Mainstream Christianity is dying. It no longer has an answer to "the problem of evil"; therefore, it has no application to real life.
On January 19, 2010, we met indisputable evil when we rushed Della to the hospital for what we assumed was appendicitis. The doctor found a tumor covering her appendix. At age 14, she had non-Hodgkin's lymphoma.
We got the typical answer for such an incident--that the pain and suffering of innocents somehow serves the mysterious "good" purposes of God. Anyone who has been in a pediatric cancer ward knows how useless and repulsive that argument is! The clueless, well-meaning people who offer it are baffled that you reject it.
The New Testament writers, on the other hand, were inclined to expect evil. Instead of puzzling over why bad things happen to good people, they could address it and grapple with it. The Eastern Orthodox churches still embrace this original Christian view, and at least one modern Western writer, Greg Boyd, has rediscovered it. I am convinced that forces of Light and goodness led me to his work when I desperately needed it. I'll state the nutshell version of this original Christian view in post #7.