How I Respond to the Problem of Evil

By Penn-Noble

One of the most common objections to Christianity, if not the most common objection to Christianity, is an argument that we now call the problem of evil.

Whenever I have conversations about the existence of God with others, it’s rare that this question doesn’t come up. The question, of course, is this: “How can an all-powerful, all-good, and all-loving God allow evil and suffering?” The question is typically launched at the Christian God, Who claims all of these characteristics for Himself.

As a Christian, I believe in an all-powerful, all-good, and all-loving God, and I am also aware that there is more suffering in the world than we can even comprehend. What people want to know is how I can possibly reconcile the idea that this sort of a God exists and yet there is still evil?

At first glance, the argument looks pretty air tight. Christians are often told by those who aren’t Christians that the God of the Bible cannot exist because if He is all-powerful, then He could stop all of the evil and suffering in the world.

Yet miscarriages still happen. Wars still take place. People still die of disease. There is so much suffering. It seems so unfair.

The question than becomes how can God be all-good and all-loving if He is clearly able to stop evil and He doesn’t.

Or it can be argued the other way around. Perhaps God is all-good and all-loving. Then He can’t be all-powerful because there is still evil and suffering. Maybe, then, God is all-good and all-loving but He is just not capable of putting a full stop to evil.

Therefore, it is argued, since the God of the Bible must have all three of these attributes: all-powerful, all-good, and all-loving, then the God of the Bible must not exist in the first place.

It’s worth noting here that logically speaking, this argument cannot rule out the existence of a creator of the universe in general. It only attempts to rule out certain ideas for who that creator of the universe is, if there is one at all.

Now, having been a Christian my whole life, I’ve lost count of the amount of times I’ve heard this argument made. Thus, I’ve had at least fifteen years to think this through. After years of analysis, I still don’t believe it holds water.

Here’s why.

The Problem with the Problem of Evil

As mentioned above, the argument claims that an all-powerful, all-good, and all-loving God would never allow evil and suffering to take place.

The problem is that there is no possible way that anyone could know this. When we’re talking about the God of the Bible, we need to add another attribute to the picture that the Bible makes very clear. It’s that God is all-knowing.

Now, we need to ask ourselves the question: If God is all-powerful and all-knowing, meaning that He has infinite wisdom, why would I jump to the conclusion that He doesn’t have any morally sufficient reasons for permitting evil that I as a finite being just don’t see right now? Is it reasonable to believe that just because I don’t know why God does anything means that He doesn’t exist?

Philosophers and theologians have proposed many ideas as to why God allows evil and suffering. However, while there have been many reasonable explanations for why God may do so, the fact of the matter is that finite humans are in no place to say that God doesn’t exist simply because we don’t understand the way He thinks all of the time.

In fact, if we did perfectly understand how God thinks, then we may actually have reason to be suspicious of the God of the Bible. Does it really seem logical to suggest that finite human beings such as ourselves would always agree with a God that has infinite knowledge and wisdom?

Skeptics may charge that the idea of a God with infinite knowledge and wisdom is absurd, but that is a post for another time. Suffice it to say that I believe there are reasonable answers to this objection. Right now, I am simply evaluating the problem of evil on its own merits. If we grant that God is infinitely wise and has infinite knowledge, than we should expect our finite minds to disagree with Him at least from time to time. After all, it doesn’t seem very reasonable to me to disagree with the One Who gave you the ability to disagree in the first place.

With that said, we have established that under no circumstance can we really know that God has no morally sufficient reason for allowing suffering and evil in the world. God even says this Himself when speaking to Job in the Bible.

If you’re not familiar with the story of Job, he was a wealthy man and a servant of God that had just about everything he wanted. That is until God allowed Satan to destroy nearly everything Job had, took away his health, and his children. Job went through all of this without the proper support of his wife, who gave him some very bad advice throughout the time of suffering.

Eventually, Job questioned as to why God would allow all of this to happen to him. Note, it wasn’t the question itself that was wrong, but it was that Job was accusing God of wrongdoing,

God responds to Job’s questioning:

“Who is this that darkens my counsel with words without knowledge? Brace yourself like a man; I will question you, and you shall answer me. Where were you when I laid the earth’s foundation? Tell me, if you understand. Who marked off its dimensions? Surely you know! Who stretched a measuring line across it?…” (Job 38:2-5)

God spends quite a bit of time making statements like this to Job, until we finally get to chapter 40, when God finishes by saying:

“Will the one who contends with the almighty correct him? Let him who accuses God answer him!” (Job 40:1-2)

Job soon realizes that he has spoken to God wrongfully. God’s point was very clear: Why would you question the competency of the One Who knows all things and created all things?

The Solution to Evil

Many people are so intent on wondering why God allows for evil that they don’t think about the fact that God provided an ultimate solution for it.

We don’t know fully why God allowed for evil, but we do know how it got here. We can trace that all the way back to Genesis chapter three, where Adam and Eve, the two first humans, rebelled against God.

We sinned in Adam, and we sin every single day. We violate God’s law. Therefore, we deserve God’s wrath. This is the explanation for why there’s death and suffering in the world. A world in rebellion against God is a world that isn’t safe.

Therefore, God provided a solution for us. Instead of giving us what we deserve, which is the wrath and judgment of God, God sent His Son Jesus to take on that punishment for us. In essence, God took His own wrath upon Himself so that we wouldn’t have to. He did so by dying on the cross and rising from the dead three days later.

This gives us hope because we know that Jesus not only paid our fine for us so that we could go free without punishment, but Jesus’ resurrection indicates that Christ has conquered death.

Jesus offers this free gift of salvation to anyone who will receive it. (John 3:16) God’s wrath is coming for those who stay in rebellion against Him, but for those who accept His free gift He will give eternal life. (John 5:24)

God will come and He will establish a place for us where there is no more evil and no more suffering. (Revelation 21:4) This will be the end of the problem of evil.

With this in mind we must understand that we need not deny the existence of God just because we do not fully understand Him. We need only realize that there are good reasons to believe in Him, and that when God reveals Himself to us, we can trust Him despite all of the evil that exists in this world.

I think that the failure to consider these factors when examining the problem of evil would be rightly considered intellectual suicide. Let us instead think reasonably about these matters. That is when, I believe, we will come to a knowledge of the truth.

Should Science and Theology Be Separated?

By Penn-Noble

Science has been defined as the systematic study of the natural world, and rightly so. That is a generally agreed-upon definition and there’s nothing particularly controversial about that. However, there is disagreement over whether that definition excludes any consideration of the “supernatural.”

Now, when I say there is disagreement, I don’t mean amongst scientists, although there are those that dissent from the general consensus. I’m referring to virtually everyone who thinks about issues relating to faith and science. Science and religion have, over the past couple of centuries, been knocking on each other’s doors. The question is whether or not that should be the case.

The belief is that science deals in the realm of natural explanations. It carries natural explanations as to why people have different physical traits or natural explanations concerning how and why the weather changes. Yet, the moment one invokes a higher power or a miracle, it ceases to be science. This is even believed amongst religious people.

I take issue with this perspective for a few reasons.

I think that this view of science and theology comes the acidic destruction of post-modern philosophy, which causes many to see scientific truths as objectively true and grounded in reality, whereas religious truths are more abstract, “personal truths.” I can’t be certain as to whether or not this false dichotomy was influenced by the influence of eastern mysticism that crept into the west in the twentieth century. That seems like a plausible factor because when one examines the major world religions, there is only one religion that claims to base its theology on a historical event, and that is Christianity.1

Christianity claims that it is grounded in reality, and that certain facts are objectively true. Additionally, the Bible recounts events in history that we would expect to impact our scientific findings: The most obvious example being the flood of Noah’s day. That impacts what we see in the fossil record. The vast majority of our fossils, including fossils on top of every major mountain range, has been laid down by water.

Then of course you have the fact that we know that there is only one race of humans because everyone descends from Adam and Eve. In psychology we expect what we learn about mental health and human flourishing to align with what the Scriptures say about us.

The fact of the matter is that the as long as we are talking about evidence and truth claims, theology and science, while two different disciplines, are not completely separate from each other. If we are studying creation, we should expect questions about the Creator to come up.

That said, I think that the relationship between science and theology should be considered by Christians. It is difficult to study the world around us and not bring our study of God and His Word with us. In fact, it should be the very foundation of our study of the world.

God created this world. Let’s give thanks to Him as Creator and Lord and give Him the glory that He deserves.


  1. One could make the argument that Islam bases itself on the historic event of Muhammad experiencing revelations centuries ago. However, there is no real way to test this as Muhammad’s claims must be accepted on faith. It may also be argued that Mormonism is based on god revealing himself to Joseph Smith. However, this religion suffers from the same problem. Smith was to be taken at his word for what was “revealed” to him.

Books That I Recommend That Have Strengthened My Faith

By Penn-Noble

I am thankful to live in a time and place where I have access to all sorts of great resources to strengthen and deepen my walk with Christ. I constantly have to repent for not taking enough advantage of them. That said, I wanted to compile a list of books that have deepened my relationship with Christ the most. Here they are:

When being good isn’t good enough by Steve Brown. This book really helped me during a time when I was struggling with the concept of grace. I can’t recommend it more highly.

The Holiness of God by R.C. Sproul. Reading this changed my thinking in so many ways, and it provides solid, biblical, well-defended answers to difficult questions in a way that is so easy to understand.

The Insanity of God by Nik Ripken. This book is more of a narrative than anything else, but the stories are so encouraging and the message is absolutely vital for us to grasp. I don’t want to give anything away, because this is a must-read. There is also a documentary for it if reading is not your thing.

AHA by Kyle Idleman. I love Pastor Idleman and the way he communicates the Word of God to such a diverse audience. He manages to dive deep into the Scriptures with a Jesus-centered focus. I would recommend any resource he puts out, but this is the only book of his that I have read.

Seeing and Savoring Jesus Christ by John Piper. Of all of the books on this list that I’ve mentioned, this is probably the one that I recommend the most. I like to refer to this book as a spiritual defibrillator. It felt as though my heart was being shocked back into a state of peace and joy that I hadn’t felt for a while.

Just Do Something by Kevin DeYoung. This is a great book if you’re like me and you have trouble staying committed to decisions that you’ve made, or you are not great at making decisions at all. This is a biblical approach to making important decisions in your life, and it is one that has been crucial for me in my spiritual growth.

The Doctrine of the Word of God by John Frame. This one is a tad bit more academic in nature, but I think it is definitely worth reading. It was this book, along with many others, that really helped me to see the power that the Word of God has, and how God can do amazing things in someone’s life through His Word.

The Pilgrim’s Progress by John Bunyan. This book is not your typical book, but it is rich with helpful, encouraging biblical truth. It is a book that I highly recommend. There is a great movie based on the book as well. Although I will have to warn you that some of the language and imagery used are pretty odd. Still, I and many others have found it profoundly helpful.

A Rare Gift: In Honor of My Father

By Penn-Noble

Over the past few years, it has been common for me to hear this from people.

“I found my first playboy under my dad’s bed.”

“Dad let me try my first beer at seven years old.”

“My dad was pretty absent growing up.”

We live in a world where men have become children. We live in a world where men don’t act like men. We live in a world where is hard to be a man.

That’s why I want to recognize right here and right now just how grateful I am that my father is a man of God.

If you have a godly father, celebrate that gift.

He has embodied godly leadership in our home. At the same time, he has exhibited gentleness towards us, and not abused the leadership responsibilities that God has entrusted with him.

It was from my father that I learned to love God and love others.

It was from my father that I learned to let my perspective on all matters be shaped by the Word of God.

It was from my father that I learned to see humans as people to be loved and not objects to be used.

It’s like I said before, it is a rare gift to have a father like the one that I have. It is with this thankfulness that I want to say thank you dad, and happy father’s day!

One-Line Summaries of Musicals

By Penn-Noble

I’ve been watching and listening to the soundtracks of musicals for about eight years now, and I have my middle school English teacher to thank for that. She was the one who introduced me to the show that got me interested interests in musicals in the first place.

I’ve also been in a considerable number of them. Therefore, it is fair to say that musicals have been a huge part of my life.

In light of this, I thought that I would go through the various musicals that I’ve either seen or listened to and offer a one-line summary of all of them. If you want to know which musicals you might like to see and which you do not, then this is the right place for you. These are my one-line summaries of the musicals that I’ve engaged with:

Wicked-Be nice to your roommate.

Sound of Music-Wait, what religion is Maria again?

The Music Man-Your kids are going morally insane and music will fix that.

School of Rock-Your kids are boring and music will fix that.

Joseph and the Amazing Technicolored Dreamcoat-I’m confused. Is God in this story or not?

Lion King-It’s amazing what a little face paint can do.

Mary Poppins-How to exceed the expectations of your boss and tick him off at the same time.

Hamilton-A show performed by Democrats celebrating the Federalist defeat of the Democrats.

Be More Chill-If someone dares you to swallow a computer chip, don’t do it.

The Book of Mormon-Bad philosophical arguments put to catchy music…also Olaf was in it.

Newsies-Inflation impacts kids too.

Frozen-Isolating your children can cause trauma, but could potentially solve climate change.

Encanto-Bruno will not be silenced.

Mamma Mia-Solving a problem caused by fornication with more fornication and getting drunk.

Beetlejuice the musical– Possession not depression.

Aladdin-Is Robin Williams in this version?

Hairspray-A show named after a hair product but is actually about racial tension.

Legally Blonde-Anyone can get into Harvard.

The Greatest Showman-P.T. Barnum would love this movie…that is if he financially benefitted from it.

Les Miserables-The best show in world history.

Goodbye, Disney. A Former Disney Fanatic’s Letter of Resignation from the Fan Club

By Penn-Noble

Disney, you have been a huge part of my life. It may sound odd to sound this sentimental towards a company such as Disney, but to be honest, many of my interests, hobbies, inspirations, and aspirations have been formed by it. Growing up, Walt Disney was always one of my heroes. I always admired how big his dreams were, and I always admired his commitment to doing what seemed impossible to many.

One of the many virtues that I gleaned from Walt Disney was having the ability to persevere in the face of major adversity and to stand his ground even when no one else believed that his goals were impossible.

It is upon this virtue that I must stand by saying that Disney, it is time for us to part ways.

I draw the line when it comes to child abuse. (Yes, it is child abuse.) I will not and cannot support you on the hill that you’ve chosen to stand on. You have chosen to use your power to manipulate those who lack the proper intellectual and moral faculties to know better. You have chosen to use your power to manipulate the young and naive into supporting evil. Disney, I am twenty-three years old. I am the demographic you are targeting. I am not falling for it.

Just as I parted ways with Netflix when they engaged in child exploitation, so too will I part ways with you, until you decide to turn yourselves around and use your powers for good instead of evil.

I believe in you. You are better than this Disney.

Until then Disney, this is goodbye. I hope to see ya real soon.

Sincerely and with a broken heart,


We Are Almost There: A Call to Prepare for Another Historic Battle

By Penn-Noble

We’ve been through a lot in the United States of America. As a country, I am thankful that we have been so successful in fighting many of the different evils that we have been guilty of over the years.

We put slavery to rest in the 1800s. Nowadays, neither the government nor your average citizen sympathizes with holding people captive as slaves, which is a massive victory that we should celebrate.

While it’s unfortunate that racism is still a part of society, we have to admit that we have made tremendous progress in fighting it. Indeed, segregation laws were put to rest decades ago, and now much of the hostility between people of different skin colors has melted away.

Women have had their voting rights recognized by the government and are allowed to make of their lives as they please.

Workers are getting the rights and safety precautions they need while performing labor.

We have accomplished a lot and have done away with much evil. However, we’re not finished yet.

We are on the brink of yet another fight against evil that will change the United States forever. It is something so momentous that we dare not miss it. For the first time in decades, the 1973 decision concerning Roe v. Wade will be overturned, and that, I believe, is worth our attention.

Let’s not think that this will mean the end of abortion. Not at all. Abortion will still be present after Roe v. Wade. However, it will be less common, as it is likely that twenty-six states will ban abortion altogether.

I guarantee you that once this Supreme Court decision is made, the debate will flare up like never before. This is our chance to defend human life. I want to issue a challenge to all who are pro-life: Get ready.

Get ready to defend human life in the womb. Educate yourself and train yourself to be able to respond to those who defend abortion. Consult the best resources. Together, I believe we can make this the beginning of a new fight against infanticide (abortion) and accomplish things we never have before.

I believe that together, we put abortion in the same category as women’s inability to vote and slavery. Meaning that it will be in the past. Every abortion that happens will be in the minority, but the government and most citizens will see it as the horrible thing that it really is.

If you want some resources to help prepare you to talk with pro-choice advocates, here is a good place to start:

One of My Greatest Blessings: A Tribute to My Mother

By Lane Noble

“Never take for granted having a godly mother.” –Donald Penn

It would take multiple libraries to be able to properly honor my mother in writing. However, since this is a blog post, I will do my best to do it in this small space I have here on the internet.

My grandfather once reminded me never to take for granted the fact that I have a godly mother. He said that in the context of missing his own mother, who went to be with the Lord many decades ago.

I want to take this time to honor my mother. Mom, there is so much to thank you for, but here are five specifically that I want to mention.

5. Introducing me to movie and TV classics.

John Casey is a hero of mine thanks to you mom. Nuff’ said.

4. Fighting for me.

My mom always fought for me in this dark world. Growing up, things weren’t always easy for me, and a lot of times I faced challenges that no kid should face. None of that mattered, however, cause my mom was one of my biggest advocates. She wanted my brother and I to flourish, and she stopped at nothing to make sure that happened. For that, I am so grateful.

3. Encouraging me to think for myself.

Mom always taught me to be discerning, especially when it comes to hearing messages that are in direct or indirect conflict with Scripture. She taught us never to underestimate the value of wisdom, and that, I think, is a gift that can too easily be taken for granted. If your mother gave you this gift, thank her for it, because it is precious.

2. Instilling my love for creativity.

My mom actually has quite a bit of art work saved at our house. She’s a phenomenal artist. This has come in very handy with her teaching job, as much of the artwork that she uses in her class is hers.

However, she’s not just a great artist. She’s a great writer, poet, and yes, she even has an entrepreneurial spirit. She passed these passions on to my brother and I.

I’ll admit, I’m not the greatest illustrator in the world, but my brother can draw like he’s been doing it for decades. He clearly gets that from my mom. I inherited the writing side of things. This is why this blog exists, and it’s the reason that I am writing books and, currently, writing the story for an upcoming escape room here in our home town.

Mom always fueled this love for creativity in my brother and I. She would give us ideas, praise our creative work, critique it where needed, and made us into the artists we are. I can’t thank her enough for this.

5. Giving me the foundation of my faith.

My mom have to me the best gift you could give any child. She told me that I was created and loved by God, and that God had originally created everything perfect. She told me that that all ended when our first parents, Adam and Eve, rebelled against God and we followed suit. She told me that Jesus came to make things right with God by dying on the cross to take the punishment for our rebellion and being raised from the dead.

My mom (and my dad) laid the foundation for my faith. They pointed me to God, and what a hopeless life this would have been if they hadn’t done so.

Mom, you pointed me to God, and now I’ve tasted and seen that the Lord is good. Now you, me, my brother, and dad, will get to live with Him in eternal glory. What a story for our family!

I love you mom. Happy Mother’s Day!

Responding to Online Skeptics: Is Suzie Ignorant?

By Penn-Noble

In this installment of “Responding to Online Skeptics,” I’m going to be responding to a YouTube video put out by the channel “The Thinking Atheist.” Run by Seth Andrews, this is a channel dedicated to advocating for secularism and criticizing religion. Especially Christianity.

Despite the name of the channel, I have to say that I do not believe that the arguments in this video are very well thought through. You can watch the full video for yourself here. I will be commenting on this video line by line to show you exactly what I mean. The videos words are italicized:

This is the story of Suzie. Suzie believed in Jesus, and Jesus is the light of the world. Before each meal, Suzie would thank Jesus for the food someone else bred, slaughtered, harvested, canned, prepared, cooked, and presented. No food would be eaten until it was properly blessed.

Is Suzie not allowed to thank God by implication for those who prepared the food she eats? Biblically speaking, Adam and Even harvested and prepared their own food, but they were still thankful to God for it. Thankfulness to God for our food does not in any way abase the efforts of the people who prepared it. In fact, I’ve heard many Christians pray “Thank you for this food and the hands that prepared it.” I see no poor logic in thanking God for food.

Before bedtime, Suzie would pray for Jesus to heal the sick, comfort the afflicted, and ease the suffering in the world. Of course, when Suzie awoke, the world’s problems were still there. But somehow, it was all a part of God’s divine plan.

I’ve been studying the Bible for almost twenty years at this point and I’ve never once read that God would immediately ease the suffering in the world. Actually, Jesus said the world would continue to be full of suffering until He comes back to restore everything to perfection. (Matthew 24:6-13) This is not to say that there aren’t instances when God eases people’s suffering. It is to say that, biblically speaking, God doesn’t always alleviate suffering. That’s consistent with what we see in nature.

One more point before we move on: if not knowing why God allows suffering in the world is your best assault on the mounds of archeological evidence confirming the Bible and the sophisticated scholarship that has been done within the field of philosophy of religion, I think you’re going to want to do some more research on the topic of God’s existence. When there’s as much evidence as there is for the Bible, the problem of evil should then become a question about God, not an argument against God.

There is coming a day when all of God’s people’s suffering will be eliminated and the fullness of joy will be restored. God has not simply left us to suffer. If you would like a more developed view on this argument, Tim Keller does a wonderful job of unpacking it in this video.

When Suzie got sick, she prayed for healing. Then she paid a doctor, took prescription medication, and took weeks to recover naturally.

This technically falls into the same category as the last argument made. God does not always heal miraculously. People, including Christians, get sick and have to recover naturally because we live in a broken and sin-cursed world. This isn’t to say that we can’t pray for healing, or pray for wisdom on the part of medical professionals, or that treatments will work. However, it’s not as if this is expected to happen every time.

One may argue that this is evidence that God isn’t there. It actually proves nothing. The fact of the matter is that we know how God works by reading the Bible, and what we observe is consistent with what we know about the nature and character of God and, as I mentioned before, we have plenty of other evidence for God’s existence, so, at the end of the day, this argument falls apart.

When Suzie was confused, she prayed for answers. When her ears picked up no audible reply, she simply guessed and called it divine inspiration.

There are very few instances in the New Testament where one prays for answers and directly receives them. Rather, we’re encouraged to pray for wisdom. (James 1:5) God’s ultimate goal for us is for us to grow in holiness. (1 Thessalonians 4:3) One way for us to grow in holiness is for us to grow in wisdom. I’ve seen this to be true in my own life and the lives of others. As with most of the examples in this video, this argument puts expectations on God that He never promised to fulfill.

When Suzie’s mother was in a car accident, Suzie thank God that her mom was only horribly injured and not killed immediately. Suzie then prayed to Jesus for healing and then paid thousands of dollars to trained medical personnel.

We technically already covered this argument earlier. I should mention that the Bible advocates for medical treatment. Luke, who wrote the books of Luke and Acts, was actually a doctor. You may also remember that in the parable of the good samaritan, the good samaritan, in fulfilling the command of loving his neighbor as himself, took his enemy to the doctor and paid for it himself. Jesus also makes reference to a physician when He said: “Those who are healthy have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. I came not to call the righteous, but sinners.” (Mark 2:17) It’s worth thinking about.

Suzie went to church thanking Jesus for being so good when the pastor was suddenly gunned down by a crazed madman during a sermon about divine protection.

Anyone who preaches a sermon on divine protection has probably never read Matthew 24:9, where Jesus said that we would likely not receive said divine protection. There are very few instances of that in the New Testament, and there have been very few instances in other times of history. Most of Jesus’ apostles were murdered. It’s a part of living in this broken world. Once again, this is a strawman argument.

The rest of the video is made up of basically the same arguments. You can go back and watch it for yourself if you would like to see what they say. There is one more point that I would like to touch on with this video, however. At both the beginning and end of the video, they state mockingly that “Jesus is the light of the world.” What does it mean for Jesus to be the light of the world?

A great place to start with answering this question is by asking what the purpose of light is. Where would you need light? Do you need it out on a soccer field at one in the afternoon? No, you wouldn’t. You only need light where darkness is potentially present, right? I usually only flick on the lights in my bedroom when it gets dark outside. You might only use a flashlight if you have no other source of light to light your path. In the same way, as this video correctly pointed out, this world is a dark place in more ways than one. There are diseases, famines, natural disasters, etc. It’s also dark because of all of the injustices in the world. Injustice is so prevalent, that we see new ones every single day. So much for humanity being inherently good. Jesus came to be a light in this dark world.

However, if that’s the case, why does God seem so silent and distant when all of this suffering takes place?

It’s because Jesus being the light of the world doesn’t entail Jesus bringing immediate relief to the suffering we see all around us. That doesn’t mean that Jesus hasn’t done that. Jesus healed diseases and disabilities while He was on Earth. However, Jesus ultimately came to give us hope in the midst of suffering. There is coming a day when Jesus will return and He will make all things right. Every injustice will be corrected, every loss will be compensated, and every tear will be wiped away. (Revelation 21:4)

He also came to actually do justice. Jesus’ death and resurrection were Him taking the punishment for our rebellion against Him and for every wrongdoing we have ever committed. Every lie told, every instance of theft, and yes, even every murder can be forgiven because Jesus has taken the punishment for those sins on the cross.

The fact of the matter is that we do not deserve anything better than we’re getting. Yet, God has done justice on the cross, and justice will be done when He comes again, and all evil is officially punished, and creation is restored to what it was originally supposed to be: a perfect paradise in a perfect community dwelling with a perfect God.

I’m afraid to say that the arguments presented here are not substantive. This debate isn’t as simple as the makers of this video would have you believe. I would encourage further investigation and a deeper consideration of the Gospel of Jesus Christ: that Christ was crucified and raised from the dead for the forgiveness of our sins and to put us back into a right relationship between ourselves and God.

It is my prayer that the makers of this video will be saved and come to see the light of the glory of Christ.

Responding to Online Skeptics: Is the Babylon Bee Promoting Bigotry?

By Penn-Noble

This post is the first of the new Responding to Online Atheists series. This is a series dedicated to examining and lovingly responding to claims by secular skeptics of the Bible.

On March 21, Kevin Davis, writing for Only Sky, wrote a blog post entitled The Babylon Bee Chooses Misgendering as its hill to die on.* You can find the link to the blog post here.

The blog post was a response to the recent feud between the Christian satire site, The Babylon Bee, and Twitter. The Bee was banned from Twitter after posting a satirical article from their website naming Rachel Levine, the United States Assistant Secretary for Health who also identifies as transgender, the Babylon Bee’s “man of the year.”* Twitter, of course, has a policy against misgendering people, and since Levine identifies as a woman, this went against their terms of use.

The Bee was informed by Twitter that their account was suspended and that it would be reactivated in twelve hours if they would just delete the post. The Babylon Bee refused to do so, making it clear that they did not want to vindicate Twitter’s stance on gender and sexuality.

What do we make of this? Kevin Davis makes the argument that this is a form of bigotry. Not only bigotry but money-making bigotry. Is this true? Is the Babylon Bee morally wrong in this situation?

Let’s take a look at the logic of this blog post written by Kevin Davis. Towards the end of his opening paragraph, he says, “The Babylon Bee is Christianity’s non-funny version of The Onion, a satire site that tries to convince us that conservatives can be humorous, but all-too-often publishes thinly veiled bigotry—especially aimed at transgender people.”

I want to zero in on the first problem with Davis’ blog post, and that’s his use of the word “bigotry.” Now don’t get angry and click away yet. Hear me out. I can make my point with an easy thought experiment.

The scientific consensus that gender and sex are separate and that one can change their sex and/or gender identity is a fairly recent phenomenon. The idea of changing one’s gender identity is not even a century old, and it wasn’t until within the last decade that most of the country even knew what the word transgender or transexual means. That means that the LGBTQ+ movement is, understandably so, still trying to convince the whole of society of this reality. Its gaining traction, but it is still a work in progress.

Here is a hypothetical situation for you to consider: What if the ideas that gender is a social construct and that one can legitimately change their gender or sex were disproven scientifically? How would that alter your outlook on life? My guess is that you probably wouldn’t have any hatred for those who identified themselves as transgender, just as you do not hate those who believe that their personalities are determined by the alignment of the stars in the sky. I know people that actually believe that being a Libra determines their personality. Do I hate them? No. I just refuse to acknowledge something that is not true.

That is how people like me and the folks over at the Babylon Bee see this issue. Refusing to acknowledge what I believe to be a pseudoscientific reality* that crept into academia via pressure from lobbyists and activist groups* does not qualify me as a bigot. (By the way, if you would like to consult the resources that lead us to these conclusions, I’ll list them in the footnotes.)* It simply means I have a different view of the world. I have a view of the world that stems from my own research and critical analysis.

This is where the feud with Twitter comes in. Davis writes in his blog post, “Not shockingly, Dillon is using this situation to try to grow The Babylon Bee’s revenue. He’s now encouraging those who support this brand of bigotry to become paid subscribers to the site so that the Bee doesn’t need to promote articles on Twitter…After all, nothing sells right now like fake persecution…”

We’ve already dispelled the bigotry myth, so let’s take that factor out of the equation. If a Christians cannot express their beliefs without punitive measures being taken, it would be a misnomer to call it persecution, but it certainly is wrongful religious discrimination, and I and many others are rightly concerned about it.

On top of this, we’ve noticed the problem getting worse. Christians are increasingly becoming unallowed to express their views. Although it’s not just Christians. Anyone who disagrees with the church of leftism must be silenced in the name of “justice,” despite whether or not justice is even part of the situation. It would seem that evidence and reason have been tossed out the window.

Now I know the atheist mind and what it will likely say next: “But haven’t Christians been doing those very things for years? Why are you all of the sudden concerned about logic, science, and facts?” It’s because major communications mediums that you claim aren’t discriminating against Christians have been misinforming the public and zeroing in on fringe cases of so-called “alt-right” religious zealots to feed secular confirmation biases of what evangelicals are really like. Even atheist journalist Dan Harris in his book Ten Percent Happier admits that when he was meeting evangelicals all over the world as a journalist in the religion department at ABC News, his views of what evangelical Christians given to him by society were altered dramatically.*

Most Christians haven’t been trying to destroy science or keep their kids from learning it. They aren’t trying to suppress free speech or anything of that nature. They simply believe that the Bible isn’t in conflict with science and that it can be verified as a reliable book. Anything that disagrees with this verifiable book should be called into question, but not shut down altogether. Sure, here and there there are groups of Christians who have radical beliefs based on unbiblical ideas, but they don’t represent the majority of Christians. On top of that, no Christian is perfect, and they aren’t always going to have a logical answer to logical questions. However, that does not mean that Christians are “anti-science” or “anti-free speech.”

Furthermore, when have two wrongs ever made a right? Why are secularists all of the sudden allowed to censor free speech and scientific data? Isn’t the best way to create a better world through the free expression of ideas? I thought that’s what secularism was supposed to be all about.

There we have it. The Babylon Bee is having what they believe to be reasonable views on gender and sexuality censored by one of the most prominent communication mediums out there. Contrary to the insulated echo chambers of secular thought, this view held by the Bee is not symptomatic of a deep-seated hatred for transgender people. It is merely their opinion that they have done their research on. Furthermore, they do need money to survive, and clearly, they can’t depend on Twitter to make it. That’s why they have to depend on paid subscribers for their money. I think the lesson that we can take away from this is to actually listen to one another’s perspectives on this, instead of just assuming that anyone who disagrees with us is, as Davis says, exhibiting “thinly veiled bigotry.”

I hope we can have better conversations on this topic in the future.


* Only Sky The Babylon Bee chooses misgendering as its Twitter hill to die on March 21, 2022 Kevin Davis Only Sky Media LLC.

*The Babylon Bee The Babylon Bee’s Man of The Year Is Rachel Levine. March 15, 2022. The Babylon Bee.

*Chief among these groups are the Human Rights Campaign, the Southern Poverty Law Center, GLAD, and Black Lives Matter.

*These are the two books that were most persuasive for me: Morrison, Steve. Born this Way: Making sense of science, the Bible, and same-sex attraction. Sydney, New South Wales. Matthias Media. June 5, 2017, and Welch, Ed. Homosexuality: Speaking the Truth in Love. Phillipsburg, New Jersey. P and R Publishing. October 9, 2000

*Harris, Dan. Ten Percent Happier: How I Tamed the Voice in My Head, Reduced Stress Without Losing My Edge, And Found Self-Help That Actually Works-A True Story. New York City. Dey Street Books. December 30, 2014. I also recommend the book Biased: A CBS Insider Explains How the Media Distorts the News for more information on how religious people, in general, are misrepresented in the media.

The Jugtip Letters (Part 2): The Deadly Lie

By Lane Noble

My dear Murdrid,

I must say that I am thoroughly disappointed in your naivete. Even the least competent of tempters would have known better than to make the mistake that you have made! I should say I’m a little hesitant to give you any more wisdom if you’re going to be this stupid!

What gets me the most is that you don’t even know what you’ve done wrong! I should not even have to spell this out for you! However, since I care both for you and for our cause, I will explain your grave mistake.

First of all, you have to keep in mind that your assignment is a Christian. Never mind the fact that they are only in middle school. Do you really think that the Enemy will let the age of your convert get in the way of His plans for the young man? My boy, I thought I taught you better than that!

As a child of the Enemy, your assignment will, despite their age, inevitably be tempted to seek guidance and discipleship from a mentor. Remember in my last letter I told you that discipleship is exactly what should not happen? You claim that there was nothing that you could do to stop him. Yet you did not even try to stop him!

There are times, especially when your assignment is a child of the Enemy, where you will not be able to prevent discipleship. That’s to be expected, and it can be excused. However, just because it is difficult to stifle a Christian’s spiritual “growth” does not mean that it is impossible!

Your assignment in particular was worried about his habit of masturbation and wanted to seek guidance on how to get it under control. My dear Murdrid, your assignment is only twelve years old. All you had to do was whisper to him that if anyone knew of his sexual sin, then he would be judged, or worse, alienated from everyone that knew of it. What would his youth minister say if he confessed such sin after becoming a Christian? That would have made him think twice about coming to the youth minister.

Furthermore, even if your attempts had failed, you still could have conferred with the tempter of the boy’s youth minister about butchering the whole conversation. Yet you did nothing but panic and write me a stupid letter about how you did not know what to do. Even the most incompetent of tempters would have known what to do in that situation.

I will not be surprised when our father fires you from this position and potentially punishes you for your idiocy. You will probably have to repeat your training, and you will be given a much more boring assignment. You’ll probably be given a militant atheist. They do the vast majority of the work. Especially as adults. All you have to do is counter all the truth that they come across, which is no difficult task.

Remember this pivotal truth Murdrid. If you take nothing else away from this letter, do take this away: All human beings are broken, and the key to “fixing” that brokenness is honesty with both the Enemy and with another Christian. If you want to counter the process of repentance, all you need to do is to make your assignment think that they are too broken to be fixed and that if they were to ever come forward with their struggles, they would be rejected and alienated from those they want to be liked by and respected by.

Pride and fear are your greatest weapons in these situations. Do not ever forget that.

I must say that I cannot believe I even had to write this letter. You had an opportunity handed to you and you blew it.

Let me know if you get reassigned and what I can do to support you.

Your dear and disappointed uncle,


The Jugtip Letters (Part 1): The Unknown Target

By Lane Noble

The Jugtip Letters are a series of fictional blog posts that imitate C.S. Lewis’ “The Screwtape Letters.” Jugtip, a senior demon, mentors his nephew Murdrid, in how best to tempt humans towards sin and detract glory from God.

My dear Murdrid,

I’m delighted to hear that your training went very well, and I couldn’t be more proud. To be honest, you remind me of myself in my days as a junior tempter. I was just as ambitious and diligent as you were at mastering the craft of seducing humans away from the Enemy.

I want to take a moment and write a word of encouragement to you regarding your first assignment. I know that in your last letter you expressed discouragement at the fact that you were given a Christian. Admittedly, those are more difficult to deal with, because the Enemy doesn’t let go of His children.

You have also expressed concern over the fact that your assignment is a student at a Christian middle school. What I wouldn’t give for such an assignment! I don’t think you realize just how enjoyable of an experience this will be for you.

You see Murdrid, it is always best for Christians to believe that our most deviant work is done outside of church walls. Yet, our hold on the culture has much to do with what happens inside the walls of a church.

Why is this the case? It is because in order to keep a culture in darkness, you have to blow out the lights. Healthy churches that are faithful to the Enemy serve as lights to an otherwise dark world. If a culture is going to be won over, the church must become defective.

The same is true of Christian academic institutions. The truth of the matter is that being a student at a Christian school can be a quite damning experience if certain habits and attitudes are cultivated.

You can turn a Christian school into a death trap in just two simple steps:

The first is to cut out what strengthens Christians the most: discipleship. Discipleship is our greatest threat when it comes to the growth of the church, that is, the universal church.

The truth of the matter is that ministers and this includes youth ministers, are constantly rating how well they are carrying out what the Enemy has called them to do. Therefore, they naturally prioritize based on spiritual “maturity.” They usually ask themselves if there is any fruit in the lives of the students that they are ministering to.

That said, and you’ll want to confer with whoever is assigned to the boy’s church leaders, it needs to be made sure that it is emphasized in those leaders’ minds that they don’t prioritize him. Let them assume that he is already being disciples by his school teachers and the staff at school. Let them believe that, because he is being taught the Bible, he doesn’t need quite as much discipleship as the others. Let them assume that he will be okay and that it’s those that don’t hear the Bible quite as much that need to be disciples.

Passivity is often our greatest weapon against the Enemy. You’ll find that, if all else fails, you can always count on it.

The second step towards success depends on a well-known secret amongst us tempters. Ironically, it’s also a well-known secret amongst many humans, but it is not acknowledged enough by them for that to be a serious concern.

The secret is this: Christian schools are filled with more false converts than people realize.

In your particular instance, I would say about half of your assignment’s teachers are legitimate children of the Enemy, and approximately ten percent of the students are. Without discipleship, there won’t be much for your assignment to draw on to do effective spiritual warfare against the temptations that he will have to face. With the help of the other tempters, you can successfully create a culture that is practically anti-Christian.

Here is the most humorous part of all: The vast majority of the students are going to know this, but they will never say it! They will know that they are not glorifying the Enemy at school. They will not even care! They will be worshipping their appetites instead of our Enemy, but will not acknowledge that reality out loud, and that is ultimately what we want.

As a result of this delightful series of events, students will graduate from the school and go onto adulthood, and one of two things will happen: Most of the students will either use the fraudulent faith other their teachers and classmates as an excuse to walk away from the church, or those who are true Christians will go out into the world with not much to fight, as our Enemy would put it, “the good fight of faith” with. Thus, they will not be effective “witnesses” for the Enemy, and they will not win many false converts.

It is likely that your particular assignment will realize what he’s missing by the time he graduates high school, but there are ways to effectively deal with that when the time comes. For now, just implement the wisdom that I have imparted to you, and you have my word that chaos and disorder will ensue in the world.

I believe that you will have a greater impact than you think.

Let me know how everything goes.

Your beloved uncle,


The Heart of the Free Speech Debate

By Lane Noble

The past five years have brought many structural changes to the “free speech debate.” I use that language carefully and intentionally because for many years, debates over free speech and the nature of individual rights to free speech have taken many different forms.

In many cases, the debate hasn’t centered on whether or not individuals have the right to free speech, but rather to what extent free speech should be protected. We know that the Bill of Rights promises to protect our freedom of speech in the United States, but past judicial rulings have made it clear that there are exceptions to this rule.

For example, slander, or publicly ruining someone’s reputation, is not considered a protected form of speech under the Bill of Rights. There’s also the famous example of the prohibition of shouting “Fire!” in a theater just to see how people respond.

In the United States, where I live, this brings us to a common thread that we see time and time again in this experiment of ordered liberty. It’s a question that haunts all three branches of the government at both the federal and state level. The question is this: How do we weigh safety and liberty in our civilization?

It’s an important question because one of the primary responsibilities is to maintain order in civilization. Yet, we know very well from both the Bible and world history that, as Lord Acton famously stated: “Power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely.”

We know then that power is dangerous for any human being to possess, and of course, our Executive, Legislative, and Judicial branches of the U.S. government were designed with this fact in mind. The very idea of the separation of powers was born out of the idea that those who hold such power in our society need to be held accountable.

Yet we also know that in order to keep citizens safe and to even maintain this country we have to lend the government at least some power. The government needs to be able to enforce laws, such as the prohibition of murder, or the prohibition of theft, and to prosecute in instances of sexual abuse.

The fact that we even need to explicitly outlaw murder just goes to show that we need to take the issue of safety versus liberty very seriously.

In light of this, let’s take a look at what the “free speech debate” looks like now, why it is that way, and, hopefully, postulate a solution.

Where are we?

Currently, the debate over free speech is very heated, and when you look at the arguments that are made themselves, it is easy to see why it is so.

There doesn’t seem to be any middle ground when it comes to this debate. In other words, there are only two sides to it. That’s not to say that this is a partisan issue. People who have the exact same political affiliations do disagree on this issue, which, as I’ll argue later, is one of the many reasons that this debate is so interesting.

When it comes to looking at this debate, you have two central, opposing, arguments, and, as you’ll see later, none of them address the other. The two arguments are:

  1. Free speech is essential for a society to develop and grow intellectually, ethically, and economically. Therefore, we should protect free speech.
  2. Free speech does not include hate speech or speech that incities violence. Therefore, it is necessary to censor at least some speech.

Having looked at these two opposing arguments, it is easy to see now why we haven’t made any headway in this debate.

The Heart of the Debate

The key to understanding the free speech controversy and finding a potential solution to it comes not from looking at what the two arguments say, but at what they do not say.

Let’s look at the two opposing arguments once more.

  1. Free speech is essential for a society to develop and grow intellectually, ethically, and economically. Therefore, we should allow free speech.
  2. Free speech does not include hate speech or speech that incities violence. Therefore it is necessary to censor at least some speech.

Now, let’s look at what they are not saying.

Argument #1 is not saying that hate speech and speech that intentionally incites violence should not be censored.

Argument #2 is not defining exactly what they mean by hate speech and speech that incites violence.

With that in mind, we can see the heart of the issue.

The problem isn’t that we disagree on free speech. The problem is that we do not disagree on free speech.

Then one might reasonably ask, “What are we debating then if we’re not debating on free speech?”

The disagreement is over the definitions of hate speech and violence.

For example, let’s take the violence issue. For those who are not in favor of free speech, any speech that could potentially cause violence is worth censoring. Even if a speaker never intended violence to take place as a result of their speech.

The problem is that it’s almost impossible to anticipate when this will happen. While it is predictable in many cases, almost anything that is said could have some negative impact. However, in many of those cases, the positives outweigh the negatives.

Without free speech, the scientific disciplines would not be possible, and thus we wouldn’t have all of the amazing knowledge and technology that we have today. It can be easily argued that one of the reasons that the U.S. has been one of the leaders in technological innovation is because of the protection of free speech. However, does the fact that science gave us weapons outweigh the many other benefits of science? In fact, this is just a small sampling of all of the amazing benefits of science that far outweigh the negative consequences of science:

An HIV vaccine.

A COVID-19 vaccine.

A meningitis vaccine.

The ability to save the lives of cancer patients.

The ability to save the life of someone with a ruptured appendix.

The ability to provide clean water to millions upon millions of people.

Improved psychiatric treatment.

The ability to predict and prepare for dangerous weather.

The knowledge of how to protect ourselves from blood-borne pathogens.

Technology that allows us to communicate safely during a pandemic.

The knowledge of how to facilitate proper child development.

The knowledge of how to stay in good physical health.

The invention of motor vehicles that are able to get quickly get us to hospitals for proper medical treatment.

Cell phones allow us to call people on the side of the road in case of emergencies.

The ability to safely preserve food for future consumption.

The ability to disseminate medication quickly throughout the world.

Communications technology is able to quickly inform the public of impending or a current crisis.

Pain-killing medication.

The ability to read this blog post as well as many others.

All of the above benefits as well as many others are made possible through the process of science, and the process of science is only possible through, you guessed it, free speech.

We know now that the benefits of free speech outweigh the negative consequences. We should also note that there are other very effective ways to restrict the negative consequences as a result of free speech. In fact, the free exchange of ideas is what makes moral progress possible, which in turn mitigates the negative consequences that occur as a result of free speech.

Now, what about hate speech? Well, it’s worth noting the restriction and allowance of hate speech requires everyone on both sides of the debate to walk a thin line. Unless, of course, tyranny is the end goal. However, my guess is that that’s not the intention of most who participate in the free speech discussion.

As mentioned earlier, there are forms of hate speech that are restricted in the United States. Slander, for instance, is prohibited. Libel, or the ruining of someone’s reputation through writing, is also not protected by the U.S. Constitution or the Bill of Rights.

I think the topic of what counts as hate speech and what doesn’t is a conversation worth having in our society. The fact of the matter is that the civil rights movement wasn’t that long ago, and there are still issues of discrimination and hate speech that needs to be ironed out. Having removed the political obstacles of making our society more equal, I think we are finally ready to hash out the implications of our society’s embrace of social equality.

That said, I’m concerned with how many who do not favor free speech define “hate speech.” What I believe is actually happening is that free speech is being defined as speech that doesn’t agree with someone’s political agenda.

This is where things tend to become a “left ” versus “right” issue. Here is what everyone needs to understand about the debate over free speech, and if you take nothing away from this blog post, please take this away: the “political left” sincerely but falsely believes that the average person on the “political right” is for racism and sexism.

Let me speak directly to both sides of the political spectrum for a moment. I’ll talk directly to the right first and then I’ll talk to the left.

If you are on the political right, if you are going to convince the left that you have the right to speak your mind, you have to at least try to convince them that you’re not racist or sexist. I’m serious. They genuinely believe this.

Let’s say that you’re a college student and your school was hosting an event for a Ku Klux Klan member to speak on why they believe black people are inferior to white people. Would you stand for that? Probably note. I certainly wouldn’t. I detest racism and I don’t want it to have a platform at my college or university.

The problem is that many on the left see conservative speeches at colleges and universities in the exact same way. Racism and/or sexism having a platform at my school? Why would they stand for it?

This is where conservatives need to come in and have compassion and patience with people on the left. They actually believe that you are a racist and a sexist. You know that it’s patently absurd, but they don’t. Therefore, have compassion for them and be patient with them, and do your best to convince them that you’re not a racist or a sexist. If it doesn’t work, then that’s on them. There’s nothing that you can do about it, and hopefully, the more reasonable people who are on the “political left” will see that and understand you better.

Now, let me speak to people on the left. Let me just take a moment to say that I am with you. I don’t want hate speech to have a platform. Especially at public institutions. I believe it shouldn’t have a platform at all. That said, I am concerned about how you define hate speech. You see, most right-wing voters aren’t actually, or at the very least don’t intend to be, racist or sexist. They want to promote peace and love just as much as you do. They’ve been trying to tell you this all along, and I urge you to see things from their perspective. If we do this, we can make so much moral and intellectual progress, and make the world a safer place to live.


I think it’s safe to conclude that the debate over free speech, for the most part, as been a result of a misunderstanding between two diametrically opposed party, and the roots of the conflict run decades deep.

I ultimately think it’s going to be up to those who are in favor of free speech to compassionately and patiently correct our cohorts who are against it about their perception of us. We need to show them the rational way of doing things. We need to lead by example. Anger isn’t going to solve anything. It’s only going to reinforce false stereotypes. It is ultimately going to be through breaking those stereotypes that we overcome this stalemate that we have reached in the United States of America, and really the west in general.

Ultimately, it will be the freedom to listen to and the freedom to express different ideas that will help us make progress in society. Let’s work together to achieve this goal.


*It may be worth noting here that I think we too often allow the media to get away with libel. Many lives have been ruined as a result of high-price media coverage. I think that discussing the ways in which we can hold the media accountable to these laws without suppressing necessary free speech is a worthy endeavor.