“Christianity believes that pain and suffering are very real. As a result, followers of Christ have sought to develop a theology that provides a coherent framework for understanding this dilemma. Christians face the difficult task of embracing the reality of evil and making it compatible with the existence of God as portrayed in Scripture: all-loving, all-powerful, all-knowing, and all-good.
Christians have developed different responses to explain why the goodness of God is not compromised in the face of evil, even evil that is apparently unredemptive in any fashion. Perhaps good things such as free will more than compensate for the pain experienced during life; perhaps, as in John Hick’s appeal to mystery, there are unknown goods that make up for the suffering we see; perhaps there will be a system of rewards and punishments in place after this life that will adequately provide a framework in which one will see the justice an love of God vindicated.Defenders of the Christian faith have developed these explanations, or theodicies, to better understand the ways of God. A theodicy, rather than being a mere defense of the compatibility of God and evil, seeks to proactively show God’s reasons for allowing evil to occur.”