LISTEN: The Problem of Evil, Part 4 (The Reasons to Believe #106 with Daniel Whyte III)

Daniel Whyte III
Daniel Whyte III

God has been under attack in the world almost since the beginning of time, but He and those who believe in Him are under attack more now than ever before. Atheism is increasing and atheists are becoming more vocal. This podcast is an ongoing debate response to such people as Richard Dawkins, Bill Maher, Stephen Hawking and others who don’t believe in God and who preach atheism to the world. This podcast is also designed to equip Christians to do what the Holy Scriptures command, and that is to, “earnestly contend for the faith” and to “be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh us a reason of the hope that is in us”. But more importantly, this broadcast/podcast is designed to give you a reason to believe in God and His Son Jesus Christ.

Our Reasons to Believe passage from the Word of God today is John 8:32. It reads, “And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.”

Our Reasons to Believe quote for today is from J. P. Moreland. He said, “Postmodernism is a form of intellectual pacifism that, at the end of the day, recommends backgammon while the barbarians are at the gate. It is the easy, cowardly way out that removes the pressure to…be different, to risk ridicule, to take a stand outside the gate. But it is precisely as disciples of Christ, even more, as officers in His army, that the pacifist way out is simply not an option. However comforting it may be, postmodernism is the cure that kills the patient, the military strategy that concedes defeat before the first shot is fired, the ideology that undermines its own claims to allegiance. And it is an immoral, coward’s way out that is not worthy of a movement born out of the martyrs’ blood.”

Our Reason to Believe powerpoint today is titled “The Problem of Evil” part 4 from “The Handbook of Christian Apologetics” by Peter Kreeft and Ronald K. Tacelli.

The primary place where evil exists, then, is within the drama of human history. But that is precisely where the problem seems the most insolvable, even if a clever philosopher “solves” it intellectually. It seems inevitable that evil will succeed in destroying good. Good seems like delicate china: precious but fragile. Evil seems like a bull in a china shop: strong and triumphantly destructive. To use another metaphor, it takes a lifetime of careful balancing to keep the ball of goodness in the air, and only one moment of relaxed vigilance to drop it. One cruel word can ruin a friendship, one affair can ruin a marriage, and one psychotic’s finger on a nuclear button can ruin a world. As Ecclesiastes puts it, one fly spoils a whole barrel of ointment.

The greatest good of all is love, and nothing seems more weak and vulnerable than love, nothing more easily betrayed than trust, nothing more easily disappointed than hope.

The problem is solved by concretizing it, by looking at how Christ solved it. Let us move not from general problem to general answer but from general problem to specific problem to specific answer to general answer. How did Christ solve the dilemma of evil?

A dilemma was posed to Christ: What do you say, should the adulteress be stoned or not? If Christ said to stone her, her was cruel; if he said not to stone her, he was indulgent. If he said to stone her, he betrayed his own teaching of forgiveness; if he said not to stone her, he betrayed Moses’ (and God’s) law. If he said to stone her, the Roman state had grounds against him, for they denied the right to capital punishment to the Jews. If he said not to stone her, the Jewish authorities had grounds against him, for Moses ordering stoning for adultery.

Or similarly, should taxes be paid to Caesar or not? If Christ said yes, he was treasonously supporting the Jews’ enslaver. If he said no, he was treasonously disobeying Roman law. For Jesus’ stunning answers, see John 8:1-11 and Matthew 22:15-22, 46.

These and many similar examples allow us to generalize Christ’s answer to the dilemma of evil. The dilemma is: Yes or no? Yes to evil condones it; no condemns it. The Sadducees, the liberals of their day, condoned some evils (like divorce and disbelief in the supernatural), while the Pharisees, the conservatives of their day, condemned all evils. How did Jesus distinguished himself from both with the same stroke?

Daniel Whyte III has spoken in meetings across the United States and in over twenty-five foreign countries. He is the author of over forty books. He is also the president of Gospel Light Society International, a worldwide evangelistic ministry that reaches thousands with the Gospel each week, as well as president of Torch Ministries International, a Christian literature ministry which publishes a monthly magazine called The Torch Leader. He is heard by thousands each week on his radio broadcasts/podcasts, which include: The Prayer Motivator Devotional, The Prayer Motivator Minute, as well as Gospel Light Minute X, the Gospel Light Minute, the Sunday Evening Evangelistic Message, the Prophet Daniel’s Report, the Second Coming Watch Update and the Soul-Winning Motivator, among others. He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Theology from Bethany Divinity College, a Bachelor’s degree in Religion from Texas Wesleyan University, a Master’s degree in Religion, a Master of Divinity degree, and a Master of Theology degree from Liberty University School of Divinity. He has been married to the former Meriqua Althea Dixon, of Christiana, Jamaica for over twenty-seven years. God has blessed their union with seven children. Find out more at Follow Daniel Whyte III on Twitter @prophetdaniel3 or on Facebook.

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