"Whom having not seen, ye love; in whom, though now ye see him not, yet believing, ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory: Receiving the end of your faith, even the salvation of your souls."
1 Peter 1:8-9 (KJV)
1 Peter 1:8-9 (KJV)
Do a quick sketch of two significant theological perspectives accounting for the origin of evil. In your opinion, which of these best explains how evil originated in the world? Make sure you provide scriptural references.
Judging by the news on our televisions, you can ask this question to any political liberal that you meet on the street and they will say,” It is our money which is the root of evil.” Ask a conservative and they may tell you that, “it is the envy of those who have money that is the root of all evil.” However, we aren’t considering the money this week as the origin of all evil. The theories or thoughts regarding the origin of evil are so numerous that I could not even express all the ideas of possibility within one discussion post. What I can do however, is give realistic Biblical theories and answers to this question. We all know that the proof of evil in our world was marked by the showing of its ugly face in Genesis 3, where we see the fall of mankind. This sin had a consequence so great that it was, “the root cause of all the decay, destruction, and death that has become so visible in the modern world.” For this sin to have been so consequential to the relationship between God and man there must have also been serious consequences to the order of life in general. What kind of evil would want to ruin such a good thing?
One theory that seems to permeate throughout society is that the source of evil was man himself. This theory was considered by the likes of Martin Luther and John Calvin, who view the cause of evil to be this one act of sin committed by Adam and Eve. The strongest defense of this theory is that no evil is shown to exist prior to the introduction of sin in Genesis 3. However, this defense and theory is rife with holes and problems. If man’s sin is the source of all evil this gives man the power to create eternal ramifications beyond this world into Heaven. This changed the destiny of not only man himself, but caused a problem that only Christ could solve. Even if this is so, this gives man the power to change the course of destiny even for God as he did for Christ during the original sin. Outside of these issues, we are now faced with even more questions. If God made man does that make God inherently evil since He created man in His image? Where did the serpent come from? Did man create the serpent as well? Was the serpent evil or did man think of those thoughts in his own head at the view of the serpent? These questions are all credible and are much easily answered with another biblically based theory such as what I call the “Biblical Theory”.
The Bible teaches us a much deeper answer to the problem of evil than what you will get from the writings of an ancient or modern day theologian. What kind of evil can make a man so confused that he loses sight of his own identity as we see in our text when Beth Jones states, “We are the kind of creatures who truly want to live in sin even though sin makes us inhuman.”It takes an inherently evil being or force to make a creature who was created and had life breathed into him by God Himself to commit such an act of selfishness. There is only one force capable of such destruction and that is the one who the scripture tells us that “comes steal, kill, and destroy” (John 10:10). Looking at the progression of events and how the order is laid out for us in Scripture, it is obvious that Lucifer and possibly other forces of evil were present in the world prior to Genesis 3 fall of man. Although the Scripture does not state the exact timing or method of Satan’s arrival to earth, it does tell us that the Word of God does not contain all the Christ said or did (John 21:25). Revelation 12 tells us of an event when Satan was casted out of heaven along with his angels. While our lecture instructs us to avoid such Scripture references as they may be prophetic in nature to future events, I disagree. Revelation has as much to do with today as it does with tomorrow. It is truly a book which transcends time such as proved with its comparisons to the book of Daniel. Isaiah 14:13 describes to us how Satan was casted out of Heaven for desiring to be God where it says, “For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God”. Here we find the justification once again for God’s actions in Revelation 12, showing us that this was not just a future prophecy to come. While there may be many questions regarding the stories given in the Bible regarding the goodness of God and evil, we should not expect to have all the answers. Even one of God’s most righteous men, Job himself asked God questions that he pondered in Job 38. With this in mind we have to have Christ in center focus. If we keep the faith in our hearts, we will one day be given this knowledge and understanding according to Ephesians 4:13. Until then, we must maintain this “good fight” and use the knowledge that we have been given the best we can.
 Grand Canyon University, “The Doctrine of Sin” (lecture, Christian Doctrines, Grand Canyon University, August 21, 2014).
 Joseph F. Kelly, The Problem of Evil in the Western Tradition: From the Book of Job to Modern Genetics (Collegeville, MN: Michael Glazier, January 1, 2002), : 1st edition, p. 94–95
 Beth Felker Jones. Practicing Christian Doctrine: An Introduction to Thinking and Living Theologically. (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Academic, 2014), 105