A Court, Clay, and the Cross: Examining the Problem of Evil

The physician returns to the examination room with a clipboard, tired eyes, and a noticeable weight on his shoulders. “I’m sorry, ma’am,” he begins. “The results came back and the news is not good.” You think to yourself, “How can a child so young have such a terrible disease? What kind of world is this? What kind of God would allow a child to be so afflicted?”

Perhaps the most difficult set of problems in the Christian faith is the existence of evil and suffering. For those of us who, with Moses (Ex. 9:16), Paul (Rom. 9:14–33), and Augustine confess that God is sovereign over all things and that humans are nevertheless morally responsible for their free choices, the problem is particularly acute. For those who deny the first article of the Apostles’ Creed—“I believe in God the Father almighty”—the problem might not seem as great, but their approach raises its own crises: where does Scripture even begin to hint that the God who spoke all things into being (Gen. 1:3) relinquished control of His creation? What does Scripture give one to think that God is naturally unable to resist the human will? After all, Paul asks in Romans 9:19, “Who can resist [God’s] will”? The implied answer is “no one.” Hence the problem. Read more»

R. Scott Clark,A Court, Clay, and the Cross: Examining the Problem of Evil

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  • R. Scott Clark
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    R.Scott Clark is the President of the Heidelberg Reformation Association, the author and editor of, and contributor to several books and the author of many articles. He has taught church history and historical theology since 1997 at Westminster Seminary California. He has also taught at Wheaton College, Reformed Theological Seminary, and Concordia University. He has hosted the Heidelblog since 2007.

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One comment

  1. How great is our need of the intellectual humility demanded of us by Paul, when he offers no satisfaction but God’s utter sovereignty, and the suffering Lamb!

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