One of the hardest issues for both Christians and non-Christians is understanding why evil exists in the world. The philosophies, theologies, and theories that have evolved as a response to the problem of evil are as ancient as man himself. Man’s obsession with the question of evil has an origin—the Garden of Eden. It’s there we see, that man became a sinner by nature and by choice (Psalm 3; Romans 3). Man is entirely corrupted by sin from conception in the womb to his last days here on earth. In the Garden, Adam was charged not to eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. Instead, of obeying that command and instructing Eve, man abdicated his responsibility. Thus the Fall of Man is absolute and devastating not only to Adam but to everyone after Adam. And this is why the Second Adam, Jesus Christ had to come to die for sin and sinners and rise again.
Only through the Second Adam, Jesus Christ, and His sinless life, death, burial, and resurrection can man have their sin forgiven. Only because the fully white-hot fury of God the Father was placed upon the Son at the time of His death on the cross can man be forgiven. It was there on the cross that the sin of man was transferred to Christ. And it’s also only through the death of Christ that the image of God marred by the Fall can man be reconciled to God through His blood.
The problem of evil is a tough issue for many people. Some people have gone through trials for a long time with no end in sight. Others have lost a loved one or had a miscarriage. Others (like my wife and I) have tried to adopt, but it has fallen through. Often, people question the Lord in such instances. They wonder whether He is truly good, loving, perfect, holy, and just. And certainly, it’s understandable that we have questions. Questions are not bad. The Lord can take our questions. After all, He calls us to love Him with all of our minds. But often, the problem of evil leads us to doubt the justice, holiness, and sovereignty of God. When we venture into that realm, we engage not with faith in God’s Word and promises but act in unbelief.
In this issue of Theology for Life, we are exploring the issues of the justice, suffering, and the sovereignty of God. Through articles, reviews, and interviews, you will learn that God is not only good, He is also faithful to all that His Word says about Himself. And this is absolutely critical to understand.
We live in a bad news world. From the media to blogs, to a whole host of new media, our world is only focused on its problems. It has no time to look up to God. It also has little concern and need in its view of God. In all the discussions of the problem of evil, of justice, and even of suffering in our world, we are at the center; instead of the Lord. Man in his natural state is at enmity against the LORD. Isis, war, economic failure, etc., all find their beginnings in the Fall of Man in the Garden. And there’s glorious news here; whether you have cancer, have had a miscarriage, a failed adoption, or other debilitating diseases, illness, death in your family, or other such unfortunate situations. The good news is that we have a Lord and Savior in Jesus who is utterly sinless whose death provides our pardon and whose resurrection secured new life forever and always for the Beloved of God.
Whether you are suffering because of disease, death, miscarriage, cancer, or other illness or diseases today, we want to help you to discover for yourself through this issue of Theology for Life that the God of the Bible is not only good, He is also always faithful to all of His promises. The promises of God are tied to the character of our unchanging, holy, immutable and everlasting God. As such, God cannot lie. He can take all of our questions, all of our doubts, and all of our issues. He has fully revealed Himself in His Word to disclose His perfect, holy character so that we can trust Him.
As you read this issue, I’m praying for you, even now, as you face a variety of issues in your own life. My prayer as you read is that the articles, reviews, and interviews in this issue of Theology for Life, the Lord will minister to you. And furthermore, that the content in this issue of will help you discover perhaps for the first time how our God is just, holy, good, perfect, sovereign. In the midst of whatever suffering or injustice you are experiencing today, turn to the One in Jesus who fully paid the penalty for your sin. Jesus took upon Himself the white hot fury of His Father in your place so you could be forgiven, know God, be given a new heart with new desires, and new affections, so you could begin to live according to His design and purposes in your life.
Only when you know Him as He has revealed Himself in His Word will you be able to answer the question of the problem of evil, of why suffering exists, in the utter sufficiency of God’s greatness, in the splendor of His holiness, and the goodness of His perfect justice. Tolle lege (pick up and read) and discover the goodness, greatness, and majesty of our God in the latest issue of Theology for Life.
Executive Editor, Theology for Life Magazine
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- Spurgeon, Suffering, and Social Justice by Christian George. Read the article in PDF or Web.
- Sovereignty over Suffering and Satan’s Hand in It by Dr. John Piper. Read the article in PDF or Web.
- Theology Matters When Counseling the Suffering by Christina Fox. Read the article in PDF or Web.
- The Prosperity Gospel: A Global Epidemic by Costi Hinn. Read the article in PDF or Web.
- Interview with Dave Furman on Suffering Well. Read the article in PDF or Web.
- Preaching to Sufferers by Dr. David Prince. Read the article in PDF or Web.
- Five Truths About the Wrath of God by Joseph Scheumann. Read the article in PDF or Web.
- The Suffering of Christ and the Sovereignty of God by Matt Adams. Read the article in PDF or Web.
- Augustine on Evil by Greg Koukl. Read the article in PDF or Web.
- When Love Lets Us Suffer by Dave Jenkins. Read the article in PDF or Web.
- Sovereignty, Suffering, and the Work of Missions by Dr. David Sills. Read the article in PDF or Web.
- Four Ways Why Being God-Centered Matters in the Lives of His People by Dave Jenkins. Read the article in PDF or Web.
- Hope: The Best of Things by Joey Tomilson. Read the article in PDF or Web.
- ISIS: Loving Our Neighbors and the Judgment of God by Dave Jenkins. Read the article in PDF or Web.
- God’s Grace and Your Sufferings by David Steele. Read the article in PDF or Web.
- Putting to Death the Fear of Man in the Glory of God in Christ by Dave Jenkins. Read the article in PDF or Web.
- Suffering, Adversity, and Character Development by Greg Koukl. Read the article in PDF or Web.
- The Problem of Evil in the Book of Job by Dave Jenkins. Read the article in PDF or Web.
- Interview with Kristen Wetherell and Sarah Walton on Hope When It Hurts. Read the article in PDF or Web.
- Three Critical Truths about the Sovereignty of God and Prayer by Brian Hedges. Read the article in PDF or Web.
- The True Meaning of Justice in the Workplace by Matt Perman. Read the article in PDF or Web.
- Take a Step Back in Suffering by Jason Helopoulos. Read the article in PDF or Web.
- The Sovereignty of God: An Anchor in the Midst of the Storms of Life by Christina Fox. Read the article in PDF or Web.
- Four Powerful Outcomes of Sharing Your Pain with the Church by Erik Reed. Read the article in PDF or Web.
- Recommended Reading on Suffering and God’s Sovereignty. Read the article in PDF or Web.