Why Bad Things Happen at All: A Search for Clarity among the Problems of Evil

Author: John S. Welch
Journal: 42:2
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In college I lost my faith—not completely and not for long. But that moment impacted my beliefs deeply. I was standing in the back of the theater watching a scene unfold, waiting for my cue to enter. On the stage, my character's parents, farmers during a war depicted in Bertold Brecht's Mother Courage, realize that the army impressing my character into service is about to descend on their farm and then on the nearby village. Alone and defenseless, they beg God to save them. As I watched this pathetic pair plead for rescue, a thought occurred to me that drove itself like a wedge into my faith: This is a prayer that has been offered up to the slaughter of God's children for thousands of years and often has gone unanswered by God for just as long. God must be unwilling or unable to help him. In either case, who needs such a god?