The Problem of Good

Normally, when we study theodicy, we think of the problem of evil. “How can a good and loving God permit evil?” we ask. What we often fail to realize is that theodicy has to deal with the problem of good just the same.

Walker Percy has his slightly deranged lead character offer forth this in Lancelot, which I am currently reading:

In times like these when everyone is wonderful, what is needed is a quest for evil.

You should be interested! Such a quest serves God’s cause! How? Because the Good proves nothing. When everyone is wonderful, nobody bothers with God. If you had ten thousand Albert Schweitzers giving their lives for their fellow men, do you think anyone would have a second thought about God?

Indeed, contentment often does make us stray from God more than when we are in despair. The rest of the passage is similarly great (I’ll give a more detailed review of the book after I finish).

Percy has the uncanny ability of posing serious philosophical themes in his novels without making them feel artificial to the storyline. Almost, dare I say it, Dostoevsky-like.