The ‘so what’ response to evil

Donald W. Haynes writes:

So if God is not the author of evil, and if the devil is not an evil god, why do bad things happen to good people? Why is the presence and power and manifestation of evil so strong? Debating this is almost as fruitless a task as determining how many angels can stand on the head of a pin! What we do believe is that we cannot blame God.

The issue for Methodism’s “practical divinity’ is not “Why evil?” but “So what?” Do we cave into the enticement of the wrong that comes up everywhere—personally and systemically tempting us? Or do we seek the power of the Holy Spirit through means of grace to follow John Wesley’s admonition to “do no harm”?

2 thoughts on “The ‘so what’ response to evil

  1. Except that in a post-Christian society, theodicy is often used as an excuse for not believing in God: If there were a God, he would not have let my 3-year-old get killed by a drunk driver.

    We can’t just dismiss these questions and say ‘So what?’

  2. Pam, is that a post-Christian problem? Theodicy as a thorny problem has been around quite a long time.

    My other thought on this is that I’m not sure how often theodicy is the cause of doubt. It is – as you say – an excuse. As such, having a really nifty answer to the question is not going to solve the basic problem. It does not get to the real source of that person’s complaint about God.

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