My hope in writing the book is certainly not to encourage readers to
become agnostic, the path that I took. It is instead to help people think, both about this biggest of all possible questions and about the historically and culturally significant religious responses to it that can be found in the most important book in the history of our
civilization. ~ Bart Ehrman on his book, God’s Problem
I have a book habit. I probably acquire 10 new books a month, and I buy sparingly! However, being a father of three small children, a teaching pastor, and a full time IT worker, I don’t get enough time to read them all.
But big philosophic questions around belief and unbelief are something I have a keen interest in. I believe that faith and reason can work together, and when both are healthy, they are not at odds at all, though faith may venture some place where reason can’t go.
Ehrman’s book examines one of the biggest, if not THE biggest challenge to the existence of God – the “problem of evil.” Briefly, the argument can be summarized in this syllogism (a good way to state a position):
- An omnipotent (all powerful), omnibenevolent (all good) God could and would prevent suffering.
- Suffering exists
- Therefore, such a God does not exist.
There are plenty of people who try to create an argument that resolves this problem, and those solutions are called theodicies – literally, “justifying God.”
Does the existence of suffering in the world make you question or doubt that God exists?