Friday, October 23, 2009

God is Better Than Evil?

In his book, "The God I Don't Understand," Christopher J. H. Wright has a chapter entitled The Defeat of Evil. In it he addresses the tension between God's sovereignty and the existence of evil. When he said the following, it illuminated something to me:
"God demonstrated his sovereignty by showing that he can take what is done as an existing evil in the world and use it to bring about his own good purposes. God remains good, and God remains sovereign."
Wright was using the story of Joseph being sold into slavery by his brothers to show that God can use existing evil to bring about his good purposes. This immediately made me think of the Gospel. The central element of the Gospel message is an evil that took place as part of God's good purpose to save sinners. This was just the beginning of what started to become clear to me. Evil, at its core purpose, seeks to corrupt, take over, and destroy whatever it sets its sights on. Like a disease it seeks to destroy us from the inside out. Now this is where it gets really cool. God is better than evil at its goal of inward takeover and destruction. He showed this perfectly when he defeated death by using death. In other words, God defeated evil through evil. He, in a sense, corrupted evil from the inside. So God is better at what evil attempts to do than evil itself. He does this same takeover/destruction with the Gospel. He destroys sinners from the inside out; the old man dies and a new one is born in his place. What a glorious and life giving takeover the Gospel is!

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