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Enigma of Evil: A Christian Perspective on Incomprehensible Violence (From Shocking Violence II: Violent Disaster, War, and Terrorism Affecting Our Youth, P 199-214, 2003, Corinne E. Frantz and Rosemarie Scolaro Moser, eds. -- See NCJ-199446)

NCJ Number
Lee Van Rensburg
Date Published
16 pages
This chapter attempts to gain a spiritual or Christian perspective on an inevitable encounter with the mystery of evil, violence in the world.
The enigma of evil is as ancient as the human race. Evil in a world created to be good is at the heart of its mystery. However, there are several theories as to the presence and activity of evil. There are some philosophers that see evil as being coequal and coexistent with good, making it coeternal. This understanding is referred to as dualistic. A basic inconsistency exists concerning evil, where evil is dependent on the structure and existence of good in order to accomplish its ends. It needs the existence of good to survive. In other words, terrorism, in the category of evil, requires the strength and health of a good community in order to facilitate its hate. In this chapter, categories are introduced to assist youth in understanding the nature of evil and the relationship between good and evil. The categories visited include: (1) evil tends to be elusive of definition; (2) if evil is not in the premise, there is hope it will not be in the conclusion; (3) evil has difficulty remaining consistent with itself; (4) evil will eventually dissipate and fall in on itself; (5) there is a difference between what God wills and what God allows; (6) fear will advance the cause of evil unless we place our fear in a Higher Power; and (7) we are foolish to review every adversity we face as having its origin in evil. These concepts can initiate useful discussion and enable our youth to formulate a better understanding of the tragic events encountered in this world. Endnotes


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