Our Sunday afternoon series over the past 8 weeks at Grace Fellowship Church has been focused on trying to help Christians learn how to interact in thoughtful, loving, and engaging ways with people of other worldviews. We began by thinking about our own worldview, and how it is grounded in the gospel. We also examined the nature of ‘worldview’ in general.
Over the last few weeks we’ve been dealing with common objections to the Christian faith and asking, ‘How do we understand this objection within its worldview? And where does the gospel-oriented worldview of a Christian intersect that worldview?’ This past week we were blessed to have Ian Clary come and speak to us about ‘The problem of evil’ and how to engage people who see this objection as a basis for rejecting Christianity. I highly recommend giving it a listen.
Ian made many good points and gave us all a lot things to think about as we seek to speak truth in love to our neighbours for whom this problem poses a genuine difficulty in coming to faith. He taught us about syllogisms and even some Latin phrases — and we had some fun with it. But one thing stuck out to me.
One of the points that Ian made that made me stop and think is this: Christians are not the only ones for whom the problem of evil is actually a problem.
For instance, if an atheist wants to use the category of ‘evil’ to disprove the Christian God (i.e. since evil exists, a good God cannot), then that atheist must first be able to defend their position that something is in fact evil and that there is a standard of good. But without God, where will those standards come from?
At the very least, this is thought-provoking and a helpful pointer for starting conversations that would otherwise end with the statement of the problem. At best, an observation like this can help people think through the logical inconsistencies of their own position, rather than simply attacking the Christian view. And if we’re all in pursuit of truth, then that’s helpful, right?
Overall, I was just really, really thankful for how well Ian served our church. I was thankful to be reminded that this ‘problem’ is not a problem that hasn’t been answered. In fact, it has been fully and finally answered at the cross — and that makes me marvel even more at the wisdom of God.