If God knew the outcome of giving us freewill, he must have seen a greater good in allowing it. But what? Again, the Scriptures provide some clues.
The world might not be optimal for happiness, but it may be optimal for “soul-making,” or the creation of great souls. I’m not sure where courage, compassion, mercy or justice might be created except in the crucible of a bent world.
These are latent human capacities that can be developed, and as we make choices with our will, they become actual virtues. And until we do act on them they are nothing more then hypothetical capacities, sort of like the wings on a turkey.
A second reason is found in the final chapter of Genesis. After witnessing the outbreak and epidemic of the virus of human evil in chapters 1 to 49, Genesis 50 says,
You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives. (Genesis 50:20)
God demonstrates that the ultimate act of creation is not making something from nothing, but making gold out of manure. The ability to bring good out of evil is redemption. And it would seem that as courage can only be seen in a broken world, so too redemption.
The creative activity of redemption, the experience of being redeemed, and the virtue of being a redeemer, are a part of why I believe God has allowed evil. The victory, battle, struggle, overcoming, joy, relief, peace. Perhaps God feels this makes for a better story and existence than the living coma of nirvana. I do.
C.S. Lewis said, “God whispers to us in our pleasures, speaks in our conscience, but shouts in our pains: it is His megaphone to rouse a deaf world.”
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