Evil Necessitates God’s Existence

The very protest against God in the face of evil in fact presupposes God’s existence. Why are we disturbed about the brute and blind force of tsunamis that snuff out people’s lives — including those of children who were lured, as if by some sinister design, onto the beaches by fish left exposed in the shallows because the waters had retreated just before the tidal wave came? If the world is all there is, and the world with moving tectonic plates is a world in which we happen to live, what’s there to complain about? We can mourn — we’ve lost something terribly dear. But we can’t really complain, and we certainly can’t legitimately protest.

The expectation that the world should be a hospitable place, with no devastating mishaps, is tied to the belief that the world ought to be constituted in a certain way. And that belief — as distinct from the belief that the world just is what it is — is itself tied to the notion of a creator. And that brings us to God. It is God who makes possible our protest that there is evil in the world. And it is God against whom we protest. God is both the ground of the protest and its target. Almost paradoxically, we protest with God against God. How can I believe in God when tsunamis strike? I protest, and therefore I believe.


Quoted from Volf, M. (2010). Against the tide: Love in a time of petty dreams and persisting enmities. Cambridge, U.K: W.B. Eerdmans Pub. Co, p. 36.


About adoption through propitiation

I like theology. And I love my wife Katie. Enjoy my blog. View all posts by adoption through propitiation

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