The problem of Theodicy is the problem of evil. If there is a Sovereign God, how can there be evil? Conversely, if there is evil, whether moral or just bad things happening, what does that say about God? Lots of people have taken lots of approaches to this from lots of angles. There is the, "See? Proof that your god doesn't exist" on one end and the "The existence of evil proves the existence of God and, oh, by the way, He intends it for His good purposes" on the other. Of course, most people are somewhere in between.

It is my conviction that most people are in between not by choice, but by lack of it. They haven't considered the ideas, arguments, and ramifications. They just prefer not to think about it. As such, they end up with a rather casual approach holding in one hand "Bad stuff happens" and in the other "God is good" without ever actually putting them together. Probably the most popular view of this middle majority is what I'll call the "warfare worldview". We're stuck in the middle of a royal battle between good and evil. We're pretty sure who will win, but it's quite a tussle getting there.

In this view Satan is bad and God is good and Satan does bad things and God goes around mopping up after him. Good enough. Leaves God off the hook. All well and good. Except it's not. I mean, it's popular, but it's not all well and good. You'll find it in books and movies and the like, even from Christians. It largely fits in with the religious views of many groups outside of Christendom. The titanic struggle of good and evil. The hitch, however, is that it doesn't fit in with the biblical claim of a Sovereign God. And if you start with that claim, the logic breaks down all down the line. As it turns out, then, this popular Warfare Worldview is not an answer, but an evasion. To the question, "Why is there evil if there is a God?", they answer "Because there is evil and there is God." Not an answer. To the question, "What does the existence of evil say about God?" they answer, "Nothing, nothing at all." If they were honest, they'd need to tack on, "He's doing the best He can." As it turns out, evil exists not by God's will, but because God has opted out of ending it once and for all and has surrendered His Sovereignty to the whims of evil. He'll pick up the mess later. And, with that, they subside into satisfied silence. The Bible says, "Our God is in the heavens; He does all that He pleases." (Psalm 115:3) But apparently that's not to say that He actually does all that He pleases. Some things (like Man's Free Will) please Him more than others (like His own will), so He goes with the higher priority (Man's Free Will) and is pleased.

I don't know how to hold that contradiction in both hands and consider it good. I know how to find peace in difficult situations because God is actually in control, but finding any comfort in "Bad stuff happens and Satan wins ... a lot" is outside of my grasp. Believing that all authority is given to Christ (Matthew 28:18) while affirming the authority of Satan and Man over Christ doesn't work in my head like it does in so very many others. Holding that God "works all things after the counsel of His will" (Ephesians 1:11) and "He's in a life-and-death struggle with Satan" doesn't make sense to me. So this notion of a world stuck in a grand battle between good and evil -- God and Satan -- in which "We're pretty sure we know who will win, but ...", well, this doesn't work for me biblically, logically, or emotionally. It sells books and movies. Popular Christian authors have done it. Maybe it works for you. I can't go there.