The first video is from his debate with Dr. Bruce Russell at West Point. Dr. Russell asks why an all-powerful, all-good, all-loving God would allow his creatures to suffer. Dr. Craig responds to the argument in the two clips below.
This is one my favorite debates. You can buy it here.
And here’s a clip from the re-match with Austin Dacey.
Craig says something like this in the first clip: (paraphrase)
It is not God’s purpose to create a comfortable environment for His human pets. On the Christian view, we are not God’s pets. And the purpose of life is not happiness, as such, but rather the knowledge of God and His salvation––which will ultimately bring true happiness. But many evils occur in life which are utterly pointless with respect to producing human happiness. But they may not be pointless with respect to producing a deeper knowledge of God.
I have to confess that the argument from evil and suffering lost all force for me when I began to think of it as the argument from self-centered hedonism, or “the argument from whining”. We don’t have a right to happiness in this life. That’s not the point of life. I think that God expects us to rise above that sort of selfish pleasure-seeking and to look to his interests – defending his reputation, telling people the truth about him, and achieving his goals. And it doesn’t matter if it makes us unpopular or causes us to suffer. We have to do the right thing, and there are no promises. Sometimes you will do everything right that God wants you to do, and you may still face some kickback. And it happened to Jesus.
When I look at Jesus I do not see a man trying to make himself happy in his own way. I do not see a man who views his relationship with God as a means of achieving happiness in this life. I see a man who thinks that his service to God may cost him everything, including his own life. The normal Christian life is a life of self-denial and suffering. We ought to do what is necessary (study, charity, chastity, sobriety, fidelity, self-sacrificial love, etc.) regardless of whether we like it. We do what is best for God. I think that some of us twist Christianity into hedonism. We just add an imaginary old man with a white beard sort of standing back and wishing us to have a good time in our own way. That’s not Christianity.
- The best post I’ve ever done on the problems of evil and suffering
- John Piper explains 50 reasons that Jesus had to die