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Marilyn McCord Adams on Redemptive Suffering

The late Marilyn McCord Adams was an exemplary Christian philosophers. Here is a selection from her essay Redemptive Suffering as a Christian Solution to the Problem of Evil.

The Vision of God and the Problem of Evil

Human beings were made to be happy enjoying a “face-toface” intimacy with God … and it is that to which the saints look forward in heaven. By contrast, hell will be some sort of existence entirely bereft of God’s presence. Unbelievers may find this latter point difficult to credit, since they deny the existence of God and yet find in the world as it is many goods to be enjoyed and satisfactions to be taken. A Christian will not be surprised at human pleasure in things here below, because he insists that the whole earth is full of the glory of God. When we appreciate a beautiful mountain scene or immerse ourselves in Mozart or are lost in a Cezanne painting, we are experiencing God shining through the mask of his creatures. When humans share deep, satisfying intimacy, part of the joy they taste is God in the middle of it. And this is so whether or not he is recognized there. Since ordinary human experience is thus “Godinfested,” we are in no position to imagine the horror of a creation in which he was entirely hidden from view.

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