What is the difference between permitting evil and producing evil
By: The John Ankerberg Show
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|If God exists, why is there evil in the world? What is evil? Where did evil come from? Why doesn’t God intervene and stop all evil? How can physical evils such as earthquakes, tornadoes and cancer be explained? Is there a good reason for the existence of hell on which even some atheists would agree? What about those who have never heard the Gospel?
Copyright: 2003, Number of Programs: 8, Cat. No. EVL
Keywords: Existence of Evil, Greater good, Rescue, permitting evil, producing evil
- Ankerberg: Talk about this thing of permitting and producing.
- Geisler: Well, we permit evil that we can produce a greater good. I permitted evil every time I let the kids take the family car, you know[ because they could have crashed. But, I was permitting basically their free choice. I was permitting their growth; I was permitting their ability to develop as individual human beings and that’s a greater good. The collateral damage that may or may not happen is part of the risk you take with freedom, both as a parent and that God took with the universe. In God’s case, of course, He can rescue people by resurrecting them from the dead. I can’t permit my kids to do it, so I can’t watch my kid jump off a cliff, for example, but I can let them, when they’re 16, take the family car and they might get in an accident. God can allow people to jump off a cliff, because not only can He perform a miracle if He wanted to, He’s going to resurrect all of us from the dead someday. So He can permit more evil to produce more good than we can, but the rule is the same: that we may permit as much evil to happen by free choice as we can reasonably control. And so we let our little babies fall but we don’t let them take poison. God, on the other hand, can permit more because He knows more and can do more and can therefore rescue us from the ultimate fatality, which is death.