Definition and Meaning:
- ‘Theos’ (Gr.) – God
- ‘dike’ (Gr.) – Justice
The literal meaning of ‘Theodicy’ is justifying God or justification of God. Theodicy is the branch of thoelogy which deals with problem of Evil in the world. It explains
- the reasons for presence of evil.
- Why does perfectly good, all-powerful God allows/permits evil?
When it comes to good and evil, there are five possibilities that can exist.
- Good is real, Evil is illusory. It says that cure of evil is essentially just thinking it away. (Christian Science)
- Evil is real, Good is illusory. (Pessimistic world view)
- Difference between Good and Evil is illusory. (Eastern mystical system such as Hinduism)
- Eternal co-existence of Good and Evil. (Chinese Yin and Yang philosophy)
- Only Good is eternally real, Evil is present reality within created universe. (Christian world-view) Christian worldview says that God is good and all powerful. Bible does not deny the presence of evil. Book of Job in Bible deals with the problem of evil. Book of Habakkuk also deals with questioning God about the ever increasing evil. (Hab 1:1-4)
Q. What are the arguments against God in relation with evil and suffering?
- If God is good, evil cannot exist, but evil is the fact of life, therefore God does not exist.
- If God is all good and all powerful, then God should prevent evil. but evil still exists. Therefore, God is either not all good or not all powerful, but both cannot be true.
Q. Are these arguments really against God?
- When one speak of evil, what is inferred? Who gives the standard of good and evil? What is just and unjust? Without universal, divine standard, we call it ‘law’, how can we answer the question of evil?
Q. Can God use evil to do good?
- Joseph in old testament is a great example of God using evil for the greater good (Genesis 50:20).
- Jesus’ death on the cross is ultimate example of God using evil for the greatest good for the mankind.
- God has offered a final triumph over evil and suffering of this world through death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.
- Romans 8:28 – “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him,whohave been called according to his purpose.”
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