8/28/10 Marvin, about 35
Out for a jog along Lake Michigan this morning with Marty, church elder, we talked about the importance of evangelism and then put our words into action by beginning a gospel conversation with Marvin, an African-American personal trainer. Before he knew our beliefs he told us he isn't sure if God exists and thinks that when we die we just cease to exist. He grew up with a strong Baptist mother and church background but now said that he can't believe in a God who would allow evil to run rampant in our world the way it does. I told him an analogy from C.S.Lewis' "Mere Christianity" about a mother who gave her child responsibility to clean her room. When the she returned to find a huge mess a week later it could be said that this mess was the mother's will because of the higher good of teaching responsibility to her child. Somehow the evil that God allows in this world will lead to a higher good than could be achieved if there was no evil - or human choice - involved. Many virtues, such as courage, honesty, perseverance, and loyalty simply couldn't be learned outside of the context of an evil environment. These may be deeply theological issues but we must learn simple ways to explain them, because people like Marvin are asking these questions.