By Selwyn Duke
Man has long asked how a loving God could allow evil to exist in the world. It’s an age-old philosophical question that can cause those who want faith to doubt and those who want to doubt to mock faith. A Christian’s answer to this question is “free will,” a concept critics may regard as something reduced to a convenient cliché. The truth is, though, that this is a most fascinating subject to inquisitive minds.
The two qualities that make us like God are intellect and free will, despite the fact that the former can seem as lacking as the latter is abused. Why intellect has prerequisite status is obvious, but why free will? If God is omnipotent, He can prevent the immeasurable pain and suffering we inflict on one another with the blink of an eternal eye. Why doesn’t He do it? Perhaps this problem is what caused people such as Thomas Jefferson to embrace deism, the belief that God set the Universe in motion but then receded into the background, indifferent to our plight. So let’s examine free will.