By Darryl Budge
The recent Batman vs Superman movie presented a popular objection against a good God, but was it an accurate one?
In the film Lex Luther challenges Superman with these words: "No man in the sky intervened when I was a boy to deliver me from daddy's fist and abominations. I figured out way back if God is all-powerful, He cannot be all good. And if He is all good, then He cannot be all-powerful."
While Lex is directing this at Superman as a supposed 'god', it is a common objection to the beliefs of Christianity.
Some consider this a sound argument, but if we take a leaf out of the highly-regarded 'free will defence' of philosopher Alvin Plantinga, the above argument fails.
Even atheists would agree that, if God does indeed exist, it is a good thing that He has allowed people to make their own choices rather than be controlled like puppets on a string.
Yet is it logically possible for God to give this good free will to human beings, and then act contradictory to that good, by preventing them from making certain decisions, including doing anything wrong or evil?
That would be a square circle. An impossibility!
And could God justly judge those who reject His forgiveness for acts or thoughts He prevented them from doing or thinking?
Rather than programming us to respond like a robot, mechanically saying "I love you" without any real choice in the matter, God gave people the choice to follow and love Him genuinely or turn away from Him to live their own way.
As the Creator of everything, God is like a grand chess master who is all-knowing and all-powerful, and who justly controls the pattern of the chessboard, His universe.
God knows every possible move of His opponents. He thus has no need to control the moves of any free agent He has placed in His universe in order for Him to foresee what they will choose.
His desire is for people to freely choose to believe in Him, and He is able to orchestrate circumstances to bring about their chosen expression of faith (or hatred) towards His salvation and forgiveness.
God allowed Satan to introduce the knowledge of evil to Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden, even though He warned them of the consequences beforehand.
God gave people the choice to follow and love Him genuinely or turn away from Him to live their own wayWhen this evil entered the world with Adam and Eve's deliberate decision to disobey God, He then lovingly sent His Son Jesus to bear the ultimate consequences of their rebellion.
In every event of life God grants us a choice: follow Jesus or turn away from Him. Evil in this world is a result of people rejecting God despite the love and goodness He has shown through Jesus.
While God may allow evil today, the Bible speaks of Jesus' return when God will deal with those who have rejected Him, those who have hurt others and the whole problem of evil once and for all.
For those who have chosen to follow Him, the Bible explains that upon Jesus' return, He "will wipe away every tear from their eyes; and there will no longer be any death; there will no longer be any mourning, or crying, or pain; the first things have passed away. And He who sits on the throne said, 'Behold, I am making all things new'."
God is good, that is His character. We have no control over tomorrow, but we can trust our lives into the care of God who already knows what tomorrow brings.•