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Introduction

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Lesson

If God is good and all powerful, then why does evil exist?

Outline

The Problem of Evil

Part 1
 

I.  Introduction - "Painful Preliminaries"

 

II.  Three Problems

A.  The Deductive Problem of Evil

1.  Argument: Logical contradiction in Christianity

2.  Response: Alvin Plantinga

3.  Faith & Reason, Chapter 13

B. The Inductive Problem of Evil

1.  Argument: Strong probability that God does not exist

2.  Faith & Reason, Chapter 14

C.  The Gratuitous Problem of Evil

1.  Definition: Evil that has no redeeming value.

2.  Examples

3.  Faith & Reason, Chapter 15

 

III.  Popular Presentation of the Problem of Evil

A.  Objectives

1.  Provide a good example of apologetics at work against the toughest intellectual challenge that the Christian faith has to face.

2.  Knock the problem of evil down to size. Reduce it to smaller, more manageable parts.

B.  Naturalists and the Problem of Goodness

C.  Problem exists because of the essential attributes of God.

1.  All powerful (Omnipotent)

2.  All knowing (Omniscient)

3.  All good (Omnibenevolent)

4.  Logical implications of beliefs

5.  The problem of evil must be reconciled with the attributes of God.

D.  Important Distinctions

1.  Theoretical Problem vs. Personal Problem

2.  Evil in General vs. Specific Instances

3.  Moral Evil vs. Natural Evil