Many people have used the tragedies of human suffering as an excuse for rejecting the God of the Bible. Accordingly, skeptics rationalize this rejection by using syllogisms such as this:
- If God is great and good, He can and would make our world (including human life) good.
- Not all of the world (including human life) is good, as human suffering amply demonstrates.
- Therefore, the Creator God is not perfectly great and good.
In essence, Darwinists of the 1800s (and later again in the 1900s and 2000s) argued:
- If God really is perfect in power and goodness, no human suffering would occur.
- Human suffering does occur.
- Therefore, God cannot really be perfect in both power and goodness.
A corollary conclusion extends this syllogism: Any explanation of human origins that relies upon a Creator God who is perfectly powerful, wise, and good cannot be true, because of the above syllogism-produced conclusion.1
But are these two syllogisms sound and trustworthy? No, as we shall see.
Shining a spotlight on hidden assumptions
The above challenge to God’s goodness and power necessarily implies some hidden (i.e., unspoken) assumptions.
One such assumption is that all human suffering is inexcusably evil, even if it is temporary in duration and it contributes to a permanent improvement in God’s creation. Another assumption is that a perfectly great and good Creator God would never tolerate evil in His creation, even temporarily. A third unspoken assumption is that the universal morality of God’s providence should be evaluated based only upon the temporal world as it now exists, without any appreciation for what God will do with it (and us) in the future….
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