Why Do Good Things Happen to Bad People?

For every act of evil replayed ad nauseam on cable news there are a million unreported, anonymous acts of kindness.

“It comes as an enormous relief to recognize that, however odious and sweeping sin is, whether in personal idolatry or in its outworking in the barbarities of a Pol Pot or an Auschwitz, God intervenes to restrain evil, to display his ‘common grace’ to and through all, so that glimpses of glory and goodness disclose themselves even in the midst of the wretchedness of rebellion. God still sends his sun and rain upon the just and the unjust; he still guides the surgeon’s hand and gives strength to the person who picks up the garbage; the sunset still takes our breath away, while a baby’s smile steals our hearts. Acts of kindness and self-sacrifice surface among every race and class of human beings, not because we are simple mixtures of good and evil, but because even in the midst of our deep rebellion God restrains us and displays his glory and goodness” (D.A. Carson, Christ and Culture Revisited: 49).

It’s one thing to ask God why he allows so much evil, especially to so-called good people.  It’s quite another to ask, given the extent of our depravity, why there is not more evil than there is.

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