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David Bentley Hart on the Problem of Evil

I commend to you this video of David Bently Hart. In an interview with the Center for Public Christianity he explains his point of view:


Hart is reacting to this apologetic: Evil is permitted, yes, even designed by God so that those who suffer under it can benefit from character transformation. Hart rejects this explanation and others like it as ultimately describing a God unworthy of worship and a world in which he’d rather not inhabit. He sees this world rather as a place where God has allowed Satan and his powers to run rampant and dominate us (for a time). Thus, there is no “grand purpose” behind suffering – no eternal scheme – and therefore looking for “reasons” and asking “Why?” are pointless. This world is under the control of an evil power and that’s that. Until Satan’s dominion is overthrown, this is what we are going to experience.

I’d like your thoughts on this viewpoint. Is it consistent with Biblical teaching? Does it make sense? Why or why not? What are your thoughts on why evil exists?

Hart explains his viewpoint more fully in a book he wrote in response to the 2004 Tsunami:

The Doors of the Sea: Where Was God in the Tsunami? 2005, Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company.