Free Will and the Problem of Evil (Special Podcast Highlight)

You know the age-old question: “Why do bad things happen to good people?” If you’ve gone through suffering, heartache, or hurt and you question God’s goodness, Patrick Madrid wants to help you make sense of it. 

He addresses a thought-provoking question from Jennifer in Auburn, Indiana. She wonders why, if God is omnipotent and perfect, does evil exist in a world where salvation is intertwined with human free will, which allows for suffering and harm.

The crux of the answer lies in the concept of free will. Patrick explains that evil stems from the choices of angels and humans to act against God’s design for happiness. God never wanted it this way, but He allowed it. These bad choices that we make ripple through the world, causing unintended harm to innocent people, much like a drunk driver causing an accident. Horrible things happen that don’t add up. But why?       

The essence of Patrick’s argument revolves around the purpose of free will: it enables genuine love and moral responsibility. Without it, we’d be like robots, not capable of true love or moral fault. Patrick goes on to explain that the existence of hell and the capacity for guilt affirm the reality of free will. God loves us and doesn’t want to control us. 

Also, Patrick touches on the mystery of iniquity, suggesting that, despite the presence of evil, God’s providence works towards the ultimate happiness and fulfillment of those who love Him. He recommends Dr. Peter Kreeft’s book, “Making Sense Out of Suffering,” for a deeper exploration of the topic.

Addressing Jennifer’s confusion about God’s perfection, sparked by troubling views from Harold Kushner’s “When Bad Things Happen to Good People,” Patrick reassures her of God’s flawless nature and is quick to critique Kushner’s limited, flawed portrayal of God. 

God can bring good into your situation, no matter how hard it may seem in the moment. Trust and be assured that He is with you and will bring you to ultimate joy that you can’t even begin to imagine. 

Patrick Madrid is an acclaimed public speaker and has authored or edited 26 books, which have sold over a million copies worldwide, including foreign-language editions. He hosts The Patrick Madrid Show daily on Relevant Radio.