What is Evil, and Where Did it Come From?

2010 Ligonier Conference

For Decades, Dr. R.C. Sproul, the President and founder of Ligonier Ministries, has worked to educate the church with a serious, academic theology. Through that work, Ligonier has expanded to reach millions all over the world with the truth of God's Word. In this message to the Ligonier Conference in 2010, Dr. Sproul engages a deeply philosophical discussion on the nature and origins of evil.

The nature of evil is negation, privation and actual. This means that evil is nothing, but not that it is an illusion.

What from this talk impacted you the most, and how will apply this truth or assertion in your own life?
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The Three Kinds of Evil from Gottfried Leibniz
  1. Physical - hurricanes, earthquakes, disease, etc.
  2. Moral - evil choices made by men
  3. Metaphysical - the necessary imperfection of all things that are not God

Now that you have listened to this lecture, imagine that someone asked you where evil came from. How will you answer their question?
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R.C. said "evil is not good, but it is good that there is evil." Do you agree with the point he made in the last few minutes of his lecture? Write a response to this statement.
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We may not know the origin of evil, but we can know its future. Take comfort in these words from John's book.

Revelation 21:3-4 (ESV)

3And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God.4He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.”

Scripture quotations marked (ESV) are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®, copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

For more resources from Ligonier Ministries, or to plan a visit to an upcoming conference, visit their website www.ligonier.org.