Tuesday, October 02, 2012

Terminology Tuesday: Theodicy

Theodicy: An answer to the problem of evil that attempts to "justify the ways of God to man" by explaining God's reasons for allowing evil. Two of the more important theodicies are the "soul-making theodicy," which argues that God allows evil so as to make it possible for humans to develop certain desirable virtues, and the "free will theodicy," which argues that God had to allow for the possibility of evil if he wished to give humans (and angelic beings) free will. Theodicies are often distinguished from defenses, which argue that it is reasonable to believe that God has reasons for allowing evil even if we do not know what those reasons are.1

1. C.Stephen Evans, Pocket Dictionary of Apologetics & Philosophy of Religion (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 2002), p. 114.


mmcelhaney said...

This is going to be a very educational and useful series! Thank you!!

Brian said...

I hope it is helpful. The idea is to pick a few terms that are often heard (mostly philosophical terminology) but are rarely defined when they are used.

mmcelhaney said...

Thanks, Brian. "Theodicy" sure applies to the standard you are using to choose terms!

Anonymous said...

Here is the best post ever written on the problem of evil:

A 4-page summary of the best theodicies ever!

And you should all check out the best resource on the problem of evil, posted by Brian Auten.

Chad said...


This is a great idea; I was thinking of doing something similar, but on the different types of apologetics.

I'm looking forward to the rest of the series. Thank you for all your hard work.


MaryLou said...

The best book I have ever read on the subject of evil is D. A. Carson's How Long, O Lord? I highly recommend it.

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