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COVID-19 and the Problem of Evil

As Covid-19 spreads around the planet, religious people everywhere will be asking themselves the same question. If the universe is supervised by a loving God, why are such horrible things allowed to happen? After all, if God is all-powerful, He could stop a pandemic; and if He is all-good, He would surely want to. Our unease is only intensified as places of worship worldwide are shut down. The religious suddenly find themselves unable to seek God in the way they believe He has commanded them to—and at precisely the time they need Him the most.

The Problem of Evil and Higher Order Goods

Theologians and philosophers offer different solutions to this age-old puzzle. The most plausible solution has been refined over the centuries but remains essentially the same: God allows human suffering because it brings about, “higher order goods.” To give one representative example: Only if someone eventually loses his possessions in a fire does someone else have an opportunity to feel compassion and make personal sacrifices to provide for him. Suffering, in other words, provides us with opportunities to manifest various virtues and these virtues are more valuable than the uninterrupted ease, security and comfort that would prevail in a world without suffering. With this idea in mind, consider three higher order goods which the Covid-19 pandemic has made widely available.

COVID-19 and Higher Order Goods

Opportunities to Manifest Virtue

Anyone who has been reading the news lately will be aware that the pandemic has brought out the best and the worst in humanity. There are stories of people offering to do grocery runs for those most at risk, and stories of people price gouging others on toilet paper and hand sanitiser [1]. As intimately interconnected creatures with both moral awareness and free will, we are continually faced with choices that have moral consequences for others—choices to make the lives of others better or worse. And every choice we make not only affects others but helps to shape our own moral character [2].

It is a great good in itself that we should have this power of “moral self-determination”—even if we fail to exercise it for the good. To appreciate this point, it is helpful to consider the distinction between innocence and virtue. Innocence is a mere ignorance of evil; virtue requires that one has faced a significant choice between good and evil and freely chosen the good. And while innocence is good, virtue is better. Plausibly, then, a world filled with suffering in which everyone has opportunities to manifest virtue is better than a world without suffering in which no one has such opportunities. And this holds even if some of us fail to manifest virtue and instead manifest vice [3].

I think it is clear that the Covid-19 pandemic has made available many more opportunities for us to shape our moral character. The next time you browse the news, look for stories of compassion, self-sacrifice, heroism, forbearance, generosity, patience and faith—as well as stories of selfishness, indifference, cowardice, impatience and greed. This is the human soul under increased pressure to exercise its God-given faculty of moral self-determination. God does not allow us to live out our lives in a sort of moral slumber. Nor does God force us to be who He wants us to be [4]. Rather, God pays a deep respect to our personhood by continuously offering us the choice. And natural evils—earthquakes, accidents, pandemics, and so on—are the medium in which this faculty operates.

A Sharpened Awareness of Our Interconnectedness

While the precise details are still unclear, it seems probable that somewhere in Wuhan late last year a single individual contracted a novel coronavirus that would later be dubbed Covid-19. Today, the virus is spreading almost everywhere in the world and, before this is over, each country may be counting its dead in the thousands and the global economy will be on its knees.

It is interesting to reflect that this worldwide catastrophe may have begun with a few microscopic droplets of human spittle passed from patient one to patients two and three; and then from patients two and three to patients four to nine—and so on until the virus had achieved global reach. In this way, the pandemic has reminded us of our profound interconnectedness as a species; of our shared biology and vulnerability; our shared desire for self-preservation and wellbeing, and that which threatens it for all of us.

This, too, produces a higher order good: The good of having it forcefully pressed home that our wellbeing as individuals ultimately depends on the wellbeing of our fellow human beings. The threat posed by Covid-19 is therefore similar to the threat posed by the destruction of our common habitat. It is logical: Anything that threatens the ability of the human species to flourish threatens the ability of the human individual to flourish. For this reason, global threats are morally corrective: They help to correct the unfortunate human tendency to division, exclusion and conflict along national, cultural and individual lines—uniting us as a species in our fight against a common enemy and inspiring us to work towards a common good.

A Call to Spirituality

An innate habit of asking Big Questions about the meaning of life sets human beings apart as a species—it is what makes us special. But for many of us this habit remains undeveloped. Perhaps we despair of finding answers and so try to distract ourselves with superficialities—with celebrity gossip, material goods, and social media. This is what Soren Kierkegaard believed. “The philistine,” he said, “tranquillises himself with the trivial.” But in tranquillising himself, the philistine also pays a heavy price—he ignores the sacred mystery of the universe [5].

The question arises: Does suffering and death force human beings to think more deeply about the meaning of life? Reason and experience suggest that the answer is yes. Pleasure and comfort are good and our world, of course, contains generous amounts of both. But a life that offered nothing else would make many of us complacent, hedonistic, idle and shallow. The Covid-19 pandemic has shocked and frightened the world. For many, that shock and fear will force them to raise their consciousness to a higher plane—to confront questions about the ultimate meaning and purpose of their existence and so to exercise their most unique and most human faculty.

Conclusion

We must remember, finally, that God is the consummation and source of all knowledge, beauty, rationality and love lying at the heart of Ultimate Reality. An eternal love relationship with God is therefore the greatest conceivable good available to us—the highest of all the higher order goods. An event which turns our mind to God is an event that may bring about our eternal wellbeing. And in this light it is no more difficult to understand why God would allow temporary suffering than it is to understand why a parent would allow a doctor to stab their child with a needle—knowing that, after the pain and tears have subsided, the child will enjoy lifelong immunity to a dangerous pathogen.

Postscript

In closing, I need to emphasize this strongly. My heart breaks every time I read the news these days and I pray this pandemic will soon be over. Nothing I have written is meant to downplay the terrible burden of death and suffering the pandemic has placed upon the world. Nor am I suggesting that the pandemic is in some way “good.” Nor am I suggesting that God caused the pandemic. Theologians sometimes speak of God’s “perfect will” and His “permissive will”—the things He directly causes and the things He permits by sustaining in existence the processes that cause them. The pandemic surely belongs to the latter. But what I am suggesting is that the pandemic does not prove the nonexistence or indifference of God. My concern has been to show that God may have good reason for allowing widespread, but temporary, human suffering.

Ben Mines was born in Wellington, graduated from college in Auckland, and then spent almost two decades living in South Korea. Until the age of 35, he was what Andrew Klavan called a “practicing atheist”: He did not know if there was a God but lived his life on the assumption that there was not. However, in 2015 he began to study the philosophical arguments for the existence of God and the historical argument for the Resurrection of Jesus. Ultimately, he was persuaded by both. The existence of God is a subject of the profoundest imaginable importance. He is therefore committed to discussing it with others. In 2017, he finished his book “Through a Glass, Darkly” which sets out the rational grounds for Christian theism; later that same year, he began to write for Thinking Matters.


  1.  Other stories include as-yet-uninfected millionaires trying to buy ventilators for themselves; a 7 year old boy using his savings to buy coronavirus care packages for seniors; students ignoring health officials and partying in the streets; and four people offering themselves as a test subjects for a vaccine—without any animal trials. There are, of course, many, many more.
  2. These changes are accumulative and lasting. As Oxford professor of philosophy Richard Swinburne notes, humans are so made that when we choose to do good, it becomes slightly easier to choose to do good again at the next opportunity; and when we choose to do evil, it becomes slightly easier to choose to do evil again at the next opportunity. In this way, over time, we are able to freely change the desires that influence us and form either a good or a bad character. Emerson put the point more pithily when he said, “Sew a thought, reap an action; sew an action, reap a habit; sew a habit, reap a character; sew a character, reap an eternal destiny.”
  3. It is tempting to think that God could give us moral freedom of choice and prevent wrongdoing. But it makes no difference to my moral character whether I A) give my coat to a shivering foreigner or B) invite him into my house for hot soup if these are my only possible choices. Without the possibility of wrongdoing—ignoring the foreigner, or robbing him, or whatever—my choice is morally insignificant.
  4. In a like case, it is good that parents should give one child the significant responsibility of looking after his or her younger siblings even if this entails a risk. A world in which children are taught responsibility by their parents—even though this sometimes results in harm—is better than a world in which parents never give their children responsibility and, as a result, the risk of harm is removed.
  5.  Kierkegaard’s fine phrase is quoted and discussed by Ernst Becker in The Denial of Death.

Destroying and Annoying: Why would God create mosquitos, viruses, and bacteria?

“Ask the animals, and they will teach you, or the birds of the air, and they will tell you; or speak to the earth, and it will teach you, or let the fish of the sea inform you. Which of these does not know that the hand of the Lord has done this? In his hand is the life of every creature and the breath of all mankind.” (Job 12:7-10)

As a Christian biologist I’m often asked: “Why would God make creatures that only destroy and annoy?” I myself have struggled with this question, especially just after being nipped by a particularly mouthy horsefly. I once asked this question to a Christian medical doctor and her response was simply, “I guess God gave Satan his own paintbrush.” Her response grieved me even more than my question had. Surely the Prince of Darkness was not co-Creator of our world, but the Prince of Peace. Yet the death and suffering we observe due to a myriad of seemingly evil micro-critters bids us seek an answer. This article will explore the trifecta of organisms most well-known for their destruction and annoyance of the human race; namely, mosquitos, viruses, and bacteria.

MOSQUITOS

Mosquitos are positively ubiquitous. They live 8,000 feet high in the Himalayan mountains, and deep below sea level in the California desert. As recently as 1870, the idea that a mosquito could kill was considered preposterous. Today we understand that a million people die each year from malaria alone. Dengue fever (which I have personally enjoyed, along with malaria), Zika virus, Chikunguya, and others have resulted in countless lives lost. If God chose to make mosquitos, why on earth? Our answer lies in the mosquito’s natural history.

Females perch daintily on the surface of the water and lay eggs in two long rows. The eggs bow upwards at the ends, giving it the appearance of a tiny canoe made of pearls. When the eggs hatch, mosquito larvae serve to clean the water of their aqueous habitat because they eat detritus (waste material). Larvae also feed on fallen bug carcasses, thus cleaning the surface of the water. While larvae benefit aqueous ecosystems, most of our qualms with mosquitos have to do with this stage: the successful production of offspring.

Interestingly, most mosquitos will never bother you. There are more than 3,000 species of mosquitos, but only 200 bite humans. It’s important to realize that, as a rule of thumb, only the females bite, and only when they are reproducing. It is estimated that only one in a million mosquitos at a given time will bite. Females need protein to make eggs, and without a blood meal they will be unable to reproduce. Male mosquitos are usually purely nectarivorous. Females also stick to nectar when they are not trying to produce eggs. This drinking of nectar is very important ecologically, as mosquitos are major plant pollinators. In fact, some plants are only pollinated by mosquitos! Also, mosquitos are basically little buzzing candies. Birds, frogs and fish enjoy eating those sugar-packed insects.

Mosquitos have benefited science in many ways, the most major being the design of their proboscis. This has inspired scientists to design less-painful hypodermic needles. Work is also being done on insertion guides for placing electrodes into the brain, and a study of mosquito saliva to determine its special properties.

VIRUSES

Everywhere we find life, we find viruses, and in staggering abundance. 1 mL of ocean water contains about 100 million virus particles. Estimates indicate there are 1031 viruses on Earth. If we could weigh all the viruses on Earth, they would equal the weight of 75 million blue whales. At the offset, this sounds like a major concern. Indeed, viruses like influenza, herpes and measles kill 10 people every hour globally . Yet virologist AJ Roberts writes: “The vast majority of viruses on planet Earth are not associated with disease or suffering. In fact, they are critical for sustaining balance in Earth’s ecological webs.”

But just how do viruses provide this delicate balance of Earth’s ecology? At every level, it would seem. Bacteriophage, for instance, help keep our bodies’ microbiomes in balance so that we don’t become overrun by bacteria.

Also, the next time you enjoy a gentle rainstorm, thank a virus. We would not have the same precipitation cycle without them!

Aerosoled viruses hang out in the upper atmosphere and help create nucleation (clustering) to initiate precipitation. Viruses are also essential for our ocean ecology. Viruses split open 40-50 percent of the bacteria in Earth’s oceans on a daily basis, releasing gobs of organic molecules into the food chain for other organisms to survive on.

The vast majority of virus activity has a symbiotic effect . These viruses help plants, insects, and many other organisms to survive under otherwise impossible environmental conditions. Certain viruses even protect plants from the infection of detrimental viruses.

Viruses have enabled us to make leaps and bounds in science. At least 15 Nobel Prizes have been awarded for research based on virus-dependent work. Viruses were used to discover the triplet base codon nature of the genetic code, RNA splicing, and tumor suppressor genes. The virus used in the polio vaccine helped lessen global cases from over 350,000/yr in 1988 to less than 500/yr in 2013. Today viruses are used to fight cancers, genetic illnesses, and chronic infectious diseases.

As AJ Roberts said: “Although a few viruses are remarkably bad, we dare not put all viruses in that category. In fact, life as we know it would not be possible…without the vast array of viruses that fill the planet.”

BACTERIA

Similar to the viruses and mozzies, we are often only aware of the detrimental ramifications of bacteria. ‘Bad’ bacteria are extremely bad, especially when they are resistant to antibiotics. According to the CDC, at least 2 million people in the U.S. are infected with antibiotic-resistant bacteria every year, leading to the death of at least 23,000 people.

Yet, on the whole, bacteria are key organisms in biogeochemical and metabolic processes. They play an essential role in the earth’s biodiversity, both on terra firma and in aqueous environs.

We have found extensive populations in the Arctic and the Antarctic, and everywhere in between. Bacteria appear wherever other organisms are, and they are sometimes found where there is no other evidence of life. Bacteria are essential for human existence. In fact, there are 10 times more microbial cells than human cells inside a human being. So in a sense, you are more bacteria than you are human! But don’t think about that too much or it might make your stomach hurt. And speaking of your stomach, the highest numbers of microbial species in a human are found in your gut. Helpful strains of E.coli and Streptococcus aid in digestion, stave off harmful pathogens, and help develop the immune system. The disruption of gut bacteria has been linked to many disease conditions. We are dependent on the services of commensal bacteria for not just digestion, but for many aspects of our health.

CONCLUSION

We have much to learn about mosquitos, viruses, and bacteria. The hand of God crafted each of these creatures with a lovely purpose. We can solidly say of this trifecta, as God said, “It is good”. Yet we can also see the destruction they cause and say, “It is fallen”. This sinful, broken world is not as it should be. But if we look close enough, we still see God’s fingerprints on the gently buzzing mosquito, the wandering virus, and the fastidious little bacterium.

WORKS CITED

Burnie, D., & Wilson, D. E. (2005). Animal: The definitive visual guide to the world’s
wildlife. Washington, D.C.: Smithsonian Institution.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (U.S.). (2000). Centers for Disease
Control and Prevention. Atlanta, GA: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Corno, G., Modenutti, B. E., Callieri, C., Balseiro, E. G., Bertoni, R., & Caravatia, E. (July
01, 2009). Bacterial diversity and morphology in deep ultraoligotrophic Andean lakes: The role of UVR on vertical distribution. Limnology and Oceanography, 54, 4, 1098-1112

Fazale, R., Roberts, A., & Zweering, J. (2018). Building Bridges: Presentations on RTB’s
Testable Creation Model.

Guarner, F., & Malagelada, J.-R. (February 01, 2003). Gut flora in health and
disease. The Lancet, 361, 9356, 512-519.

Relman, D. A. (June 01, 2012). Learning about who we are. Nature, 486, 7402, 194-
195.

Spielman, A., & D’Antonio, M. (2004). Mosquito: The story of man’s deadliest foe. New
York: Hyperion.

Thien, L.B. (1969), MOSQUITO POLLINATION OF HABENARIA OBTUSATA
(ORCHIDACEAE). American Journal of Botany, 56: 232-237.

Turnbaugh, P. J., Ley, R. E., Hamady, M., Fraser-Liggett, C. M., Knight, R., & Gordon, J. I.
(October 01, 2007). The Human Microbiome Project. Nature, 449, 7164, 804-810.

Tyler, A. D., Smith, M. I., & Silverberg, M. S. (January 01, 2014). Analyzing the human
microbiome: a “how to” guide for physicians. The American Journal of Gastroenterology, 109, 7, 983-93.

World Health Organization. (2016). World Health Organization publications:
Catalogue. Geneva: The Organization.

Xiao-Feng, Z., Jiangbo, G., Xiuchun, Z., Tea, M. (October 20, 2015). Random Plant Viral
Variants Attain Temporal Advantages During Systemic Infections and in Turn Resist other Variants of the Same Virus. Scientific Reports, 5.

Zimmer, C. (2015). A planet of viruses. Chicago : The University of Chicago Press

Zobell, C. (1942). Bacteria of the Marine World. The Scientific Monthly, 55(4), 320-
330. Retrieved from www.jstor.org/stable/17937

If God Commands Something Evil, Does That Make it Right?

Many Christians believe that we have a moral obligation to obey what God commands. Since God commands us not to murder or commit adultery (Exodus 20:13-14), we are obligated not to do those things. Since God commands us to love our neighbours as we love ourselves (Matt 22:39), we have a duty to do just that. In fact, many Christian theologians and philosophers take this notion a step further, arguing that our moral duties are actually rooted in God’s commands.

Christopher Hitchens, Atheism, and Evil

Douglas Wilson, writing at The Gospel Coalition, discusses Christopher Hitchen’s recent Slate article on 9/11:

[pk_box width=”600″ align=”none” text_align=””]All this is Hitchens doing what Hitchens does best, and he does it for most of his article. And then, fulfilling the promise of the title (“Simply Evil”), he veers into incoherence at the very end when he only had about two column inches to go. It was like watching a bicycling Tour de Something rider, 50 yards ahead of the nearest competitor, anticipate the finish line by raising both hands above his head, at which point he triumphantly bites it.

“The regimes of Saddam Hussein and Kim Jong Il and Mahmoud Ahmadinejad fully deserve to be called ‘evil.’”

Evil? Since the 2009 publication of God is Not Great, Christopher Hitchens has spent a great deal of energy trying to persuade all of us that the idea of God is a false and pernicious one. But now he ups and calls these bad guys . . . evil. Given the premises, what might the definition of that be? Who determines what is evil and why? By what standard? But there may be a wiggle-room word in there. Hitchens only said they deserve to be called evil. But that generates the same questions. By whom? And whoever that person is, how did he wind up in charge of our moral lexicon?

We have to grow up, Hitchens has said. We have to reject outmoded concepts. We have to get rid of the idea that there is a God in heaven, telling us the difference between right and wrong. But if these things be true, then there are other things that follow. For some reason, Hitchens is willing to affirm the premises but will not own any of the obvious conclusions. You cannot throw away your suitcase at the beginning of your journey, and then, as you are nearing the end of the trip, pull out all the things that you packed in it. There may be shrewd ways of avoiding baggage handling fees, but that’s not one of them.

If there is no God, then Saddam Hussein, Kim Jong Il, and Mahmoud Ahmadinejad have no God. But if they have no God, then it follows that Hitchens is not their god either. And if Hitchens is not their god, why should they care what he calls them? There is no god, and Hitchens is not his prophet.

Evil? Unless such men are treated as evil men, there is no justice. And if there is no actual justice (not paper justice, not name-calling justice, but actual justice), then there really is no such thing as evil. If there is no such thing as final justice, then how can we manage to define the concept of injustice? Hitchens wants to call them evil after they are largely out of ear shot. Let us all agree to call Stalin evil. On Hitchens’s account of things, does Stalin care?

Hitchens may counter that he fully intends to fight them. He fully intends to treat them as evil, and his article was a call to arms. All right then. Is evil then determined by who wins that fight? Does this fight have a referee? Is there a rulebook? Who wrote it?”[/pk_box]

And his conclusion:

[pk_box width=”600″ align=”none” text_align=””]I for one am glad that Hitchens wants to repudiate the big lies. I am glad that he stands against vicious totalitarian ideas. Thus far I can applaud him. But in order to stand against anything, however obviously bad it is, you must have something to stand on.[/pk_box]

Read the whole thing here.

Tauranga Event: Faith & Reason in a Broken World

This weekend, Christian Philosopher Trent Dougherty will be in Tauranga to speak at two events on the problem of evil and suffering.

Here are the details:

SATURDAY 9th July – 7pm: Faith & Reason in the face of Evil and Suffering
Bethlehem Community Church, 183 Moffat Rd, Bethlehem, Tauranga
What reasons can the Christian Faith give when faced with the horrendous evil we see in the world around us?  In this lecture Trent will give guidelines for the integration of faith and reason and how they apply to the problem of evil and suffering.

SUNDAY 10th July – 7pm: Exposing Atheistic Naturalism’s Answer to Evil
Bethlehem Community Church, 183 Moffat Rd, Bethlehem, Tauranga
Atheists claim that naturalism (the view that only matter, energy and time exist – with no God intervening from the outside) gives a better explanation of suffering in the world.  But in this lecture Trent will show that at every turn, naturalism’s attempt to answer the problem of evil and suffering backfires.

Both events are free, but donations are welcome.

Trent Dougherty is the Assistant Professor of Philosophy at Baylor University in the US.  He has a PhD in Philosophy of Religion, Epistemology and Probability Theory from the University of Rochester and an MA in Philosophy from the University of Missouri-Columbia.  He has published articles and book reviews in many journals including Religious Studies Review, Notre Dame Philosophical Review, Philosophia Christi and many others.

 

John Lennox on God, Christchurch, and the Problem of Pain

Howick Baptist has made available the video and audio from Professor John Lennox’s  sermon at their Sunday service. Read more

Ten Reasons for Pro-Life Optimism

Trevin Wax offers ten reasons why those of us who believe unborn children deserve human rights can be encouraged:

10. Recent Polls
9. Abortion’s Treatment on Television and in Movies
8. The Revulsion to Sex-Selection Abortion
7. The Exposing of Planned Parenthood’s Corruption
6. Planned Parenthood’s Recent Talking Points
5. Abortion as a “Tragic Choice”
4. Young People
3. Ultrasound Technology and Pregnancy Support Centers
2. The Third Wave
1. God Hears

Read the whole post and his explanation of each point here.

The Resurrection Effect

“The message of the Resurrection is that this present world matters; that the problems and pains of this present world matter; that the living God has made a decisive bridgehead into this present world with his healing and all-conquering love; and that, in the name of this strong love, all the evils, all the injustices, and all the pains of the present world must now be addressed with the news that healing, justice, and love have won the day. That’s why we pray: “Thy kingdom come, on earth as it is in heaven.” Make no bones about it: Easter Day was the first great answer to that prayer.

If Easter faith is simply about believing that God has a nice comfortable afterlife for some or all of us, then Christianity becomes a mere pie-in-the-sky religion instead of a kingdom-on-earth-as-it-is-in-heaven religion. If Easter faith is simply about believing that Jesus is risen in some “spiritual” sense, leaving his body in the tomb, then Christianity turns into a let-the-world-stew-in-its-own-juice religion, instead of a kingdom-on-earth-as-it-is-in-heaven religion. If Easter faith is only about me, and perhaps you, finding a new dimension to our own personal spiritual lives in the here and now, then Christianity becomes simply a warmth-in-the-heart religion instead of a kingdom-on-earth-as-it-is-in-heaven religion. It becomes focused on me and my survival, my sense of God, my spirituality, rather than outwards on God and on God’s world that still needs the kingdom message so badly.

But if Jesus Christ is truly risen from the dead, Christianity becomes what the New Testament insists that it is: good news for the whole world, news that warms our hearts precisely because it isn’t just about warming hearts. The living God has in principle dealt with evil once and for all, and is now at work, by his own Spirit, to do for us and the whole world what he did for Jesus on that first Easter Day.”

NT Wright, Grave Matters, Christianity Today 4/06/1998.

Evil and the Evidence for God

“No argument from evil I am aware of makes it likely or even reasonable to believe there is no God. Evil cannot carry that evidential load. But suppose I’m wrong. Suppose evil is evidence to think God does not exist. Does it follow that it’s reasonable to believe there is no God?

Let’s approach this question by way of analogy. Suppose you learn in your European Culture class today that 95 percent of the French population can’t swim. That statistic is some evidence to think that Pierre, your friend from Paris, can’t swim. Does it follow that you should believe Pierre can’t swim? Of course not. What if you and Pierre spent last Saturday afternoon together swimming and chatting about the fine-tuning argument and Albert Camus’ The Plague? Surely, in that case, it isn’t reasonable for you to believe Pierre can’t swim. Your experience with him is much better evidence to think he can swim even though the statistical evidence by itself makes it very likely that he cannot.

The same goes with evil and God. Even if evil is some evidence that there is no God, you might have much better evidence to think that God exists; in that case, it wouldn’t be reasonable for you to believe there is no God.

This line of thought naturally leads to some weighty questions not the least of which are these: Is the evidence for God significantly better than the evidence that evil provides against God? What sources of evidence are there? How should we balance the evidence for and against theism?”

Daniel Howard-Snyder, “God, Evil, and Suffering” in Reason for the Hope Within edited by Michael J. Murray (William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company) page 114.