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Cold Case Christianity

The Problem of Evil

The Problem With Answering the Problem of Evil (Podcast)

The Problem With Answering the Problem of Evil
Image Credit: Ariel Paredes from Pexels

In this podcast, J. Warner examines the difficulty involved in responding to rhetorically powerful objections based on the problem of evil. Jim talks about the need for a cumulative evidential response, and then provides six considerations to help you prepare a defense. Jim also plays a recent related interview with radio show host, Paul Ridgeway.

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For more information about the scientific and philosophical evidence pointing to a Divine Creator, please read God’s Crime Scene: A Cold-Case Detective Examines the Evidence for a Divinely Created Universe. This book employs a simple crime scene strategy to investigate eight pieces of evidence in the universe to determine the most reasonable explanation. The book is accompanied by an eight-session God’s Crime Scene DVD Set (and Participant’s Guide) to help individuals or small groups examine the evidence and make the case.

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Written By

J. Warner Wallace is a Dateline featured cold-case homicide detective, popular national speaker and best-selling author. He continues to consult on cold-case investigations while serving as a Senior Fellow at the Colson Center for Christian Worldview. He is also an Adj. Professor of Christian Apologetics at Talbot School of Theology, Biola University, and a faculty member at Summit Ministries. He holds a BA in Design (from CSULB), an MA in Architecture (from UCLA), and an MA in Theological Studies (from Gateway Seminary).



  1. Pingback: IN CASE YOU MISSED IT (3/16/14 – 3/22/14) | The Hardin Crowder Blog

  2. Roger Catlett

    March 27, 2024 at 8:39 am

    Hi Jim,
    Thank you for all the great content. I really appreciate your approach and ability to simplify topics. I wanted to ask you to clarify something. I was listening to your podcast on evil and you mentioned the category of “Natural Evil”. When I think of an evil act, I see it as a person or group that has intent to cause harm to another person or group. Obviously a tornado or earthquake has no intent to cause harm, but wreaks havoc none the less. While it is tragic to see what happens during natural disasters I would not be inclined to call it evil. Would you mind clarifying this comparison or addressing my question. I am really thankful for your ministry and all you do to share the love of Christ.

  3. Lapin Debogues

    May 2, 2024 at 8:28 am

    The distinction between moral evil and natural evil is far more fuzzy than what free will theodicies explain.

    For example, it’s already been established that variations in brain chemistry, the existence of brain tumours and genetics can be positive factors in human behaviour and therefore also moral behavior, therefore brain chemistry over which an individual has no free will over can’t have moral consequences. Humans have this idea that we are truly free. Our ability to make truly free choices is more limited than we can or would admit.

    Also, the ability to make free moral choices is contingent on our ability to evaluate the consequences of those choices. If we make choice A vs choice B and consider that choice A is morally superior to choice B and therefore we choose A how can we actually know that choice A is better. I contend that often we can’t because we are constrained by the inability to foresee all possible consequences of choices.
    As an example Fritz Haber, who invented the Haber process to extract nitrogen out of the atmosphere, was responsible for the development of artificial fertilizers. This invention would have saved, countless lies, advanced the science of agriculture and save countless lives from famine and starvation. However, he cannot have foreseen that this very same invention would have also led to the development of nitrogen containing explosives like TNT and dynamite one year of this would have been the advancement of the ability to mind minerals out of the earth. The other would have been the development of weapons which have killed millions of people so the question is was Fritz Haber responsible for saving lives or killing lives so the moral ramifications of any actions that we deemed to be due to free will cannot always be ascertained going into the future, but only in hindsight. So we cannot see whether a particular action will always result in good or evil so again the question of evil cannot necessarily be a result of free will.
    This works out even in Christian foreign aid endeavours. Many examples if Christians trying to help people and actually doing more harm than good due to unforeseen consequences and not due to some morally evil intent or lack of discernment. It was just impossible to predict some of these consequences except in hindsight.

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