When evil does’t make sense

“Whenever we are confronted with something utterly and dreadfully evil, appallingly wicked, or just plain tragic, we should resist the temptation that is wrapped up in the cry, ‘Where’s the sense in that?’

It’s not that we get no answer. We get silence. And that silence is the answer to our question. There is no sense. And that is a good thing too.”

“This may seem a lame response to evil. Are we merely to gag our questions, accept that it’s a mystery, and shut up? 

Surely we do far more.

We grieve. We weep. We lament. We protest. We scream in pain and anger.

We cry out, ‘How long must this kind of thing go on?’”

“As both rational and moral beings, made in the image of God, we want things to make sense. We have an innate drive, an insatiable desire, and almost infinite ability to organize and order the world in the process of understanding it. To understand things means to integrate them into their proper place in the universe, to provide a justified, legitimate and truthful place within creation for everything we encounter. We instinctively seek to establish order, to make sense, to find reasons and purposes, to validate things and thus explain them”

“All of us struggle to make sense of the presence of evil in the midst of God’s good creation (though perhaps we are not meant to, and never can, ‘make sense’ of evil; the very essence of evil is the negation of all goodness—and ‘sense’ is a good thing. In the end, evil does not and cannot make sense.”

“But evil, at least of the kind that seems to serve no higher purpose or is not necessary to accomplish some equal or greater good, makes no sense. It did not belong to God’s original good creation and will not belong to God’s new creation.”

  • “The Bible compels us to accept that there is a mysteriousness about evil that we simply cannot understand (and it is good we cannot).”
  • “The Bible allows us to lament, protest, and be angry at the offensiveness of evil (and it is right that we should).”

(from: Christopher J. H. Wright, The God I Don’t Understand: Reflections on Tough Questions of Faith).

Short audio clip: Should evil makes sense?

Steve Cornell

This entry was posted in Evil in the world, Problem of evil, Wisdom. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to When evil does’t make sense

  1. Pingback: The best way to understand the world | WisdomForLife

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