God is sovereign over Evil 

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When speaking of what is considered good or evil, Ravi Zacharias states that human will is at the center of the definition. When humans reject God they are rejecting His definition of good and evil, and are in effect, redefining it for themselves.    Ravi Zacharias

The Coexistence of Evil and The Sovereignty of God

Not a theodicy to justify God for the existence of evil

Nor an explanation of the origin of evil

"And this is the condemnation, that the light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. For everyone practicing evil hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his deeds should be exposed. But he who does the truth comes to the light, that his deeds may be clearly seen, that they have been done in God.”   John 3:19-21

In those days there was no king in Israel. Everyone did what was right in

their own eyes.   Judges 17:6

. . . the Lord had declared that "everything that he had made . . . was exceedingly good" [Genesis 1:31]. Whence, then comes this wickedness to man, that he should fall away from his God? Lest we should think it comes from creation, God had put His stamp of approval on what had come forth from himself. By his own evil intention, then, man corrupted the pure nature he had received from the Lord; and by his fall drew all his posterity with him into destruction. Accordingly, we should contemplate the evident cause of condemnation in the corrupt nature of humanity-which is closer to us-rather than seek a hidden and utterly incomprehensible cause in God's predestination.   John Calvin,  Institutes, 3:23:8

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  • God has a good and moral reason for everything He does or permits, including the yet undisclosed reason for the temporary existence of evil. 

  • God did not create evil. He permits it to exist for His glory. All that He creates or ordains to occur is for the ultimate good of those who love Him. 

  • A sinful, finite creature in rebellion against the infinite Holy God is not competent, nor qualified morally or intellectually to judge whether God has a good and morally acceptable reason for the presence of evil.

  • Evil is not something. It has no essence or being. It is the inverse position of God's very nature, attributes, and revelation of Himself. Evil is the absence of all that God is, as darkness is the absence of light.

  • Evil is a proof of the existence of the Biblical God. Without the Biblical God in the paradigm, evil would no more exist than a one ended stick.

  • Evil is not sovereign. It operates solely on the basis of God's good pleasure, within the limits assigned to it by His sovereignty, to accomplish His divine purpose, and none other.

  • Evil is not eternal, but time bound. It is a temporary straw-man that God will destroy forever in His good time when it has fully served His divine purpose.

  • "Without the presence of evil, God's glory best seen in His grace, mercy, and unconditional love would have been locked away in His person forever."   —A.W. Tozer

  • The paradoxical coexistence of good and evil does not constitute a valid argument against the existence of God. Quite the contrary. They are antithetical, yet, totally compatible.

  • At the cross good and evil are seen for what they are. We are seen for who we are. And God in Christ is seen reconciling the world back to Himself by His own substutionary death on our behalf, in love.

  • Evil first appears with Lucifer, God's highest creation choosing to exalt himself above his Creator. Choosing to honor and serve himself above God, to assert his dominance over God, just as we do. Cosmic treason.

  • The chief end of man is to love God and enjoy Him forever. The chief end of life is holiness (loving and obeying God) which overcomes evil with good.

  • "Evil is evil. It is a sin to call evil good. But, when God ordains evil to occur, it is good that it occurs for the fulfillment of His divine purpose."   —R.C. Sproul

  • One day very soon, evil will be no more. God will destroy evil forever in His good time when it has fully served His divine purpose.

Theodicy

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Theodicy is a branch of theology which studies of the problem of evil and defends the goodness and justice of God in the face of the problem of evil. Epicurus, a Greek Stoic philosopher initially posited the problem this way:

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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?

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The issue is raised in light of the sovereignty of God. How could a holy and loving God, who is in control of all things allow evil to exist? This is a question that has kept brilliant minds in philosophy and theology busy for millennia, and we still don't have a more definitive answer than for God's glory. However, if we, like God, knew all things—then why call him God? But, since we don't, we do. Ergo, his sovereign reign and rule is in no jeopardy from mankind.  

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Do not dignify the problem of evil as if it's a logically valid impasse to faith in God. Rather, present it as prima facie evidence for God's existence in an evil world. Doing so, you will never be at a loss for examples of Satan's handiwork in this world as his minions go about fulfilling scripture calling good—evil, and evil—good.


"Therefore, it should not be thought that "the problem of evil" is anything like an intellectual basis for lack of faith in God. It is rather simply the personal expression of such a lack of faith. What we find is that unbelievers who challenge the Christian faith end up reasoning in circles. Because they lack faith in God, they begin by arguing that evil is incompatible with the goodness and power of God. When they are presented with a logically adequate and Biblically supported solution to the problem of evil (viz., God has a morally sufficient but undisclosed reason for the evil that exists), they refuse to accept it, again because of their lack of faith in God. They would rather be left unable to give an account of any moral judgment whatsoever (about things being good or evil) than to submit to the ultimate and unchallengeable moral authority of God. That is a price too high to pay, both philosophically and personally."  Greg Bahnsen

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