One of the most common arguments raised by the modern atheist are variations on the problem of suffering.
In order to begin answering this question, we need to start by understanding that there are two distinct dimensions to this problem – an intellectual problem, and an emotional one.
The intellectual component of the problem of suffering is more commonly known as the problem of evil – how can God be all good and all powerful and still allow evil into the world? To answer this question, the most important point in the answer is that the Christian view must be logically consistent.
The emotional side of this question, however, is more difficult in many senses, and ironically, it is the more important question for understanding atheism. While the atheists often posture as being more intelligent and intellectual robust than Christians, it sis ironic that the problem of suffering is the question hat they focus on so often. Often their tirades on this point are extreme and irrational. Additionally, this emotional issue can’t be answered in the same sense that we can answer the question of evil.
The question of suffering is also something that the Christian understands. After all, most Christians, if they were honest with themselves would admit that they have at some point felt like shouting at God “its not fair.” For the Christian, unlike the atheist this is a point where we face the question of a dichotomy between our thinking and our feelings.
In answering this question, we have to start with the mind, for the Christian the question of the dichotomy between our feelings and our thinking is answered by submission to Christ – which perhaps sounds simpler than it is. For the atheist, the question is more difficult.
In a sense, to the atheist we will raise a presuppositionalist answer to the question, but when they balk at this, we further can demonstrate our case with an evidentialist case.
To begin, we need to start with a central premise of the atheists case, and demonstrate why it does not match Biblical Christianity.