Why did a good God create man with the seeds of corruption in him?

Posted in Blog, Malcolm Muggeridge

Roy Trevivian (before the days when the term humanity was preferred to ‘man’) once asked Malcolm Muggeridge: ‘Why is man fallen ? If God is the creator and he made man good, why were the seeds of corruption in him?’

I have spent many hours puzzling this question and find the answer Malcolm gave one of the best I have seen. He replied like this to Roy: ‘This, of course, is the most fundamental and difficult question of all. I find I can grasp it better if I think of the creation of man and the universe by God as being of the same nature as creation by man, only of course multiplied by billions and billions. On however lowly a scale, in so far as I have tried to create something in words, written or spoken, as an expression of truth, that process is painful. It’s not easy or pleasurable, but it can give ecstasy. Also it contains within itself the same essential principle that, in order to reach after perfection, it has to be itself intrinsically imperfect. So I see that if God had created man perfect, man without pain, man without sin, there would have been, in this sense, no creation, any more than, if King Lear had not suffered, there would have been a play for Shakespeare to write about him. The life we know, with all its pains and ecstasies, wouldn’t have existed. If you imagine your life made by a different God, made perfect, it wouldn’t be life. The process of creation contains in itself its own imperfection; the pursuit of perfection is via imperfection, as the pursuit of spiritual love is via the physical body. This is how it is, and this is the majesty of it, and why it is interesting. This is why there is literature, why there is art, why there is thought, and how we may know there is a God—a loving God—whose children we all are.’

Do let me know what you think of this answer.