The elimination or transformation of evil
This idea may be a bit half-baked and perhaps a little to speculative. The complete thought may even be spread over multiple posts. I guess how it all plays out will be based on how bored I get about the topic. At any rate I was driving into work today and thinking about evil and why God has not eliminated it (yet) and why He has seemed to have "merely" transformed it. And then I thought about soup.
I thought about a cook tasting soup and thinking that there is something missing in the spoonful of it that they just put into their mouths. The cook is looking for, or expecting, a particular taste and if they do not find it they'll add this, that, or the other thing to get it to the point where they are satisfied with how it tastes. That's what cooks do. If they didn't do that then they would not be cooks. I am not sure what they would be but a cook they wouldn't be.
As a created being the only rational position I can take before my God is one of pure dependence and worship. If I am a creature of God, and I am that, then I am to acknowledge my dependence upon Him and worship Him completely. It seems to me that my worship would be less than it could be if I did not recognize what He did to the evil in my own heart and if I did not worship Him in the midst of the evil and suffering around me.
Like that soup that is missing something I would have a worship and even a dependence that would not be as complete if there was no evil to call attention to God's holiness and goodness or to bring me, completely, into His full dwelling and presence. Is there mercy and grace in God at all? Yes. And I would know nothing of it, or I would know it far less than I do, if there were no evil. If I am to worship God completely, all of Him as much as I can, then I must taste evil and suffering. I don't see any way around this. My life, both here and later, would not be as dependent as it could be upon Him as well and He would have no opportunity to save me from the penalty and power of sin now and its presence later. Is that really dependence? I am not sure it is.
But, He could wipe out evil right now and yet He chooses not to. There are a million reasons people have given for this and I am going to write what I believe is one more in part 2. Maybe, I am just not sure yet.