Mars Hill Forum #119: If There is a God, Why Does Evil Exist? November 9, 2006, Brooklyn College, Brooklyn, NY, Guest: Professor Richard Brown

Outline Used by John C. Rankin


Grew up as an agnostic Unitarian

  1. Questions concerning what is greater than space, time and number…
  2. The name and concept of Yahweh Elohim.

Information theory

  1. The brain is a conduit for the mind; the computer is a conduit for ideas; and DNA is a conduit for genetic information.
  2. Darwin’s problem – common descent or common design?
  3. Cause and effect is universal and requires addressing the matter of original cause.
  4. John 1:1, 14.

The biblical definitions of creation, sin and redemption

  1. In contrast to all pagan worldviews, and the ethical cognate of Greek secular thought

The biblical definition of freedom in Genesis 2:16-17

  1. akol tokel (the metaphor for freedom, “in feasting you shall continually feast.”
  2. Definitions of good and evil.
  3. The tree of the knowledge of good and evil.
  4. Good = the power to give and is proactive.
  5. Evil is the power to take and is reactive.
  6. Evil is the absence of good.
  7. Love is good, and volitional – the nature of Yahweh Elohim.
  8. God is free to do the good, he is not free to do evil, for evil is slavery not freedom.
  9. For God so loved the world that he gave us to freedom to choose to go to hell is that is damn well what we want to do – the freedom to say no is necessary for the power to say.
  10. If God forced us to believe in him, he would be evil. There is no other satisfying and consistent construct for freedom and the good.
  11. Forced love is both an evil and an oxymoron, the nature of pagan deities where forced love = rape.
  12. Good is creative, and evil is parasitic. Good can exist without evil, but evil cannot exist without good.

Therefore, the biblical order of creation is good and the unique source for human freedom. Evil is a choice, without which we would be slaves to a hostile universe when doe not care for our human hopes