Theodicy: An answer to the problem of evil that attempts to “justify the ways of God to man” by explaining God’s reasons for allowing evil. Two of the more important theodicies are the “soul-making theodicy,” which argues that God allows evil so as to make it possible for humans to develop certain desirable virtues, and the “free will theodicy,” which argues that God had to allow for the possibility of evil if he wished to give humans (and angelic beings) free will. Theodicies are often distinguished from defenses, which argue that it is reasonable to believe that God has reasons for allowing evil even if we do not know what those reasons are.1
1. C.Stephen Evans, Pocket Dictionary of Apologetics & Philosophy of Religion (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 2002), p. 114.