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Home » R.C. Sproul: What Is Evil & Where Did It Come From? (Transcript)

R.C. Sproul: What Is Evil & Where Did It Come From? (Transcript)

Here is the full transcript of R.C. Sproul’s sermon titled “What Is Evil & Where Did It Come From?”

In this sermon, R.C. Sproul discusses the nature of evil, arguing that it is not a thing with independent existence, but rather a negation or absence of good. He explores the concept of evil as privation, a lack or deficiency. Sproul acknowledges that the origin of evil is a difficult question, and he critiques various explanations that have been proposed. 

Listen to the audio version here:


Well, it’s not fair. I don’t dream up the themes for our conferences each year. The staff does that, and then they come to me and give assignments as to what I’m supposed to address. And you notice on the board a moment ago that I had been given two questions to address, each of which would be worthy of a lengthy series to consider. And I’m supposed to answer these questions in one message. Well, that’s impossible.

I won’t do it because I can’t do it. But we’ll give you a little introduction to these questions. And the first of the questions is, “What is evil?” The second question is, “Where did it come from?”

But the first part of the question is, “What is evil?” And my immediate response to that in presidential fashion is to say, “It depends upon what the meaning of is is.” Now that’s really not a joke. I’m serious about that because there are different ways in which we use the verb is as a verb to be. And when we’re dealing with the question of what is evil, we face immediately the issue of whether evil really is at all.

That might seem strange to you, but my first assertion this morning is that evil isn’t, that is it is not. Why? Because evil is nothing. Am I going too fast? Evil is nothing.

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