TiO 15 – {Un}Apologetic – Suffering & Evil

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The Main Idea

The question of evil and suffering in a world in which a good and powerful God has oversight is a critical question. This week Todd talked about 4 theodicies, answers to the question of God and suffering.

Warm Up Questions: (Choose 1 or 2)

Q1: What is the difference between causing something to happen and allowing it (assuming you have the power to stop it)?

Q2: Name some specific causes of suffering in the world today. Which are directly the result of human action or inaction?

Q3: Can you think of a time where suffering was good for you?

The Word

Read the scripture aloud: Genesis 1:1-5 and 1 Corinthians 13:12.

In the beginning when God created the heavens and the earth, the earth was a formless void and darkness covered the face of the deep, while a wind from God swept over the face of the waters. Then God said, “Let there be light”; and there was light. And God saw that the light was good; and God separated the light from the darkness. God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And there was evening and there was morning, the first day.

For now we see in a mirror, dimly, but then we will see face to face. Now I know only in part; then I will know fully, even as I have been fully known.

Evil and suffering is real. We cannot deny it. And we ought not. It is the height of cruelty to pull out these theodicies when faced with someone dying of cancer or who just lost their child to illness or accident. But yet, we still look for answers to all of the questions that we have looked at in this series on apologetics. The reality is that you cannot come to belief in God or faith in Jesus through sheer force of will or of logic. What we believe is not devoid of logic nor of evidence, but in the end, we reach out for something and he is there.

In the end, we will be challenged, challenged by those who would question us, or even ridicule us, for our faith, and challenged by our own doubts. When faced with these questions, two things remain:

Q1: Before the beginning of time, before there was an earth or a universe, who was there?

Q2: At what point will we get answers to all of our questions?

Q3: What was the most important or valuable thing you learned or experienced during this apologetics series?

Prayer

Pray together for wisdom, knowledge, and compassion for those times when you speak to people who do not know Jesus.

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