I have argued that God has created everything ; the doctrine of “ex nihilo” underpins everything Christians believe about God. So, there is a logical need to ask why that included the possibility of evil? This applies even if we put the blame for evil acts on fallen beings like Satan, evil spirits and mankind himself.

High power theologians like Augustine and Aquinas were keen to point out that there is a huge difference in nature between God and creation, what we call an “ontological” difference. Because creation is not God, and because God grants creation an inherent freedom, it is bound to have aspects which are not perfect or eternal. These may be evil, or appear evil to us because they sometimes have bad effects on us.

So much of what we see is not inherently evil but can cause suffering.  An example would be a earthquake, which comes about because of a necessary part of the created order that requires tectonic plates movement. For various reasons this is fundamental to life, but we don’t like it when we get in the way of one. Another example is the sun. We need its light, warmth and other things, but exactly the same physical phenomena that enable us to live can also cause UV over-exposure. This not only gives us sunburn but can be life threatening through the premature aging of the skin, suppression of the immune system, skin cancer and damage to the eyes. Even something as basic as gravity, essential to the way things exist in our universe, becomes a evil from our perspective when we fall from a great height or something falls on our head.

This is just a way of looking at evil from the stance of simple perspective, namely that good things do not always suit our needs. Ultimately this includes death itself.  The “last enemy” as Paul called it (1 Corinthians 15:26 ), prevents the planet that we know from becoming overcrowded and untenable. This will remain true for as long as we live according to the physical laws that God has currently put in place here. These are painful things to us, but having a good perspective on natural evil helps us appreciate the world more and be appreciative of its beauty and preciousness , instead of majoring on its imperfections and hardships.