Monday, June 15, 2015

what I'm reading: why God allows evil

I was hunting through some old drafts, looking for something to post on a mostly empty blog (we have been away), when I came across this quote from Tim Keller's Walking with God through pain and suffering. Such an encouragement!
Why could it not be that God allowed evil because it will bring us all to a far greater glory and joy than we would have had otherwise? Isn't it possible that the eventual glory and joy we will know will be infinitely greater than it would have been had there been no evil?

What if that future world will somehow be greater for having once been broken and lost? If such is the case, that would truly mean the utter defeat of evil. Evil would not just be an obstacle to our beauty and bliss, but it will have only made it better. Evil would have accomplished the very opposite of what it intended.

How might that come about? At the simplest level, we know that only if there is danger can there be courage. And apart from sin and evil we would never have seen the courage of God, or the astonishing extent of his love, or the glolry of a deity who lays aside his glory and goes to the cross.

For us here in this life, the thought of God's glory is rather remote and abstract. But we must realize that the most rapturous delights you have ever had - in the beauty of a landscape, or in the pleasure of food, or in the fulfillment of a loving embrace - are like dewdrops compared to the bottomless ocean of joy that it will be to see God face-to-face (1 John 3:1-3). That is what we are in for, nothing less.

And according to the Bible, that glorious beauty, and our enjoyment of it, has been immeasurable enhanced by Christ's redemption of us from evil and death ... Because of our fall and redemption, we will achieve a level of intimacy with God that cannot be received any other way ...

And why could it not be that our future glory will actually so "swallow" the evil of the past that in some unimaginable way even the memory of the evil won't darken our hearts but only make us happier? (117-118)

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