The Problem of Evil is the complaint about God that if evil exists, He doesn't. You know. If God is all good and all powerful, why doesn't He eliminate evil? Must not be there. Another way this question is put to the believer is this. "Do you think this is the best of all possible worlds?"
It's a tricky question. We all dream of utopia. Stories are written about it. In large and small ways we figure out how things would be better. "If only" is the phrase. And then there's heaven. Surely that is the best of all possible worlds and this is not heaven. So we must conclude that this is not the best possible world. And we knuckle under to the skeptic.
I have to tell you I must disagree. I know. I'm not in the majority. Even among Christians. But I believe that this, indeed, is the best of all possible worlds. How can that be? Well, I believe in a Sovereign God, a God who is absolutely over all things. Logically, since He is also good, I have to assume that this world as it exists is, in His opinion, what He wants it to be. And since His is the only right opinion, I have to conclude that He thinks this is the best of all possible worlds because it's the world He made and allows to continue. He is under no obligation to do so. He must think this is the plan.
I believe that God has just such a plan. He says in Romans 9, for instance, that He is willing to demonstrate His power and wrath on vessels of wrath prepared for destruction. That means that God sees a demonstration of His power and wrath as better than not doing so. Solomon wrote, "The LORD has made everything for its own purpose, Even the wicked for the day of evil." (Proverbs 16:4). That requires that God has a purpose for the wicked and it is better than not allowing the wicked. And so it goes.
I'm not saying I don't dream of a better world. I'm not saying that heaven won't be better than this. And I'm certainly not saying that I understand it all. But, considering the stipulation "possible" in "all possible worlds" and considering that God is both Sovereign and Good, I can only conclude that this world, currently, is the best of all possible worlds even if another, better one will follow. But, hey, that's just me. Others are perfectly capable of considering a less-than-Sovereign, not-quite-capable God. I'd hope it wouldn't be Christians who do it.
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