Earthquakes, volcanos and floods

If God made a good world, why are there things like volcanos, earthquakes and floods that cause so much suffering?

This was another of the questions at our first “Big Question” event.  It is part of the bigger question about “How can a good God allow suffering?” which we will be looking at on the 7th May.  In the meantime, here’s my quick response to this specific part of the question.

We have to remember two important things.

  1. First of all, that when we look at the natural creation, we may see things that appear destructive and harmful to us but may have another particular function. In other words, the Creation may require tectonic plates and the consequences of them for good reasons that a geologist would be able to explain in more detail.  We know that flooding is a natural part of the irrigation process in many parts of the World.  Often, the problem comes not because of the existence of flood plains and fault lines but due to human decisions to build houses in those areas. So a significant part of the problem is about our decisions, especially when selfish economics result in houses for the most vulnerable being concentrated in the areas where there are the greatest risks of flooding, volcanos and earthquakes.
  2. Secondly, when we talk about a good Creation, we must not forget the results of The Fall. The Bible talks about a whole Creation which is affected by judgement and thereof longs and groans for the day when Christ returns. Suffering in the world around us reminds us that this World is living with the consequences of sin and causes us to long for that day when Christ returns and brings the completion of New Creation.