Psalms 145: God Is Really Good?
Psalms 145 is a pretty good praise Psalm. It highlights many of the characteristics that we as Christians recognize that God has. I don’t want to do them all for you today because that would take an incredibly long time, but let’s look at one of them in a little bit more depth.
Psa 145:9 The LORD is good to all: and his tender mercies are over all his works.
The first statement is undoubtedly controversial. As Christians, we accept that. We understand that we serve a God who is perfectly good all the time. However, the problem of evil is the largest objection that I would believe most people have to Christianity. How can God be good, have the ability to eliminate evil, but decide not to?
I have addressed this one before, but I think that it is a good exercise for us to think about it since it does seem to be so popular, and I would argue that it is the most powerful argument that we will ever see used.
That being said, I think that we can address it. It is not the final deathblow to Christianity by any means.
First, it is important to keep in mind that the approach I tend to prefer hinges initially on the existence of God. By using things like the cosmological argument and the fine-tuning argument, we can show that it is probable for the existence of some kind of god. It doesn’t necessarily mean that the Christian God is the true one, but using these demonstrates kind of a more Deist explanation of god. There is some kind of supreme being out there.
If this type of god exists, then we need to figure out what kind of god this being is. This is where we need to go and deal with comparative religion. Is there good enough evidence to decide that Christianity is a better choice than Islam or Hinduism or Buddhism or any other belief system out there? This is where I would go into quite a bit of work on the person of Jesus Christ and the evidence for the resurrection. If that is true, and if resurrections do not normally happen, then Christianity has a major evidence on its side. It is a kind of proof that shows that Christianity is indeed something special and the Christian God has power that other worldviews cannot reliably claim. The Christian God demonstrated power and that does not naturally happen.
Now, if Christianity has that very unique piece of history on its side, then I think that the Christian God is a very probable being. After all, no other religion makes that kind of claim specifically about Jesus Christ. Christianity is unique in that regard.
So, now we are at a point where if everything I said is true (which I understand that I have not exhaustively proved through my own writing since I am not writing an entire book for you), we are at a point where it is reasonable to believe that the Christian God is the God that exists.
We are also an experiential point where we recognize that there is evil in the world. I don’t think that any of us would or could deny that.
Now, if people say it is impossible for a God to exist who has the characteristics of the Christian God because there is evil in the world, they find themselves in a contradiction. If they do the research and find that all of my claims hold (which I believe they do), we have the simultaneous existence of the Christian God and evil which certainly means that evil does not disprove the existence of God.