If God is All Good and All Powerful, Why Does Suffering Exist?

Philosopher Alvin Plantinga called the problem of suffering “the only good objection to God”.
The often quoted argument goes:  “if God is all good (all benevolent) then God has the desire to end suffering, and if God is all-powerful (omnipotent) then God has the ability to end suffering. Therefore if God does not end suffering, then God is either not all good, or is not all-powerful, and is therefore not God”. As Christians, we need to be able to answer this objection to God, to enable us to “give a reason for the faith that we have in Christ Jesus” (1 Peter 3:15). To this end, I want to try and answer this question to help anybody who finds the problem of suffering to be a sticking point or an obstacle in their faith (an argument to explain the problem of suffering is called a “theodicy”).
To begin with, I want to go back to the beginning of it all and look at God. Who is God and what is God like? It is worth noting here that this argument takes as given the fact that God exists (sp…

11 Apps That Grow My Faith

We spend a lot of time on our phones. If ever we have a moment to spare we whip out our phones and check social media.

A part of me wonders whether the advent of mobile phones is a force for good or for evil with regards to our walk with Christ. Before technology, when we had a spare moment would we have spent it in quiet prayer or reflection?

We have these phones. And we have the exhortation to “seek first the kingdom of God”. So it makes sense to see how we can use these devices to seek the kingdom. They certainly won’t be going anywhere anytime soon.

Below is a list of 11 apps that have helped me in my faith and helped me make the most of this technology and seek first the kingdom of God. (please note that none of these apps are affiliates. I do not receive anything for promoting these, they're just things I have found helpful).
1. Bible by YouVersion - Free [Android] This is my go-to bible app. Lots of translations (including NIV, NRSV and NLT), most of them downloadable, lots of r…

The Major Works of Theology & Philosophy - An Interactive Timeline

Often when I am reading a book, I am thinking "who else was writing around the same time?", "what other works would the author be aware of?", "what ideas might they have been building on?".

It takes a lot of time and a lot of googling to find this information out.

I started to think about how to make this kind of information more easily available and hit upon the idea of a timeline. Lots of google searching and experiments later I came across

From here I have created an interactive timeline of the major works of western theology and philosophy over the last 2500 years - From Plato to N.T. Wright

I decided not to include works of eastern theology / philosophy:
a. due to my lack of knowledge and
b. it would be more difficult to see the aforementioned links due to the inaccessibility to original authors of works from far away)

With regards to the works, I have chosen only one work from each author (usually the work they are most well know for…

Why Memorise Scripture In An Age Of Pervasive Technology?

We live in an age where mobile technology enables us to know almost anything that there is to be known in a matter of seconds.

In our pockets, we have a device that holds more information than all the great libraries of the past.

The same is no less true of our access to the bible. Within seconds I can be reading scripture in any number of translations and languages, as well as a multitude of commentaries and bible reading aids.

When I was younger people would extol me on the virtues of memorising scripture lest I be thrown into solitary confinement under a communist state and am stripped of my Bible – but the older I get the more and more unlikely this seems.

Therefore, with a bible ever at my fingertips, what could the purpose be of spending my time memorising scripture?
The Complexity of Neurology When we think about the brain and memorisation we often think of it like a hard drive on a computer.

When we memorise something it is like we are downloading a file into our brain; …

4 Keys To A Good Marriage

My wife Joanne and I have just celebrated our 10 year wedding anniversary.
The time has flown by since we said “I do” and life has changed.
We now have two beautiful children and our work, housing, and interests have changed over time.
There are several things that we have implemented in our relationship early on that have served us well in the journey so far, and will continue to serve us in the future.
I wanted to write down 4 of these things as a constant reminder to myself, but also for anyone else who is on this journey of a lifetime.
I chose these 4 things not because they are exhaustive, but because I often encounter the opposite of these things as prevalent relationship advice in our culture.

Just a very quick note to say that although these keys are built around the idea of continued commitment to our partner, if you are in an abusive relationship, either mentally, emotionally, or physically, please get out of that relationship as soon as is safe to do so. You are under no oblig…

Eco-Theology - A Christian Theology of Environmentalism


As Christians, our theology forms the compass of what we do in our daily lives.

If we believe that God is good and full of love then this will be how we treat others. It is the same with regards to environmental concern.

If we have a theology that tells us the whole world will be burned up and so there is no point caring for it, then this will be how we treat the earth.
Eco-Theology I believe that scripture provides a blueprint for environmental concern that helps to act as a compass in our discipleship journey.
The Beginning
Right from the beginning in scripture, in the book of Genesis, we are called to be stewards of the earth. We are called to look after and care for the earth.

Genesis 1:27-29
So God created mankind in his own image,
in the image of God he created them;
male and female he created them.

God blessed them and said to them, “Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the…

COURAGE – The Virtue That Undergirds All Other Virtues

DISCIPLESHIP | 3 1/2 Minute Read

Several years ago my friend ended up in hospital.

His wife was worried so we asked if there was anything that we could do.
She asked, as she does not drive and has young children, if I would pick up his phone charger and drive it over to the hospital as he had no phone battery and she was unaware how he was doing.
It was 9 o’clock on a work night.
I had never been to that particular hospital, nor had I ever driven in the city where the hospital was.
The charger in our car didn’t work and I had a low battery, so I would have no satellite navigation or maps to get there and would have to rely on signposts and directions.
Did I mention that I hate driving?
It makes me very anxious.
Every time I get in a car I wonder if I will be another statistic.
All of these excuses swirled in my mind at the thought of making this journey and ultimately I decided to decline.
I did not have the courage to go.
I think about this moment often. About the time that I let dow…