The Problem of Evil

It is with more than a little trepidation that I even approach the problem of evil. The entire Bible, directly or indirectly, is devoted to the subject, as are all of the world’s major religions. And there are so many types and sources of evil from which to choose! There’s self inflicted evil (“you reap what you sow”), there’s evil that is inflicted upon us by others, and then there is generic “evil” that seems to come along “naturally”. Pain, death, floods, droughts, famines, typhoons, tornadoes, tsunamis, birth defects and diseases (both genetic and acquired), to name a few.

Along the way, I have learned that it is generally unproductive for those currently going through personal pain and suffering to question God’s actions, or, as the case may be, inactions. The inquiry degrades from “How can God allow evil in this hypothetical case?” to “Why me?” There is a barb attached to the inquiry; a bias in the questioning that rejects most valid answers as unacceptable, cold and without compassion, and thus not very “God like”.

But for those seekers/inquirers of God who honestly desire to reconcile the Bible’s description of a holy, compassionate and all-powerful God allowing rampant evil to pervade his creation, let’s open the discussion… Continue reading

Musings on the Great Reversal, First Pass

Almost before my keyboard cooled down after the last post, I had that uncomfortable feeling of incompleteness. While most lawyers would say that the estate manager of the story was well within his rights to independently negotiate each worker’s wage, I was still left with that uneasy, gnawing feeling.

I had an experience recently that struck home. I’m an electronic engineer by profession, and I was getting pricing for an expensive integrated circuit. I got one price from the web site of the distributor ($670). I called the distributor directly and received a lower price over the phone ($530). I then spoke with my account manager, and she quoted a still lower price ($382). These are no small differences! Certainly they have the right to set whatever pricing structure they want, but I was a little miffed at the inconsistency… Continue reading

Is God Fair?

A Cookie, Divided

The short answer: No, and this is a good thing!

When I was a lad growing up with my older brother, fairness was at the forefront of my thinking. A considerable amount of effort was expended by my parents to ensure that we were both treated equally, along with refereeing our disputes when we’d accuse each other of the cardinal sin of “unfairness”. We always had enough to eat, but it seamed that there was always some last bit of food that we’d fight over. The rule at our house was that one person would cut the food item in half, while the other would select the piece he wanted. The “cutter” would go to great effort to ensure that the pieces were exactly equal so he wouldn’t be “cheated”.

Sometime toward the beginning of junior high (AKA middle school), my parents mantra of “life isn’t always fair” sunk in. I can’t remember the moment I became aware of this, but there were many, many incidences that reminded me that life wasn’t fair, and it was always interpreted as a “bad” thing.

Studying the Bible didn’t help either… Continue reading