Paul Copan explains the high points of the problems of evil and suffering in just under 18 minutes.
- the question itself reveals that we are moral beings
- the problem of evil is the great interrupter of human well-being
- every philosophy of life has to address this question
- is God required to give us a life that is easy and comfortable?
- evil is a departure from good, i.e. – the way things ought to be
- a way things ought to be implies a plan for what ought to be
- human evil implies a plan for the way we ought to be
- free creatures have the ability to deviate from the plan
- where does this plan for the universe and us come from?
- how can there be a way we ought to be come from?
- evil is the flip side of good so where does good come from?
- God’s own moral nature is the standard of good and evil
- where does evil from natural disasters come from?
- how dangerous natural phenomena preserve Earth’s habitability
- there is a benefit from tectonic activity
- similarly, God lets humans freely choose knowing harm may result
- people are free to try to find meaning in something other than God
- God is able to use negative things to bring about positive results
- e.g. – when good people suffer, they can comfort and care for others
- can people be good enough on their own without God?
If you want to read two good books for beginners on Christian Apologetics that cover a wide range of issues in philosophy of religion, get “Passion Conviction” and the companion “Contending With Christianity’s Critics”. Awesome, awesome resources.