The question of why there is evil in the world was never discussed by the ancient philosophers of Egypt, Babylon, Persia, Greece or Rome. They were polytheists who had a pantheon of gods. Evil was the result of conflicts between the gods. For example, the historical account of the war on Troy was reported by the Greeks as the result of jealously and rivalry between three goddesses.
However, with the understanding of a Holy and loving God, which was a Hebrew concept revealed through the prophets of Israel, the question of how there could be evil in the world began to be discussed. The book of Job is the oldest Theodicy that we know of. A Theodicy is a defence of the justice of God in the light of evil in the world. How can evil and suffering exist when God is all powerful and all good?
Sin and Suffering
The friends of Job had a legalistic explanation that the reason Job was suffering so terribly was because he must be guilty of terrible sin. God severely rebuked these false counsellors and vindicated Job as a blameless man targeted by satan.
When the disciples saw a man who was blind from birth, they asked Jesus: “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?” Jesus answered, “Neither this man nor his parents sinned, but that the works of God should be revealed in him.”
What is the Difference Between Christianity and all Other Religions?
“Jesus said to him, ‘I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.’”
Time and again we hear people say: “All religions are the same! Why do you insist that yours is the only right one?” “How can you be so narrow minded, bigoted and intolerant to believe that Jesus is the only way to God?”
The New Tolerance
In this decadent and immoral society the main virtue seems to be tolerance. And the worst vice is intolerance. However, what they mean by tolerance is something very different to what tolerance used to mean. Today tolerance has gone beyond what any previous generation would have understood to acceptance and approval of deception and depravity.
Intolerance and Hypocrisy
The New Age tolerance seems to come to a screeching halt when confronted with Biblical Christianity. Any Christian who dares to stand up for basic Biblical beliefs are accused of intolerance! It seems a bit hypocritical of those who claim that all religions are right that they spend so much time declaring that Christianity is wrong. And they do seem to be very intolerant of Biblical doctrine.
The Baha’i religion has formalised the New Age spirit into a religion which incorporates all other religions. The Baha’i claim that all religions are the same and they claim to follow Jesus Christ, along with Buddha, Lao-Tzu, Confucius, Muhammad, Zoroaster and whole hosts of other gurus, ‘prophets’ and ‘holy men’.
“And declared to be the Son of God with power according to the Spirit of Holiness, by the Resurrection from the dead.”
Who Moved the Stone?
The Resurrection is so important and foundational to Christianity that it has been targeted for the most relentless attacks. Frank Morison, a lawyer, determined to disprove the Resurrection and thereby undermine Christianity. The result of his exhaustive investigations was his conversion to Christ and the publication of his book: “ Who Moved the Stone?”which decisively demonstrates the overwhelming evidence for the Resurrection.
Evidence That Demands a Verdict
A skeptical university lecturer, Josh McDowell, determined to disprove Christianity by investigating evidence against the Resurrection. The result was his conversion to Christ and publication of the monumental: “Evidence That Demands a Verdict” which exhaustively and conclusively presents documentation and evidence upon evidence substantiating the historical truth, factual accuracy, archeological evidence, manuscript evidence, fulfilled prophecies, transformed lives, and other indisputable evidences which support the fact of the Resurrection of Christ from the dead and the truth claims of Christianity.
Facing the Facts
Thomas Arnold, Professor of History at Oxford University, one of the greatest historians of the 19th Century wrote: “I know of no one fact in the history of mankind which is proved by better, fuller evidence of every sort, to the understanding of a fair enquirer, than the great sign which God has given us that Christ died and rose from the dead.”
“But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts, and always be ready to give a defense to everyone who asks you a reason for the hope that is in you, with meekness and fear.”
1 Peter 3:15
The motto of the Scouts is: “Be prepared.” Similarly, we as Christians must be prepared to answer those who would ask us to explain what we believe, and why we believe.
We are exhorted to:
“… contend earnestly for the Faith which was once for all delivered to the saints.”
The apostle Paul declared that he had been appointed:
“for the defense of the Gospel.”
“But avoid foolish and ignorant disputes, knowing that they generate strife. And the servant of the Lord must not quarrel but be gentle to all, able to teach, patient, in humility correcting those who are in opposition, if God perhaps will grant them repentance, so that they may know the truth, and that they may come to their senses and escape the snare of the devil, having been taken captive by him to do his will.”
2 Timothy 2:24-26