*Any act or event that is contrary to the good and holy purposes of God. Theologians generally distinguish between moral and natural evil. Moral evil refers to acts (sins) of creatures that are contrary to God’s holy character and law. Natural evils include harmful or destructive events in nature that occur throughout the course of history and that negatively affect creaturely life (e.g., earthquakes and famines). Some theologians (e.g., Augustine) emphasize that evil does not have independent existence as a “thing” but is either the moral evaluation of acts or the ultimate consequence or effect of such evil acts on creation.
* Stanley J. Grenz, David Guretzki & Cherith Fee Nordling, Pocket Dictionary of Theological Terms (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 1999), p. 48