How can God allow suffering?

The bethinking booklets seek to address some of the "big questions" about life in an accessible but convincing manner. The argument goes that if evil continues in the world, God either doesn’t care about it, can’t prevent it, or just isn’t there. This is usually called the philosophical problem of evil.

Is there anything helpful we can say on this really difficult subject? This page provides further resources for you to continue to think through the question of why God allows suffering. These resource look at questions such as:

  • If God is good and powerful, why does He allow so much suffering in the world?
  • Are natural disasters sent from God as punishment?
  • Can we still believe in a God of love when we see the agony of life?

What Kind of God Doesn't Prevent Suffering?
by Michael Ots

This talk considers why suffering exists, what Christians claim God has done about it and what he will do in the future.

Since Evil Exists, How can I Believe in a Loving God?
by Peter May

After the Haiti earthquake of 2010, Peter May presents a Christian response by examining philosophical, theological, practical and pastoral issues raised by such events (audio and transcript available).

Bosnia, Rape and the Problem of Evil
by Greg Koukl

Greg Koukl’s article considers the implications of questioning whether God is good because of the evil we see. What exactly does an atheist mean when calling something ‘evil’?

"How Can a Good God allow Suffering and Evil?"
Reasonable Faith Lecture 2007, at Cambridge University by William Lane Craig

William Lane Craig’s lecture focuses on the intellectual or philosophical problem of evil – does the existence of evil really imply the non-existence of God? Could God have sufficient reasons for allowing evil to exist? After the lecture, an extended Question and Answer continues to examine the issues.

Taking your suffering to God
by John Dickson

John Dickson admits that he is still troubled by suffering, but believes that no other view of the world has a better explanation than Christianity. In this first talk of a series, he looks at how some of the main alternatives to Christian belief deal with suffering.

To investigate further and to go deeper into the various issues, explore all of’s resources on the topic of Suffering.

To investigate more titles in the bethinking booklets series, go back to the booklets homepage.

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