All my thinking about hell, universalism and God’s goodness over the last few months has started me down a path of questioning some things I never thought I would question. I find myself wondering, if God is good, why did he allow sin to enter into the world through Adam? Why all this brokenness and death? Why the Holocaust? Why Stalin? Why Ted Bundy? Why me? Why am I so incredibly screwed up? What is the point of it all? What meaning does life have? Why this way of all the ways the world could have been?
I guess I’m looking for some justification for God’s behavior, some way to make sense of it all. The state of the world, for me, is both strong evidence against the very existence of God and the kindling of a stronger hope that maybe God is love and maybe somehow there is goodness in the universe and maybe it will all make sense one day. The very existence of evil and my ability to recognize it holds out some hope, it seems to me. That’s probably the only reason I’m a Christian right now. That and the fact that my imagination has been so affected by C. S. Lewis, Madeleine L’Engle, George MacDonald and others who have consistently pointed me towards hope.
It’s interesting to me how coming to embrace universalism has forced me to examine the underpinnings of my entire theological system. Right now, it seems pretty shaky. But there must be hope in the universe somehow. If not, all is certainly meaningless in my view. It just seems really hard to see the hope sometimes in the midst of the chaos that exists on this planet. I understand why people abandon God because of the evil in the world now. Schaeffer says “He Is There and He Is Not Silent” but sometimes those words sound utterly hollow.
This is kind of an open thread. If you have any reflections on these issues I’d really like to hear them. If you have any resources to help understand this matter better, that would be helpful as well. I hope I’m not being too depressing, it’s just this issue of the goodness of God is weighing very heavily on me right now.