Not sure if you have been exposed to the Mr. Deity series of films. In this present story, Mr. Deity (who play the Father) and Larry (who is supposed to be an angel) speak post creation about what evils they will allow on the earth. While I found myself laughing at times as well as intellectually stimulated at others, all and all I was repulsed by the grossly irresponsible and misleading caricature that this represents from those who are wrestling with the idea of the problem of evil. Watch the video and then continue to read.

The problem of evil is the key apologetic issue of our day. It expresses the ethos of our postmodern world in trying to understand why so much atrocity is allowed by God. What is the problem of evil? In sum, this is it:

If God

C Michael Patton
C Michael Patton

C. Michael Patton is the primary contributor to the Parchment and Pen/Credo Blog. He has been in ministry for nearly twenty years as a pastor, author, speaker, and blogger. Find him on Patreon Th.M. Dallas Theological Seminary (2001), president of Credo House Ministries and Credo Courses, author of Now that I'm a Christian (Crossway, 2014) Increase My Faith (Credo House, 2011), and The Theology Program (Reclaiming the Mind Ministries, 2001-2006), host of Theology Unplugged, and primary blogger here at Parchment and Pen. But, most importantly, husband to a beautiful wife and father to four awesome children. Michael is available for speaking engagements. Join his Patreon and support his ministry

    9 replies to "The Problem of Evil: Could God have tied our hands?"

    • Roland

      One topic I’d like you to cover is the down syndrome problem. The people inflicted by the terrible disorder have a very little cognitive grasp on reality, so is the standard the same for them to go to Heaven or be accepted by God? They may not even be able to understand what the concept of “God” is.
      If they go to Heaven, why were they given the gift of instant redemption? Why would they be able to live obliviously- without the struggles of temptation and doubt- and still enter into the kingdom?
      If they are not able to go to Heaven, wouldn’t God be damning those he damned? They are punished for something beyond their grasp?
      I understand down syndrome has many cases of nearly normal people– that is dandy. My problem is with the near vegetables. If God knows the hair count of every man that has ever lived, I’m sure he is not overlooking those few.

      And again, all cognitive disorders. Science has shown us that psychopathic tendencies can be pinpointed in the genes of the patient. It is not a chosen insanity. They kill ruthlessly and society condems them. Yet it is no different than a victim of down syndrome. That “freewill” was taken from them. They, then, can no longer be held to the entire basis of original sin and freechoice.

      This is one thing that has severely wounded my faith. As my favorite theologian, I hope you’ll cover this some time. It was mentioned in the video, but you must ahve overlooked it.

    • kolabok21


      I believe the questions you ask (rather intriguing) of anyone to answer, puts us (humanity) in the seat of judge, jury and executioner. I do not know if I could fearfully and humbly engage in the questions. I could from a perspective of lets say a bystander in the world of good and evil, of right and wrong, maybe believing or maybe not. Just simply a man in motion through the journey of life seeing good and bad things happening, even question why the bad things happen to good people or better said good situations gone badly. An old friend use to say

    • danutz

      Mr. Deity is a great series. It does a great job of showing how bad a job we have done developing our “image” of God. We made God into something stupid and people should make fun of that goofy image of God.

      It is time we begin to think responsibly about what aspects of God are really God and what aspects are actually projections of our our personalities onto the divine.

    • stpattykid

      Let me just say up front that this response is written on the heels of the single greatest mass murder in the history of this country.

      I watched this video last night and judged it purely on the merits of it’s entertainment and educational value, so that’s where I will begin. As an audience I asked myself what was the essential message of this piece and was that message clearly communicated? Danutz mentions that this series does “a great job of showing how bad a job we have done developing our “image” of God”. And although I agree with Danutz that humans have misrepresented God, I do not think this series does anything to dispel misperceptions that a postmodern world might have. If I were an unbeliever watching this video I would probably find myself in agreement with “Mr. Diety”. After all doesn’t this problem of evil seem so random, so capricious? Clearly, the God of the Universe needs to be called out by an angel on the apparent abritrary nature of his decision making. That seems mighty presumptuous on the part of the writer/director/producer/star.
      (Pause) By the way, can anybody say “god complex”?

      I am not here to be a buzz kill to the Christian faith. The Church could stand to lighten up on several issues. But I would ask Mr. Dalton to play his little “skit” for the families of those who have been affected by and have faced real evil. Would his pedantic treatment go over very well on the campus of Virginia Tech? His smug and self righteous treatment does nothing to deal with the very present reality of evil and pain. There are some topics that deserve sober and compassionate reflection so that we might engage the culture with our own questions and answers.

    • C Michael Patton


      Wow! (Silence)…that was really good. Thanks.

    • C Michael Patton

      Roland, the problem that you bring to the surface is not limited, as you have said, to the mentally unable. There are many issues that come into play with your struggle. For example, some people have a greater genetic inclination to doubt. Some have a chemical imbalance that causes them to be depressed. Some people are born in families that influence them nearly beyond the capacity to believe. Some have life circumstances where events have transpired that make trusting in the Lord much for difficult for others.

      All I can say is that I have to look to the Scriptures as trustworthy that God will judge righteously and take into account the circumstances of each person. God will hold people accountable according to His understanding of their accountability, not ours. I know that just before my sister killed herself, her strong confession of faith had turned into a cursing of my belief in a God that would allow her to suffer so severely. This caused me great pain. Her mental anguish had brought about a denial that was, from my standpoint, inevitable and understandable. I believe that she will be with us in heaven. Why? Because I believe that God will take into account her situation and see her belief in light of her mental incapacitation. I would never want to place this in any category of black and white. A good passage that shows that God takes into account people’s circumstances is Luke 10:11-14.

      God bless you my friend.

    • C Michael Patton


      You said, “If I were an unbeliever watching this video I would probably find myself in agreement with

    • JoanieD

      Michael, I had never heard of this Mr. Deity series, and I have to say parts of it did make me smile. Not so much the one on Evil, but I checked some of the others out at I found myself thinking, “Well, they are funny to me, but maybe some non-believers would find it as fuel to the fire” so to speak. But then I realized that actually I was having a “superior” attitude, that I could see the humor and STILL believe, but that others may have trouble.

      Good acting. I read on the FAQ page, “Our goal here is not to mock religion, but to use it as a foundation for the humor. I’m thrilled that so many religious people have written to tell me that they love the episodes. In future episodes, I intend to turn the tables a bit and poke fun at what I call the “angry atheists” (of whom I am not fond). We’ll see if they take it so well.”

      That could be interesting too.

    • C Michael Patton

      Joanie, this should be good. Thanks for the info.

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