Brian Vroman is an Instructor of Philosophy and Humanities at Itasca Community College, in Grand Rapids, MN, where he has been employed since 1999. Vroman's scholarly work has appeared in the journal Think: Philosophy for Everyone. Vroman also writes an opinion/current affairs column for the Bovey, MN, Scenic Range News Forum, and he has published two books on local history topics.
In 1984, Josef Fritzl lured his teenage daughter, Elisabeth—whom he had already abused on previous occasions—into the basement of the family home. What Elisabeth did not know was that her father had converted the basement into a dungeon, in which Elisabeth would be confined for the next twenty-four years. During this period, Fritzl raped his daughter on numerous occasions, and Elisabeth gave birth to seven children, some of whom never saw the light of day until they were rescued many years later. How might a Christian apologist such as William Lane Craig explain the suffering of Elisabeth Fritzl and her children? What we will see is that Dr. Craig's attempts to explain evil and human suffering in conjunction with the existence of the traditional God of theism fall far short of meeting their mark.
What about the claim made by many Christian theologians that God created the world or the universe ex nihilo—out of nothing? As it turns out, this claim presents a considerable difficulty for the theologian. To understand the problem, we must turn to the great David Hume, who famously argued that any proposition that is neither analytic nor synthetic is nonsense.
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