Ever since atheists and agnostics have been arguing against the truth of the Gospel of Jesus Christ or saying that the evidence in favor of its validity is not sufficient to warrant our committing to Him, this has been by far the greatest concern they have been able to raise. Asking how God could have come to be is a strong second, but blaming God for the occurrence of bad things has that beat. It has, I strongly suspect, led more people away from the Faith than all other objections to Christianity put together. If this protest by critics of Christianity can be adequately answered, and therein quelled and quashed, they will have rather little else to say in debate.
The short answer here is that God did not create everything; He only created everything good. Evil, like The Truth, exists or existed (depending upon one’s perspective) on its own without the need for creation. Yet the ultimate realm is not one of dualism; i.e., we do not have a God of goodness fighting a god of evil on the same level. Evil is subordinate and inferior in status to good from always, just as God is more good than Satan is bad (and particularly more right than Satan is wrong). As C. S. Lewis said at the end of his book, The Problem of Pain, evil is not Good=s opposite; “opposite to” implies “equal to.” While The Truth is inevitable, also existing without the need for creation (For example, love is a good thing without God=s even needing to say so, and the same applies to 2 + 2 = 4.) and of necessity gives rise to Being, which God is, original evil exists only potentially and gives rise to nothing without enablement by Satan and humanity. It is potentially autonomous and “out there,” but it can do nothing unless it has goodness to work against. It is parasitical, a negative entity — a hole, as it were, in goodness. .
The case for Christ, as Les Strobel called it, is basically as strong as it is because of the profound and manifold evidence supporting, such that the problem of pain, as Lewis called the problem of evil=s being in a world created by Personified Goodness, is not, to begin with, great enough to overcome it. Our God is so big (See J.B. Phillip=s book, Your God Is Too Small.) that the monkey is always on the back of those who seek to disprove God’s existence; the ball is in their court, and, in fact, their only argument lies in their a priori assumption that thoughts of Deity are irrational. In other words, if the truth be known, critics of Christianity usually make an unwarranted assumption of superiority from the first, as if, for example, “everyone knows that science has disproved the supernatural,” the existence of anything beyond space-time. Somehow, the powers of Good allow the truth of the matter, that this claim is false, to be suppressed.
It seems in fact to many people that we should leave religion out of business and politics, as we leave it out of legal matters, court. This is comparable to leaving it out of “Xmas.” (This turns my stomach.) We have a jolly fat man at Christmas and a bunny rabbit at Easter. I almost want to have these holidays over with so I don’t have to see the disrespect any longer.
Okay, that is point #1 – evil is a subtraction from goodness, a corruption of the thought of God; that is so hard to feature – it is possible only through our irresponsible use of our free will, the activities of Satan made possible by original sin, and possibly by a need for a pinch of chaos in creation. Satan is a shade. We will talk a lot more about these issues and discuss how they relate to tragedy on the personal level and catastrophe on the level of nature and the universe. There is much to be said.