with all the evil in the world by political means, or by going to war, or by social action. All of these things can, at best, deal with the symptoms. But the root of the problem is in our sinful, disobedient hearts. And only God can deal with those. The good news of the gospel is that he does.

4 Responses to "Why is there so much evil in the world?"

So are we assuming that all people that don’t know God are bad. Is God going to shun away good people because they got the wrong religion, and now they must burn in hell.

No, we are assuming that all people are bad.

So, there are no ‘good’ people with the wrong religion – there are no good people at all.

wow sisters and brothers- I feel there has to be a creator. Who, I don’t know. If we were all born in Iraq then we would be musilim. Sorry if spelled wrong. What do we do? I see a lot of cold hearted people with closed minds everywhere. I feel as if no one really cares for and prays for all people. I bet if we all sat down and talked about what is really important in this short life we would be amazed at the similar feelings we share. Anyone, please help me! Are all who have had it rough going to hell to burn forever for being lost in this world or misled by religion?

There is evil in this world because this planet is hell -literally. We, as spiritual beings encased in tombs of flesh, are the fallen angels refered to in religious literature throughout the ages. You and I are Lucifer, the morning star, fallen from the spiritual heights because of our carnal compulsions and transgressions. Once, angels at the side of God, we must now suffer in this mire of carnality and materialism. One day our true selves (spirit) will be purged of the false ego and carnal passions (sin). Then we will be able to return to our true home alongside GOD and our angelic bretheren.
This is the secret of the ages, coded in mythology, allegory, and metaphor. Now you know the true reality of mans situation on this planet. Everthing else is illusion.

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Conversational theology:

the art of learning deep truths about God and man in the company of friends, whilst drinking tea and eating cake.

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