N.T. Wright on “evil”

I just started N.T. Wright’s newest book, Evil and the Justice of God. In light of our continued presence in Iraq and the announcement of 20,000+ troops, plus hundreds of civilian organizations, being deployed, this passage reminded me of the backwardness of the thinking (and lack of theological thinking from the people of God) that got us there in the first place:

Lashing out at those you perceive to be “evil” in the hope of dealing with the problem &emdash; say, dropping copious bombs on Iraq or Afghanistan because of September 11 &emdash; is in fact the practical counterpart of those philosophical theories that purport to “solve” the problem of evil. Various writers have suggested, for instance, that God allows evil because it creates the special conditions in which virtue can flourish. But the thought that God decided to permit Auschwitz because some heroes would emerge is hardly a solution to the problem. In the same way, the thousands of innocent civilians who died in Iraq and Afghanistan bear mute testimony to the fact that often such “solutions” simply make the problem worse &emdash; and I don’t just mean because they harden and indeed generate opposition. Just as you cannot eliminate evil by acts of Congress or by a philosophical argument, so you cannot do so with high explosives.

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