Wie gehen Gemeindegründer mit dem Thema Leid um?

Wenn Gott uns nicht den Himmel auf Erden verspricht bleibt trotzdem die Frage, wie Christen mit „den Bürden des alltäglichen Lebens“ umgehen. Dr. Rod Nidever hat sich in seiner zweiten Dissertation mit dem Thema Leid und dem Problem des Bösen in der Welt beschäftigt und gefragt, ob evangelikale Pastoren ausreichend zugerüstet sind, um Glaubensgeschwister im Leid zur Seite stehen. Im Folgenden bieten wir nun die Einleitung und Zusammenfassung der Dissertation und das gesamte Dokument als Download HIER. Möge es eine Ermutigung und Hilfestellung für Deinen Dienst in der Gemeindearbeit sein. Eine Übersetzung des Textes ist ganz einfach mit cut&paste unter https://www.deepl.com/de/translator 


A casual reading of any daily newspaper on any day of the year, reminds us that we live in a world filled with evil. Whether it be a report of a deadly tsunami, killing up to 216,000 people, the murder of a young wife, Lacy Peterson, (and her unborn child, Conner) by her husband, Scott Peterson (the child’s father), some other act of corruption (robbery, rape etc.) or the obituary page, our personal and collective consciousness is being continually bombarded as to just how dangerous our world is. Evil results in much physical and emotional pain and suffering. Additionally, anyone having been directly or indirectly affected by evil will naturally ask the question, “Why, if God exists, would he allow this evil to happen to me (or my loved one)?” The question consists of two parts. The “why” seeks some explanation, while the second questions the very existence of God. One is philosophical and the other theological. Both are valid.

This line of questioning, however, is not new. The ancient Greek philosopher, Epicurus (c. 341-270 B.C.), stated his famous question as follows: God can either take away evil from the world and will not; or being willing to do so, cannot; or he neither can nor will; or he is both able and willing. If he is willing to remove evil and cannot, then he is not Omnipotent. If he can, but will not remove it, then he is not benevolent; if he is neither able nor willing, then he is neither powerful nor benevolent; lastly, if both able and willing to annihilate evil, how does it exist?

This specific question has become known as the “Problem of Evil” (POE) and its response in defense of God as “theodicy.” J. L. Mackie has noted that, “the problem of evil . . . is a problem only for someone who believes that there is a God who is both omnipotent and wholly good.” Because Evangelicals definitely do believe in such a God, the POE is to them a very real and important issue, which needs careful attention. In the midst of a world full of evil and suffering, the Christian Church has been sent to minister. She, the Church, is called to minister holistically, to the body, mind and spirit of those in need. The burden of this ministry falls certainly upon every Christian, but especially upon those in leadership, who have had special training, the pastors. The adequacy of their training to deal with the POE, is, therefore, of great importance to the modern Evangelical Church and is a focal aspect of this study.

The scope of this study is limited to a relatively small segment of Christianity, known as Evangelicalism. Evangelicalism has been generally defined as a  transdenominational and international movement that emphasizes the need to experience personal conversion through belief in Christ and his work on the cross, and a commitment to the authority of Scripture as the infallible guide for the Christian faith and practice.” A more precise definition will be offered under Definition of Terms below.



This study was undertaken to investigate whether Evangelical pastors were being
prepared in their Bible college and/or seminary training to deal with the Problem of Evil
(POE) in their future ministries.It was the author’s thesis that they were not being well
prepared. The development of an Evangelical apologetic theodicy and the practical
ministry of dealing with suffering were also considered in the study.

Chapter 2
The review of the literature in chapter two traced the history of the POE from
Epicurus (third century BC) to the present, with special emphasis on modern studies,
which may have resembled this study. No similar studies were found.

Chapter 3

Chapter three dealt with the Logical Problem of Evil as currently restated by J. L.
Mackie. The argument purports a logical contradiction in what is called the Theistic Set,
as follows: 1. God exists, 2. God is omnipotent, 3. God is omniscient, 4. God is omnibenevolent,
and 5. Evil exists. After various arguments were discussed it was concluded
that there was no logical contradiction in the set and Mackie’s argument was defeated.

Chapter 4
Chapter four considered two versions of the Evidential Argument, one by William
Rowe and the other by Paul Draper. Rowe felt that since there was “no reason that we
know of” to explain the evil in the world, there was therefore ample evidence to state that
the God of the Bible could not exist. This argument was not convincing because there
was no conclusive reason given why God must provide such information to humankind.
Draper’s argument began with the proposition that the amount of evil in the world
was prima facie evidence against the probability that the God of the Bible, who was
omnipotent, omniscient and omni-benevolent, could exist. Alvin Plantinga demonstrated
that Draper’s proposition was purely subjective and personal, and underestimated the
difference between the atheistic and Christian worldviews.

Chapter 5
Chapter five considered the ministry of the local pastor in terms of the POE in two
aspects, the teaching and caring ministries. The first part of the chapter presented the
biblical mindset of a Church at war against evil and the evil one in the world. The second
part of the chapter discussed twelve considerations of the pastor’s practical ministry to
the suffering, which were drawn from the ministry of Pastor Thomas C. Oden.

Chapter 6
Chapter six consisted of an independent research study of local pastors in the
Fresno/Clovis metropolitan area in California, U.S.A. The study confirmed the author’s
thesis that Evangelical pastors were for the most part not well prepared by their Bible
school and/or seminary training to deal with the POE in their future ministries. A number
of other conclusions were drawn from the data.

The author’s thesis was, therefore, affirmed. The implications of this finding
will need to be considered by Evangelical leaders. The study demonstrated that there are
adequate apologetic arguments available to Evangelical pastors for both the Logical and
the Evidential Arguments, and that the practical ministry of the pastor continues to be
both challenging and vital to the Church.