Atheists love to condemn God, saying God is responsible for the suffering of the world, reasoning if He truly was God he would stop all the injustice and suffering, and since He doesn’t, there must not be a God.
This is not a new thought, Epicurus the Greek philosopher condemned God in the same way as early as 351 BCE:
“Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able? Then he is not omnipotent.
Is he able, but not willing? Then he is malevolent.
Is he both able and willing? Then whence cometh evil?
Is he neither able nor willing? Then why call him God?”
Whence Commeth Evil?
Now, instead of focusing on God in this stanza, and what He is or isn’t supposedly capable of doing, instead ask, “Is it evil to force your will on someone?” If the answer is yes, then in that sense this very question is evil itself because it is asking God to willingly do something evil, which is impose Himself on us all; policing and destroying evil immediately when it manifests. That is the type of god atheist’s demand, an omnipresent moral dictator willing and able to force His will on you and all creation. So who is really evil here? Is it God? Or is it the person advocating for divine micromanagement of our existence? The obvious answer is the person advocating for a universal tyrant because that is exactly what is being demanded of God by this common atheist argument.
The reality is, it is by definition “evil” to impose your will on others without consent and due process for that matter. The fact that people don’t see the obvious flaw in this logic answers the question “Whence Commeth Evil” perfectly, evil thrives because God Himself doesn’t commit evil by forcing Himself into creation in this overt manner. So, instead God is forced to provide a universe that allows the transmission of His own laws and requirements, yet allows space for personal choice. So when we think about our universe, its natural laws and creation, humankind and our own demands for Justice what we have to realize is that everything about our existence is configured in a precise way to give us that space and God that opportunity. Would you rather not have the space and be micromanaged like robots? Or given the space we have but wrestle with pain, death, and loss? Any one of the billions of different configurations of creation God could have manifested would still force us to resolve this conflict. In one a robot would rebel, in the other a lawless creation would destroy itself.
The Great Resolution
It is this unresolved conflict, epic, or story that the Apostle Paul called the “Foolishness of God” specifically the foolishness of Jesus and the preaching of the Gospel, His death, and resurrection from the Dead as mentioned in 1 Corinthians 1:23-25,
But we preach Christ crucified, unto the Jews a stumblingblock, and unto the Greeks foolishness; But unto them which are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God, and the wisdom of God. Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men; and the weakness of God is stronger than men. – 1 Corinthians 1:23-25
To the untrained ear, one that can’t discern evil like the person that reads Epicurus and finds it reasonable; the Biblical epic of Creation sounds hokey and like wishful mythology. What they don’t realize is that this epic and story is how God chooses to configure this creation and deal with the presence of evil, without becoming evil Himself by imposing on us all as created beings.
So, what sounds hokey, and juvenile in terms of the Biblical creation narrative, man’s fall from perfection in Eden, God’s people, the Laws of Moses, the prophets, and the Gospel story is as Paul put it the “foolishness of God.” Meaning out of all the ways God could have worked to resolve the problem of evil in this universe, he choose Jesus, His death and resurrection as a substitutionary sacrifice that deals with evil in a way that humans can relate to, and as a means to deal with the answer of judging evil without becoming evil like a tyrant.
It is here with the bizarreness and need for such an overarching plan you lose your average atheist. This is why in these verses Paul says, “…the foolishness of God is wiser than men.” God’s plan perfectly resolves these issues in a way that only God could, which is absolutely marvelous once fully realized. This is why for so many the foolishness of God becomes perfect wisdom, and they yield themselves to God willingly as true Christians. The realization being, that God through Jesus makes sense, there could truly be no other way and the world is exactly perfectly constructed to bring about this realization.
So, instead of dealing with reality, and the fact that this is how Creation truly is, that there is a Biblical record, that Jesus is God in the flesh, and that the story of Christ is the resolution we have be given to these hard-truths that exist and need to be dealt with in this Universe; atheists would rather just call it foolishness, mocking and ridiculing anyone who believes in Christ and the Biblical testimony of creation.
So to them, I ask,
“How would you do it?” And “what would you do if your own creation rejected that plan?”
They sound excaclty like the description in Isaiah of the potter and the clay.
Woe unto him that striveth with his Maker! Let the potsherd strive with the potsherds of the earth. Shall the clay say to him that fashioneth it, What makest thou? or thy work, He hath no hands?
Nay but, O man, who art thou that repliest against God? Shall the thing formed say to him that formed it, Why hast thou made me thus?
The scary thing is many atheist minded people do try to become god imposing their personal morality through the edifices of the state. Thinking through its power they can impose their idea of how god should be, a giant micromanager from upon high, dictating into others lives. They simply do not realize that this concept itself is truly the epitome of evil.
I personally love God’s foolishness. Creation as it is could be no other way in my opinion and is perfect as we find it. I stand in awe. I find it fitting that true justice will one day be metered out by Jesus, the suffering Lamb of God, it could be no other way and perfectly resolves my question as to how I think God should have done things. I have no quarrel with God and His creation, nor the way he choose to configure our universe and how he choose to resolve the problem of evil. My prayer is this Truth helps others to accept the foolishness of God as well toward a saving knowledge of Christ.
Article posted with permission from Jason Charles