Brief Apologetics: Critique 6

If you missed the first post from this series, please click here and take a moment to read the introduction.

I’ve saved this critique for last because personal issues are the most important yet hardest to manage. They’re so importance because at the heart of each person’s belief or disbelief are personal struggles, not intellectual ones. So while I am offering rational answers, my intent is to be sympathetic to difficult situations which may have affected your views on God’s existence.

One other note before I answer: these positions are similar to Critique 5. The difference is that whereas Critique 5 dealt with God actively committing evil, these deal with God allowing suffering to come to an individual who does not deserve it. This could manifest as a fatal illness, chronic pain/condition, or a natural disaster. There’s no human agent who caused the suffering, but rather an act of nature elicits the pain.

———-

Critique 6:
1) I’ve had unjust suffering strike me or someone I love. If God were real He wouldn’t have allowed that to happen and therefore He must not exist.
OR
2) I’ve had unjust suffering strike me or someone I love. If God is real and allowed this to happen, then He is not good.

Answer:
The trouble with these positions is an assumption of God’s nature that is grounded in sensibility. They assume that God would not let something bad happen to you or someone you love. They also assume that if God does let bad things happen, he/she/it is incapable of bringing good things out of them. These assumptions should not be followed because they are grounded in human sensibility, not in any objective information about who God is and how God acts. This is why we need to hear what God has said about Himself and about heart-wrenchingly difficult circumstances like indiscriminate suffering. It is what makes the Bible so precious to Christians, we process local and global suffering through God’s gracious disclosure in the Scriptures. Consider this question: How can I know anything about God unless I can figure out how to get the information directly from Him? He is alive and will faithfully respond if you genuinely ask.

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