Chuck and Aaron talk about the difference between a Christian and non-Christian definition of evil. Almost all people believe in evil – that there are things that violate ultimate value. Both groups, in this sense, use the word evil in this same way. The difference is that the values by which both groups judge an event to be evil or not is drastically different. For Christians, the character of God is the most deeply held value, while for our culture pleasure, or materialism, or individual sovereignty are examples of popular ultimate values. In fact, while Christians and non-Christians will frequently agree that certain things are evil (racism, for instance), they will have quite different reasons for believing in why that is evil. For non-Christians, racism is frequently seen as wrong because it violates individual freedom, but Christians hold that racism is wrong because it violates the image of God. Another example is the question of abortion: typically both pro-choice and pro-life arguments work from the basis of human rights, or individual sovereignty. But a Christian argument for life begins with God’s love for his own image. So in fact, individual sovereignty – far from being a legitimate criteria for evil – is itself the primal sin of the garden of Eden. Evil is not, then, a concept; it is instead something experienced by fallen human beings for asserting their individual sovereignty and rebelling against their creator. But evil can be conquered, Christians insist, because the ultimate good – the character of God embodied in Jesus, has died and risen from the dead, becoming the Lord of the universe, and is conquering evil.


Aaron Mueller
Chuck Rathert