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Hamartiology: The Problem of Evil (Theodicy)
The problem of evil is not a new issue to be considered or questioned. Rather, philosophers, theologians, and the common man have questioned this since evil entered the world. Hamartiology is simply the study of sin, how it came to be and how it affects humans. In this discussion, we will examine why bad things happen and why evil exists in our world today. Simply stated, the problem of evil is dynamic, but acknowledges the existence of evil in our world. While some may assume that the presence of evil in our world today is a contradiction to the existence of God and his nature, Scripture gives us insight how an omnipotent God (Revelation. 9:16) can exist in a corrupt and evil world. Evil can be divided into two categories: moral evil and natural evil. Moral evil is evil that is the result of the choices or actions of an individual. This type of evil is harmful to others or harmful to oneself. An example of this would be the Holocaust of World War II. This was the cause of individual’s actions upon others, which caused obvious harm and destruction. Natural evil is the result not of an individual but of circumstances outside one’s control. While individuals are still affected and hurt, the cause has nothing to do with another person. The natural catastrophe of Hurricane Katrina which devastated over a million U.S. residents in 2005 would classify as a natural evil, outside of anyone’s control. If we continue to observe the existence of sin and evil according to a Biblical worldview, we discover that the cause of sin among mankind was mankind himself. The problem of evil exists in our world today as a result of the “free will” choice man made in the Garden of Eden as recorded in Genesis 3. According to Walter Elwell in his definition of Theodicy, “Free will is a value of the highest order, which God should have given. God is not e one who uses such free will to commit evil; humans do, so...
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