‘Why does God allow coronavirus?’ is a question a lot of people have been asking. At time of writing, there have been 1.6 million confirmed cases of COVID-19 and almost 96,000 deaths. Why would a good God allow so much suffering and loss of life? Of course, the problem of suffering is an age-old question that goes back to the Greek philosopher Epicurus and even further back to the book of Job in the Old Testament. Many books have been written on the subject by saints and sceptics alike and we have looked at some of those debates in previous articles, where you can find more details (here and here).
Here I want to consider a few common responses you might here from Christians and look at some problems with them as well as offer a few thoughts of my own. However, I don’t pretend to know the answer to this question, but I do think we can respond to the sceptic’s charge that there could be no such answer. That might sound confusing, so let me explain. If the sceptic is claiming that there could be no satisfactory answer to the question ‘Why does God allow coronavirus?’, it is enough to respond by showing that there are possible reasons why God might allow it. It is not necessary to go beyond that to claim to know what God’s reasons actually are – who could claim to know such a thing?