These are my note from the lecture and not the exact things Dr. McDowell said on the video clip.
Here is the logic some use to "prove there is no God.
First Premise: If God is all-powerful, He could stop evil.
Second Premise: If God is all good, he would stop evil.
Third: Premise: Evil Exists, or at least evil acts happen.
Conclusion: Therefore, an all-powerful, all- good god does not exist.
If these three premises exist, then the conclusion follows. If we are going to prove that this conclusion is false, what do we have to do? Show that one of them is false. If we can show that one of these premises is untrue then the conclusion does not follow.
Eastern religions like Hinduism, Buddhism, and others of the sort will typically begin with the third premise. What would a pantheist say about the third premise? They will deny that there is good and evil because they believe all is one. So distinctions between yesterday and today, me and you, mind and matter—all these distinctions are artificial, so they actually solve the problem of evil by saying there is no such thing as evil. Logically speaking this does get us out of the problem of evil. Is that a meaningful, substantial way to solve the problem of evil by saying it’s not a problem at all? Does that resonate in your heart? When you look at the world in your experience is it fitting to you to say, “Evil doesn’t exist.”? Getting rid of evil by saying it doesn’t exist seems like too high a price to pay.
All of you agree that God is all-powerful, but we have to ask a more basic question. What does it mean that God is all-powerful or omnipotent? Can God do anything we can conceive of? Can God make a rock so big that He can’t move it? People raise that challenge and say, “If God can make a rock so big he can’t move it, He is limited. If He can’t make a rock so big he can’t move it, He is limited.” These are ways to trick or confuse what we mean by God is all powerful.
You can’t bend a paperclip into a square circle. Could God bend a paper clip into a square circle? By definition, a circle has no points and if it has points, it is not a circle. By definition, a square has four points and can’t be a circle. A square circle cannot exist. Even God cannot make a square circle exist.
What do we mean when we say, God is all-powerful? Theologians have wrestled with this for centuries. When we say that God is all-powerful, we mean that God can do everything that can be done. If power can do something, then God can do it. But power alone cannot make a square circle so there are actually some things God can’t do. This isn’t a limitation on God, it is a recognition that some things in themselves are impossible and cannot be. How many of you have told a lie? Can God tell lies? In the book of Hebrews it says that “God cannot lie.” Does that mean you can do something that God’s can’t do, therefore you are more powerful than God? Does that follow? A lie is not a strength. It’s actually a weakness, an imperfection. So God cannot lie, not because He lacks power, but because he is morally perfect.
When we say that God is all-powerful, we don’t mean that God can do anything conceivable, we mean God can do everything that power can do that is consistent with his moral nature.
Even God can’t make a world with beings that are genuinely free and then force us to do what is good. If God forces us then we are not truly free. God can and will stop evil, but God can not make a world with genuine free will where humans can make meaningful choices and then turn around and force us to always choose what is good.
Premise Two: When you see someone suffering or drowning, or someone being bullied or taken advantage of. If you had the power, wouldn’t you step in and stop it. Yes, but every day certain kinds of evil happen and God doesn’t stop them. Does that make you better than God? What are some reasons that God might allow suffering and evil.? Maybe God has reasons for the evil and suffering in the world. If God had reasons or a purpose, should we expect to always know what they are?
If I told you there was an adult elephant in this room, how quickly could you determine whether that was true or false? You could look around and instantly determine it was false. What if I told you there was a flea in this room? A flea would take a lot more search. You wouldn’t expect to see a flea from your seat just looking around.
If God is all-powerful if God is self-existent if God is eternal--He sees the past and the present and the future and how every decision he makes affects other people, should we honestly expect to know why every time God allows suffering and evil.
Most of us can think of times where there is suffering and evil and good comes out of it. Evil and suffering can make people think about eternity in a way they never have before. Can you see how God would allow something like that to happen? Maybe because God is good, He realizes the depth of our depravity, how distracted we get, how we get caught up in our sin, and He allows some evil and suffering to draw us to Him. God has a bigger plan. Will we trust Him?
“God whispers in our pleasure, but He shouts in our pain. Pain is God’s megaphone to rouse a deaf world.” --C.S. Lewis