The obscene violence visited upon a theater-full of moviegoers in Aurora, CO mere days ago prompts, no surprise, a question that has dogged the centuries: Why do bad things happen in life? Why does God allow such?
Christians need beware they don’t dismiss these queries with bromides and flippancy. These are serious questions and the Scriptures offer serious answers.
John Stonestreet offers some insight below; an example of thoughtful ways to approach this dilemma; practical, thoughtful, challenging.
It’s the question that won’t go away. So what do we think and say in the face of the sort of evil we saw in Aurora last week?
The late Christian philosopher Ron Nash called the problem of evil and suffering the most perennially difficult issue Christians have to face. And as much as we might like to ignore the problem, events like what transpired in that Aurora, Colorado movie theater Thursday make that impossible.
Ignoring evil is a fundamentally wrong approach for Christians. Christianity is a worldview that claims to explain the world as it actually is, and the only world you and I have ever lived in is the one that is deeply and broadly impacted by evil.
Plus, to remain silent in the midst of events like this is to ignore the conversation that the culture is having with—or about—God right now. C.S. Lewis thought that suffering was God’s “megaphone,” and it’s true.
Of course, this conversation about God’s existence and goodness in the light of evil is not easy. Simplistic platitudes like “time will heal” or haphazardly lobbing Romans 8:28 grenades can be like rubbing Christian-ese salt into gaping, emotional wounds. Remember, Job’s friends were pretty helpful for their suffering friend: Until they opened their mouths [...]