This is an interesting, clear, animated video on the Felix Culpa argument from Dr. Alvin Plantinga of Notre Dame:
In brief, the argument states - yes, the fall, sin, suffering, and evil are very bad.
But, the incarnation and the atonement are very, very great goods. In fact, they are so good, that any world that lacked the incarnation and atonement would be inferior to a world that had them.
Yet, the fall is a necessary precondition for the incarnation and the atonement.
So the Christian may conclude that though the fall is bad, it is still a fortunate occurrence, because it makes it possible for us to be in a world where the incarnation and atonement happen.
Two very positive benefits to this argument:
- It is a very confident, thoroughly Christian response to evil. Other religions and worldviews will have to find their own approach to evil - deny it, etc. But Christians can gladly speak of the great goodness of the incarnation and atonement!
- It takes someone, on a personal level, straight from considering the awfulness of evil to the wonderful goodness of the Incarnation and Atonement. There is wonder and delight in considering these great goods together.
I’d love to hear your thoughts on this!