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

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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…