A professor at Southern Evangelical Seminary, J.T. Bridges, is asked what topics Christians should be the most familiar with. Bridges proposes that Christians should be able to articulate reasons why God exists when speaking with a skeptic. In a society that is becoming increasingly secular while not knowing exactly why, it is important that we can adequately justify our reasons for believing the way we do.
The second topic we should become familiar with is the topic of suffering. The existence of suffering is used against Christians because many skeptics presuppose that suffering is incompatible with the existence of God. However, is that truly the case? I agree that the nature of God and evil are incompatible however evil and free moral agents are not. As you know, free moral agents have caused much of the suffering in the world outside suffering caused by natural evil (hurricanes, earthquakes, tsunamis, etc…).
We must understand the omniscience of God. We, as free moral agents, are not capable of comprehending why moral and natural evils take place and what their long term consequences will be. Some skeptics may propose that if God is truly omniscient, why couldn’t he just not create those who would be evil? If God selectively created perfect moral beings, there would be no free will that would allow us to make conscious decisions of right or wrong or willingly accept or reject Christ. Without free will, these decisions would be out of our authority to make because our perfect moral nature wouldn’t allow us to choose anything outside perfectly moral decisions. We see that our free will provided by God allows us to make good and bad choices. God understands that forced love is not truly love at all.
These are just a couple thoughts to ponder and possibly further investigate. I’ve included an article that provides even greater insight into the topic of suffering:
1 Peter 3:15: “But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect”