The Two Christian Assertions About Evil

It seems to me that the Christian position on evil and suffering boils down to two assertions.

The first assertion: Evil is not ontology, evil is catastrophe.

That is, evil is not pre-existent and eternal. Evil is not the counterweight of a cosmic balance between Light and Darkness. Evil is not intrinsic to the cosmos, and therefore eternally inescapable. Evil is accidental, and therefore eschatologically eradicable.

Evil is a loss, a fall, a tragedy. Evil is wreckage, the devastation of a primordial goodness. Suffering is a blight, to be met not with resignation but with tears.

The second assertion: God is acting to rescue the cosmos from evil and suffering. God acts to restore, mend, heal, renew, liberate, rescue, and save.

As best as I can tell, this is all the Bible has to say about evil and suffering. How it all hangs together, we all know, creates snarly theological and metaphysical questions.

But the two assertions, taken by themselves, I think are pretty good.

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