Ron Rhodes: Does The Existence of Evil Really Disprove the Existence of God?
I might gently suggest that this talk was mis-titled, and would have been better named “The Problem of Evil” or some such; Rhodes takes a fairly Presuppositionalist approach here, discussing aspects of the problem of evil from a kind of catechetical approach: “here is an aspect to the problem of evil phrased as a question; here is a Scripture verse we’re going to interpret as an answer to that question.” This isn’t an approach that can answer a question about the existence of God, so this was mostly a waste of time.
But this brings up something of a sticky question, though, that being whether a believer can ever really engage with the question of whether God exists. The problem is that if we phrase the question of whether God exists in terms of Scripture (e.g. “Does Scripture imply that God exists?”) the discussion is quite short; on the other hand, if we phrase it some other way we run the risk of proving that some other God exists. We can run aground by proving that some sort of god exists that may or may not have created anything; that may have created something but having set it in motion never touched it again; that created everything but doesn’t have a Son; etc. This is especially troublesome if we talk about concepts like “Nature and Nature’s God” because while we as Christians tend to think of our God as being this God, the converse is not necessarily included.
Let’s just say that if we take “the Bible is the Word of God” as foundational, we can’t then go on to ask meaningfully whether God exists. If there’s a way out of this cul-de-sac I’d love to hear it.
I tend to see Rhodes’s talk as another example of something being mooted as equipping believers to defend the faith against attacks from without, but really only providing assurance to the believer from within.