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Oregon, Texas, and the Problem of Evil

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The recent shootings on college campuses in Oregon, Texas, and elsewhere have forced people once again to think about the reality of evil. Amid tragedy and pain, people are inevitably asking questions like, "Why did this happen?' and "Where was God?"

Instead of offering simplistic answers to these difficult and heart-wrenching questions, as believers we ought to be marked by our compassion for those who are hurting. However, precisely because these questions about God and evil are eternally significant, we should be prepared to point people to the truth of God's Word and to the hope that is found only in Christ. With that in mind, the following excerpt from David Platt addresses these difficult issues with gospel hope:

When we consider all that Scripture teaches about God and evil, we are led inextricably to the gospel: the good news that God has taken the very worst thing that has ever happened in the history of the world (the death of His Son) and He has turned it into the very best thing that has ever happened in the history of the world (the salvation of sinners). Evil is tragically real, God is supremely great, God is absolutely good, and the gospel is shockingly glorious.

Such truths are not intended to rest in the theological realm; they are intended to transform our everyday lives, particularly in the midst of tragedy . . .  In our contemplations and conversations in the coming days, let’s be careful at every point not to minimize the tragic nature of evil, and let’s be faithful in every opportunity to magnify the glorious character of God—both His greatness and His goodness. And in it all, let’s be intentional to affirm the central tenets of the gospel: that God, in His sovereign grace, has sent His Son into a world of sin to save us from ourselves, and through faith in His life, death, and resurrection, we can know that one day soon, God is going to wipe away every tear from our eyes, and sin and suffering will be no more (Revelation 21). No matter what happens in this world, we are confident that there is coming a day when we will forever worship God in His greatness, we will forever enjoy God in His goodness, and we will never experience evil again.

For the full post by David Platt, go here. For more on the topic, see Secret Church 12, "The Cross and Suffering," as well as our resources on The Problem of Evil.

David Burnette serves as the editor/writer for Radical. He lives with his wife and three kids in Birmingham, Alabama, where he serves as an elder at Philadelphia Baptist Church.
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