How Can a Good God Allow Evil? Does Life Have Meaning? – Dr. Ravi Zacharias (Video + Transcript)



[On: “How Can a Good God Allow Evil?”]

“You know [. . .] as I said, a very difficult question to answer; not just the fact of evil, but the size of it; the volume of it. [. . .] (And people actually think that we don’t think of these things as Christian apologists.)

The first thing I would say is to remember what I said earlier: That the question does not actually dislodge God, if anything, it should prove that God actually exists; otherwise value and the question disintegrates. You don’t ask the question unless you believe in an absolute moral law. And you don’t believe in an absolute moral law unless there’s an absolute moral law giver. So the question is regard in the paradigm, not outside the paradigm. (So we take that.)

Second thing I would say is: The ultimate ethic in life is love. That is the supreme ethic. There is no ethic more supreme than love. But necessary to love, is the component of the will. You cannot have love without the freedom to not love. Otherwise you have conformity; compliance, you really don’t have love.

So if love is a supreme ethic, and the freedom of will is indispensable to love, and the question must keep God in the paradigm, then what I would say is the greatest gift of God is the gift of the freedom of our will in order that we can love. But with the greatest gift comes the greatest possible calamity. When you violate that love, the entailments [sic] actually follow. And so both good is real and evil is real. And the human heart must be able to recognize this and choose that which is good; otherwise you live in a world of non-concrete expressions where you can choose bad with no consequences. Nobody would believe bad is bad if there were no consequences to it.

So in this supreme effort of God to bring you and me to Himself, He gives us the example of love. He has made us for Himself and our hearts are restless until they find their rest in Him.

One other footnote:

If I were to take a life, something tragic has happened because I cannot restore that life. But if God allows that to happen, He can still restore that life; and the component of eternity does spell the possibility of explanation. Without eternity, the problem of evil remains totally unsolved. In fact, the question remains indefensible. So God is able to restore life; eternity is able to bring ultimate justice. And we leave those two components in His hands.

[On: “Does Life Have Meaning?”]

You know [. . .] this is actually an amazing question when you unpack it a bit. [. . .] You know what the question I’m asked most on the campus? They will agree that there is a moral framework, somehow, we cannot run from. They will grant you that.

Even an atheist, they’ll say, ‘Why can’t I be good?’
I said, ‘I never said you can’t be good.’
I said, ‘But you’re begging the question: what is good?’
And I said, ‘There’s a second question you have not even asked which is implicit in your question…

That every time we raise the problem of evil, it is either raised by a person or about persons. It is either raised by a person or about persons.’ ‘How could God allow the holocaust? How could this happen? How could God allow a little baby to die in the mother’s arms?’

It’s always raised by a person; about a person – which means person-hood is indispensable to the question. Therefore the assumption is that the intrinsic value is not in the question but in the person-hood.

How can a person be of intrinsic value if time plus matter plus chance has been the cause of that person? It’s nothing more than chemistry in motion.

The only way the person could be of value is if the person is the creation of somebody with infinite and intrinsic worth; which means it’s God Himself. That needs to be able to justify our question.

So, when we talk about evil and all the relativism and all of that… we need to realize that we are the point of God’s creation. This is not to build pride. This is to build worth. This is to build value.

So as Christians and as believers, when atheists raise the questions and present challenges to us, we need to realize they’re actually arguing against themselves.
[1] They’re assuming their questions are important.
[2] Their questions are worth it.
[3] That they are worth it.
[4] And the one they’re raising to is worth it.
None of which actually holds if we are the product of primordial slime.

So the atheist raising the questions, ultimately, actually argues more for the existence than the non-existence of God.”


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