God has a morally sufficient reason for the evil which exists.
Which is not sufficient for the Atheists here. Let's readdress it since this is no light matter for any of us. Especially for the tortured children out there, that may even be being tortured by their own parents.
Bahnsen alerted me to an interesting conversation between two brothers and the following rang so true in the sentiments of many Atheists that I know.
As Dostoevsky said best "a beast can never be so cruel as a man"
The Atheists just cannot get around this reason for evil. See if this is how many of you feel:
From The Brothers Karamazov: "This poor child of five was subjected to every possible torture by those cultivated parents. They beat her, thrashed her, kicked her for no reason till her body was one bruise. Then, they went to greater refinements of cruelty—shut her up all night in the cold and frost in a privy, and because she didn't ask to be taken up at night (as though a child of five sleeping its angelic, sound sleep could be trained to wake and ask), they smeared her face and filled her mouth with excrement, and it was her mother, her mother did this. And that mother could sleep, hearing the poor child's groans! Can you understand why a little creature, who can't even understand what's done to her, should beat her little aching heart with her tiny fist in the dark and the cold, and weep her meek unresentful tears to dear, kind God to protect her? Do you understand that, friend and brother, you pious and humble novice? Do you understand why this infamy must be and is permitted? Without it, I am told, man could not have existed on earth, for he could not have known good and evil. Why should he know that diabolical good and evil when it costs so much? Why, the whole world of knowledge is not worth that child's prayer to dear, kind God! I say nothing of the sufferings of grown-up people, they have eaten the apple, damn them, and the devil take them all! But these little ones!...
While there is still time, I hasten to protect myself, and so I renounce the higher harmony altogether. It's not worth the tears of that one tortured child who beat itself on the breast with its little fist and prayed in its stinking outhouse, with its unexpiated tears to 'dear, kind God'! It's not worth it, because those tears are unatoned for. They must be atoned for, or there can be no harmony. But how? How are you going to atone for them? Is it possible? By their being avenged? But what do I care for avenging them? What do I care for a hell for oppressors? What good can hell do, since those children have already been tortured? And what becomes of harmony, if there is hell? I want to forgive. I want to embrace. I don't want more suffering. And if the sufferings of children go to swell the sum of sufferings which was necessary to pay for truth, then I protest that the truth is not worth such a price...Imagine that you are creating a fabric of human destiny with the object of making men happy in the end, giving them peace and rest at last, but that it was essential and inevitable to torture to death only one tiny creature—that baby beating its breast with its fist, for instance—and to found that edifice on its unavenged tears, would you consent to be the architect on those conditions? Tell me, and tell the truth."
One must account for evil, that both the unbeliever and the believer recognizes. Bahnsen said "The subject of evil is not simply an intellectual parlor game, a cavalier matter, a whimsical or relativistic choice of looking a things a certain way. Evil is real. Evil is ugly."
This can't be a discussion as to "God is going to clear up the mess." He will, but that is not an adequately sufficient answer for the God deniers here. The question the Atheists here have is not whether God will 'take care of it' but, why did God allow it? Why is there a mess to begin with? Is God sadistic or impotent?
The Atheist is in a real quandary when he tries to argue for the problem of evil, he has to first make a moral judgment that is objectively correct. Objective moral judgments can only be grounded in the transcendent God of Christianity.
Van Til’s famously said, "A little girl was sitting on her daddy's lap, and playfully slapping his face. She could only slap his face because he allowed her to sit on his lap; she was not capable of this on her own. She had to be supported by him in order to slap him. God is like that father, and unbelieving thought is like the little girl. It uses reason to attack the source of reason. It operates on borrowed capital."
The Atheist cannot logically generate the problem of evil. Its not a problem for the believer but it is, ironically, the problem for the unbeliever. The Atheist need to make good on the statement that its evil first. Like Razi Zacharias said, Atheists are invoking a moral law in posing the question.
When Atheists say that things are evil we, as Christians, say that they are absolutely right, not relativistically right. But if atheists are going to say that is absolutely evil then you must have an absolute standard of good. Only God can provide that.
They ask if God is sadistic or impotent? But they fail to understand that those are not the only options here. The third option is the worldview of the Bible.
The Bible reveals to us that God is all good and all powerful and tells us that evil exists in the world. The Bible, because its true is consistent, and therefore those three things are consistent.
The Atheist will claim that it is not consistent and THAT is the nub of the problem here.
Atheists think its inconsistent and God thinks its consistent, who are you going to believe?
Ultimately this is a question of authority. The authority of the Atheist's logical powers verses God' logical powers. Atheists are using their logical powers to show there is no God, logically speaking. What does God tell us?
Bahnsen explains it this way. God tells us that sin has obscured our understanding. That is to say that if Adam chose to sin, Adam would enter a realm of darkness that even he would not understand. It would obscure his thinking, it would make his thinking foolish, it would thwart his ability to understand things properly.
Stand on his assumptions for a minute, follow out Bahnsen's reasoning. If the Bible's picture is true, God is all powerful, God is all good, there is evil and it makes sense that you wouldn't understand that, because evil obscured the understanding of men when it come to the ways of God. The Bible tells that we can EXPECT that to be the case. It is the case so its perfectly consistent.
Let's assume the child does it anyway. Here you have this child locked in this room, you can let him out, child cannot even find the door knob now because its utterly dark! If you will, his understanding has been obscured.
It doesn't follow at all does it? There is a way out of the room, but just because its dark, and just because the door is locked from the inside, he can't do it himself and he can't get out.
The point is that God is all powerful, all good, and evil exists in the world and evil has affected your ability to understand it properly. That is what the Bible teaches. Now, if that is true, it is consistent. Its the question now, is that worldview right or is the Atheist's worldview right. Remember, before you get attempted to follow the atheistic worldview, he cannot even account for evil. We, as Christians, can.
Now, at this long point, the question is about ultimate trust. Do you trust your own reasoning abilities so much that you can say that you are not in that locked dark room, Mr. Atheist? Or do you rather trust, although you can't understand it, although its a mystery to you, that you can put yourself in the hands of an all good, all powerful God and say 'His wisdom is above my wisdom, and I trust Him for the outcome.'
What is the nature of sin? The nature of sin is questioning the standards of God. It started with Eve and Adam. We put our minds above God's mind.
Job had the problem of evil pressed upon him. His family, wealth, and heath was taken away from him. Everything seemed to be gone. Job cried out 'I want an answer!' God said to Job, first you answer me...
After you read chapters 38-42 of the Book of Job you see how God deals with the problem of evil when men try pressing it upon Him and His wisdom. In the end Job placed his hand upon his mouth and said 'I am undone. I'll say no more' and after that was comforted.
"Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted." ~Matthew 5:4