What do you think it would be like to meet a truly evil person? I think that person would, if they were evil through and through, look ugly, smell bad, and cheer for the Tar Heels. I think that person would kill and steal. I think that person would not be trustworthy.
I wouldn't go to that person for information. How could I trust what they'd tell me? (It reminds me of that classic puzzle from Dr. Who, the one with the lying robots) I wouldn't trust a wholly evil person. Would you?
But what if the completely evil person wanted to tell you something you really wanted to know? What if they confirmed one of your fears? What if they told you something you were always afraid was true? Would you believe them then?
We would be fools to trust a person who was evil in every way.
I belabor this point because it's been so helpful for me when I wrestle with the question of evil and the justice of God. I experience evil regularly, painfully. What does this experience of evil tell me about the nature and character of God.
Nothing? Well, nothing I'd trust. Evil isn't a reliable source for information. If I wouldn't trust an evil person, why would I trust the abstract evil I experience day in and day out? If it gave me answers to my questions about God, they would be lies.
Now, this doesn't mean I ignore evil or bury the feelings it stirs up. That would be a different brand of foolishness. But I don't trust evil to tell me true things about God. Instead, I look for someone who is totally good, completely good, good through and through. That someone I can trust to tell me about God (if he knows anything).
Any guesses as to who that someone is? Here's a clue: if you guess right, you get a gold star.