I’ve known many people who attempt to answer this question just like the Newsboys in their music video. The free choice of man is their answer. They attempt to take the focus and blame off of God and place it squarely on the shoulders of humanity. God’s love for us is so great that He chose to give us our own volition independent of Him and His will. Some assert that God knew what would happen, but others believe only an ignorant God is exempt from blame in a world full of evil.
The freedom of man’s will cannot be viewed as the highest good because God regularly acts to oppose and diminish it—most visibly in the cross. If free will is not the highest good, then we are still left with the question of how God can allow evil in the world.
I believe the answer is in the Bible. As interesting as philosophy can be, a man-made philosophy built on human logic apart from the Bible isn’t going to give us the Biblical answer to this question. Starting with human freedom as the supreme good fails to account for God’s breaching of this freedom throughout the Bible. We must start with the Bible, not with a neat little slogan that fits on a bumper sticker (or faux headline).
The answer that “God gave us freedom, we chose to do evil” makes God a distant, uninvolved deity when it comes to evil and the bad things that happen in the world. It fails to account for verses like these:
Who has spoken and it came to pass, unless the Lord has commanded it? Is it not from the mouth of the Most High that good and bad come? (Lam. 3:37-38)
I form light and create darkness, I make well-being and create calamity, I am the LORD, who does all these things. (Isa. 45:7)
Is a trumpet blown in a city, and the people are not afraid? Does disaster come to a city, unless the LORD has done it? (Amos 3:6)
Click here for an article in which I discuss items relating to the question, How can a good God allow evil?