Wow. Lose your dsl modem for a week (actually, I knew where it was, it just didn't work) and your posting frequency drops quite rapidly. Plz pray the new one holds up:)
A mere 10 days ago, I posted on natural evil and God's sovereignty. Since then we've seen more of that in Hurricane Rita, and some local bad weather here (not to mention an earthquake that thankfully left Alice et al okay. And Alice, please put a moratorium on quakes this fall as we're planning to head to CA.) All of these affected people in the impacted regions. Yet I will not say (though it is possible) that these were directed at certain people or certain sins. Natural evil "happens" because we live in a fallen world, and because God has purposes in disaster and suffering that we cannot fathom - though we often times judge as unfair with our imperfect and limited knowledge.
When I posted last, I said that God is sovereign over the disasters that strike, the suffering we endure. But this does not leave us without culpability in the manner. Frankly, disaster and pain would not exist if we had not sinned. As a species and as individuals, we have sinned. This affects nature, and leaves us with a world struggling to be redeemed; in the meantime, we have disasters.
But this sin manifests itself in other ways, too, and results in a different kind of evil: moral evil. This is pure sin, and for this type of evil we are 100% to blame. All that God created was very good. What we have created is a litany of problems. In my next post or two, I'll be examining a few questions about moral evil. Who is rightly called evil and who is not? What does our differntiation of different levels of moral evil (i.e. lying vs. murdering) have to do with reality? Does moral evil even really exist? I'll probably lead with that last question, since the first two assume it does.
If you have other questions about moral evil, post 'em in the comments or email me. No promises I can answer them; the problems of pain and evil have been around a lot longer than I have, and much smarter folks than I have failed to provide answers that satisfy everyone. But I'll at least give it a try.