Elevator Apologetics part 3: Broken World

Rick Mattson Apologetics 2 Comments

This week’s image for apologetics may seem obvious and too simple. Yet, that’s precisely what makes it effective.

I should know, since I use it constantly. The image is:

Broken world.

College students ask me why earthquakes wipe out nations.

Broken world.

Why a tsunami killed 250,000 people.

Broken world.

Why a mother or best friend was afflicted with a terminal disease.

You know my reply.

What do we mean by broken world? 

The classic “problem of evil” isn’t very hard for Christians to explain. Humankind turned its back on God and then turned on each other. That’s the story of the Fall, recorded in Genesis 3. It’s called moral evil.

But “natural evil” is a bit tougher to deal with. Why doesn’t God just stop the tidal waves or freeze the tectonic plates or destroy the cancer cells? It would take only a snap of the divine finger, a wave of the omnipotent hand.

Instead, God allows the twisted story of a runaway people to play itself out. The consequences of the Fall extend to the cosmos itself (“the ground is cursed because of you” — Gen 3:17).

In summary, humanity is fallen, the world is broken. And bad things happen to good people.

So when someone asks why a tornado destroyed a small town or why babies are born with birth defects . . .

You know what to say.

Comments 2

  1. Rick,

    Good stuff, I'm really enjoying your Elevator Apologetics series. A variation on this one, about the broken world, is the question of sin and evil (however it is defined) APART from the Biblical explanation of the fall. I've yet to hear a reasonable explanation for (fallen) human nature from the atheistic viewpoint.

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