as opposed to FROM it, is from the problem of evil. As Christians, this is the one we encounter on a daily basis, and it can make us feel like Job shouting at God sometimes. Why does life contain such suffering and pain? How can God stand idly by while such atrocities persist – man-made or natural? Death, destruction, and evil are things we will never get used to, no matter how faithful we become.
The problem of evil has been known to deplete the faith of even the greatest thinkers. Occasionally, it might do the reverse, in the face of deepest evil…
[30 years ago], Stephen Mosher was a Ph.D. candidate at Stanford, and the first American student allowed to conduct anthropological research in rural China after the Cultural Revolution. What he discovered there, and made very public, was the practice by the Chinese government of enforcing its one-child policy through involuntary, often very late-term, abortions. Following Mr. Mosher’s making his findings public, the Chinese government protested to Stanford University—threatening the school with never being able to send another researcher to China—which expelled him.
Mr. Mosher subsequently published his findings in the widely-acclaimed book Broken Earth: The Rural Chinese, and now serves a president of the Population Research Institute. He describes his turn from being a vaguely pro-choice academic to pro-life activist, beginning with his witnessing the women undergoing forced abortions:
“They were crying, begging for mercy and praying for their dying children. It’s one thing to think about abortion in the abstract, but when you see a baby at seven-months gestation, it’s a baby — truly one of us.”
In hindsight, he says that visit to the Chinese abortion facility forced him to abandon his casual, untested adherence to moral relativism and embark on an uncharted spiritual pilgrimage.
“On a scale of evil from 1 to 10, this was a 10. And if there is absolute evil, I concluded that there also must be a counterbalancing absolute good — or the universe would be truly mad.”
And thus he became a Christian.
I don’t know why, this story just struck me as an oddity…