Thank you. I may have been unclear in my wording. I meant “authentic discussion,” not “authentic evil”!
Rauser’s key is
I have been listening to Brad Jersak, “A More Christlike God.” I am not familiar with the details of Darwin’s life, but Jersak writes that while he did struggle in the abstract as an empathetic man with the finding of the Ichneumon wasp and other apparently unreasonable cruelties of nature, the loss of his little daughter really took away his faith.
It is having my own little children that has helped me reject Calvinism (at least, as I understand it). The idea that God would condemn my daughter or two boys for a tiny sin that they He created them unable to avoid–to Hell for eternity, no less–seemed completely unreasonable. It was absolutely in the opposite of what my own family was like, or of my ideas of Justice.
C S Lewis wrote, “Talk to me about the truth of religion and I’ll listen gladly. Talk to me about the duty of religion and I’ll listen submissively. But don’t come talking to me about the consolations of religion or I shall suspect that you don’t understand.” He wrote this, initially anonymously, after the death of his wife.
Job is the book in the Bible that, I think, comes closest to discussing meaningless suffering, without giving an answer for it. It is not satisfying to me, though.
However, I have not suffered enough, myself, to be an authentic discusser of evil or suffering. Others on this discourse can likely do this much better than I.
I remember as a child in the 1980s, on an airport layover in the US, meeting an elderly couple of Holocaust survivors on their way to visit grandchildren in Israel. They had faint, blue tattoos on their shoulders or arms (I can’t recall which) which they told us, to our shock, were from the concentration camp. They avoided discussion of the experience, but kindly lent us sports magazines to read, which they were carrying to show their grandchildren. Frequently, my perception of evil is only this superficial–signs of a grief just under the surface, of people who continue to live despite their wounds I can not fathom. I need more maturity to listen and weep with those who suffer.