Does Christianity Have an Answer to the Emotional Problem of Evil?
Blog Post
Does Christianity Have an Answer to the Emotional Problem of Evil?

Any minister will tell you, the most gut-wrenching experience is helping families navigate the passing of a loved one who has died from a deadly disease or an act of malice. Many tears are shed, prayers are prayed, and questions are asked. The number one question is, "Why would God allow this to happen?" For most people who have experienced these situations, the problem of evil (personal or natural) lends itself to an emotional struggle. Does the Christian worldview provide an answer to the emotional problem of evil?

Christian Philosopher Alvin Plantinga wrote,

As the Christian sees things, God does not stand idly by, coolly observing the suffering of his creatures. He enters into, and shares our suffering. He endures the anguish of seeing his son, the second person of the Trinity, consigned to the bitterly cruel and shameful death of the cross…He was prepared to accept this suffering in order to overcome sin, and death, and the evils that afflict our world, and toe confer on us a life more glorious than we can imagine. [1]

In relation to our suffering, God is not absent. His Son, Jesus, knows what it is like to be rejected, mocked, doubted, deserted, isolated, in hunger, in need, scourged, flogged, stripped naked, humiliated, tortured, and hung on a Roman cross until he died. There is no amount of suffering we could go through that Jesus has not experienced in a deep emotional or physical level. In Hebrews 4:15, the author writes about Jesus, “For we do not have a high priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but One who has been tested in all things as we are, yet without sin.” Hebrews 12:1-2 says,

Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses., let us lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely and let us run with endurance the race that is before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right and of the throne of God.

In encouraging the saints to remain pure and holy, the Hebrews author appeals to a point in history in which the utmost evil took place, the death of Jesus. But why focus on such an event? Because, the Hebrews author wants his audience to be reminded that they can endure the race of life and all that comes with it because Jesus endured the cross.

Therefore, the answer to the emotional problem of evil is to focus on the one person who knows everything there is to know about suffering, God. If God does not exist, then we are locked without hope, in a world filled with unredeemed evil. God is the final answer to the problem of evil and takes us into everlasting joy of an incommensurable good, fellowship with himself. [2]


[1] Alvin Plantinga, “Self-Profile,” in Alvin Plantinga, ed. James E Tomberlin and Peter van Inwagen, Profile 5 (Dordrecht: D. Reidel, 1985), pg. 36.

[2] William Lane Craig and J.P. Philosophical Foundations for a Christian Worldview. (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 2003). 542.

While You're Here
If you found this blog beneficial, consider donating to The Daily Apologist.
Donate Today
Subscribe to our Newsletter

Sign up to receive a monthly newsletter about the work of The Daily Apologist!

No spam, just helpful articles and insights. Unsubscribe anytime you’d like.

Providing Christians with intellectual and personal preparation needed to grow, proclaim, and defend the Christian worldview.

Newsletter Subscription
5016 Spedale Ct. #425
Spring Hill TN 37174
Phone Number
Working Hours
Mon – Fri: 9:00am – 5:00pm

2020 © All rights reserved. Please review our Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policy