In a previous post (7 things I ‘know’ about God) I said I was convinced of the following as truths about God and the universe:
- Science tells us truths about our universe
- Only God can explain the universe
- I trust Jesus
- Reason and ethics give true insights
- The world is not always a safe place
- People are capable of great good and evil
- People experience God
But how do these conclusions fit together?
One thing leads to another
Many of these truths are connected.
- Science (truth 1) tells us some amazing facts about the big bang and the design of the universe (see Science and the design of the universe), that leads me to conclude that only God can explain how it all happened (truth 2).
- It is hard to explain why reason and ethics give true insights (truth 4) except if God made us that way (truth 2).
- We can observe the universe and people’s behaviour (truths 5 & 6) but we can only recognise some of these as good or evil if we believe that ethics gives us true insights (truth 4).
The one glaring inconsistency
But if God created the world (truth 2), how come it contains so much evil (truths 5 & 6)? This seems like a terrible inconsistency.
I don’t have an answer, but we have already seen that we can only recognise these things if we accept that ethics give true insights (truth 4). So we have a paradox. Evil makes it harder to believe in God, but we can only name it as evil if we use ethical beliefs that seem to point to God.
How can we resolve this paradox?
One thing I believe
Some people find the evidence for God strong enough to overcome the negative evidence of evil in the world. Others find the evil so strong as to make it impossible to believe in God.
Because I trust Jesus, I have a reason to believe that there is a solution – that God does exist despite the fact that evil exists and is really evil. And I also have reason to believe that one day he will put the wrong things right.