The Problem of Evil: Alvin Plantinga’s argument & Ravi Z’s thoughts

apoloJTXroad STOP#3

Meet The World’s Most Important Living Christian Philosopher
A quick trivia question before we arrive at today’s stop: Who is the world’s most important living Christian philosopher, named “America’s leading orthodox Protestant philosopher of God” by none other than TIME magazine?

“Alvin Plantinga!”
– you’re absolutely right! Well, I hate to admit it, but I didn’t know either. No matter – today, we’re going to see his philosophical brilliance in this animation of a brand new, original, and pretty clever answer to the age-old question, “How can there be a God with all the evil in the world?”

(You might want to turn your speakers down for this one; seems to be set a bit loud.)

No? Well, try this easier-to-digest argument
If you found that a bit difficult to follow or would have trouble reproducing it, try the distilled wisdom of Ravi Zacharias. He answers the same question in a very digestible way, explaining, basically, that automatons can’t “love” and that true love necessarily comes with the freedom to “not love.” He makes some other good points, like:

1. If we humans take a life, that’s tragic and we can’t restore it. But if God takes a life, he can restore it.
2. If there’s no eternity, the problem of evil remains unsolved…

A philosophical understanding of the problem of evil is one thing – but, thankfully, God has given us more than logic to deal with it. The world we live in seems to grow almost daily more evil, more cruel, and more violent. But God has equipped us to live in it as his agents, and he has given us amazingly powerful protection from and authority over evil in the form of something that does not always feel very powerful at all: the power of prayer.

Good Father,
We admit, first of all, that the evil in the world is not always “out there.” Sometimes, it’s in our own hearts, thoughts, and words. We also admit that, if we seem less evil than people we read about in the newspapers, it’s only your grace that has kept us from our full potential for doing wrong. We pray for all those suffering from the evil actions of people who’ve misused their freedom to do wrong. Please comfort and rescue them; be near to them in ways that nobody else can.

We pray for your protection for those who are most vulnerable, and for our brothers and sisters who are persecuted for being your followers. Dearest Father, give your children supernatural hope, peace, and joy to sustain them. We know that you can work all things for good; nevertheless, we are very time-bound and earth-bound. We thank you that you remember that and pity us. (Psalm 103:13)

Thank you, too, that you have done something about evil – first, that there will one day be ultimate justice for all the wrongs in the world. And, second, that in the lives of believers there will be mercy instead of justice because your son, Jesus, has paid the full price for all the times we have chosen evil instead of good.
We pray in the powerful name of Jesus, who came to earth to destroy the works of the devil. AMEN.

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