How did evil come to be? Who is to blame for it? Why did God allow it to happen? Familiar answers, and the traditional doctrines that they represent, can and often have been understood—and perhaps more often misunderstood—to bad, even disastrous effects. So, after a brief sketch of the traditional Augustinian doctrine of evil as received through John Wesley’s teaching, which in one form or another shaped the deep structures of American Pentecostal theology and spirituality, I propose an alternative, one that holds that evil is truly nonsensical and so inexplicable; that no one is to blame for its advent, although all are responsible to resist it; that God had no purpose in allowing evil or the suffering it unleashes, but always only works to undo it and to heal those who have been broken by it; and that we are welcomed by our share in the Spirit into Christ’s long resistance to evil and the Father’s final victory over it.



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