Theodicy and Evolution
Given that death is a part of life – always has been, and existed in creation long before the first human, and given that death involves suffering, I think that the problem of theodicy is highlighted. We cannot, then, link suffering straightforwardly to human rebellion can we? Perhaps this question can be fruitfully engaged through a more precise understanding of divine love, one which creates and allows for rejection, suffering and reconciliation (as modelled, for example, in the story of the prodigal son). For this love to find expression in creation, it was necessary for it to contain within itself the possibility of suffering an evil. Then, through risk, suffering, and the chance of rejection, God, in Christ, reconciles all things himself.
One author puts it like this:
‘the creation of such a universe will involve the creation of those negative possibilities of suffering, conflict and destruction, which are conditions of rejection, loss and reconciliation, and thus of manifesting the wholly self-giving love of God’ (Keith Ward’s, What the Bible Really Teaches, 74).