Short Essay on Hamartiology: The Problem of Evil (theodicy)

Published: 2021-09-15 08:05:10
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Short Essay on Hamartiology: The Problem of Evil (Theodicy)
This past Sunday as I returned home from an awesome morning at church our neighbor Sam was outside taking care of his yard in the one hundred and two degree heat. After a brief conversation about making sure he was drinking water he confided in me that he had a hard time dealing with the situations he has been seeing on the news, recent reports of natural catastrophes, wars, disease and other issues that he has personal concerns about. I could tell he really wanted to go and sit down and talk about this so I invited him over for lunch and told him I would do my best to answer the questions he may have.
Sam is a very nice gentleman who has always had the heart to do whatever he can for anyone. Once inside he immediately asked me to help him make sense of the presence of evil in the world and even if there really is a God in existence. This question really struck me by surprise because of my previous connotations that he was a Christian. I had to mentally take a step back and first explain to Sam that unfortunately the presence of evil in the world does exist. I asked him if he believes in right and wrong or even if he thought there were good people and bad (evil) people. Sam answered with a yes to both of the questions that I asked. I then told him that because there is good and bad that there is God (good) and Satan (evil). He had a hard time comprehending that when God created the world along with Adam and Eve, he did not want them to experience the difference between good and evil. I told Sam that God only wanted them to know Him and that is why He warned then to "not eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil." God gave Adam and Eve this one command because he did not want then to know anything less than holiness. Because of the disobedience from Adam and Eve they brought sin into the world and opened the door for evil to enter as seen in Romans 5:12(NIV) where it says "Therefore, just as sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, and in this way death came to all people, because all sinned." I then explained that evil could be separated into two groups; moral evil and natural evil. We just looked at moral evil with the eating of the fruit by Adam and Eve where their actions caused the fall of man from into a sin filled world. Natural evil as society calls it is an "act of God" like a earthquakes, tornadoes or other disasters of this nature. It was a hard discussion to have with Sam but he finally started to understand that sin is inevitable and it is a part of human nature.
We began talking more about evil and I steered the conversation to a discussion about Theodicy and explained to him that this is the study of the problem of evil in the world. I told him that we must understand what evil is and how it is going to affect us. We discussed how Theodicy has to be consistent to

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