James Dew Jr. reviews the logical form of the problem of evil in his essay, “The Logical Problem of Evil.” In this essay he interacts with various attempts to demonstrate a logical contradiction within the classical theist doctrines of God’s omnibenevolence and omnipotence with the existence of evil.
The common theme among the various proponents of the argument that Dew identifies is the idea that if God were omnipotent then he could stop all evil and if he were omnibenevolent then he would want to do so. Since he has not done so, says the critic, then God cannot be both omnibenevolent and omnipotent.
Since there is no blatant contradiction among the concepts of omniscience, omnibenevolence, and evil, the critic must add a couple of premises to bring to light a contradiction. J.L. Mackie adds the two premises below, says Dew:
- A good thing always eliminates evil as far as it can.
- There are no limits to what an omnipotent thing can do.
Dew shows that Mackie must demonstrate that these statements are necessarily true in order for there to be a logical contradiction with God’s existence. One of the primary methods to undermine this task is the free will defense, as developed by Alvin Plantinga. Since free will is a good, and those that are free may choose evil, then it may be that any world in which there is free will there may also be evil. In this way it may not be feasible for God to create a world with as much good in it as this one (since free will is a good) and yet there be no evil, even if it is logically possible for him to do so. This would undermine premise 5 as it would suggest that there are limits on what an omnipotent thing can do.
William Lane Craig offers a similar defense in his book, On Guard.  Craig also shows that God may have morally sufficient reasons for permitting any particular instance of suffering. It may be the case that God, in order to achieve an overriding good, should allow a particular instance of evil. The crucifixion of Jesus is just such an example. While it was unquestionably evil for a man to be unjustly accused, unlawfully convicted, and then executed in brutal fashion, it was to accomplish redemption for all mankind that God allowed it. In other words, the evil that was wrought on Jesus accomplished the ultimate good for mankind. One can construct non-religious examples as well, especially if modern medicine is included. The chemotherapy that makes the patient violently ill works to cure their cancer. These examples undermine premise 4 above, that a good thing always eliminates evil as far as it can.
An interesting topic raised is Plantinga’s concept of “transworld depravity”. This concept is used in conjunction with the free will defense described above and suggests that individuals may choose evil no matter what world God may put them in. Plantinga uses it to suggest that it may not be as simple for God as creating a different world in which those that go wrong in this world would not go wrong. One objection to this concept not entertained by Dew would be that God should simply refrain from creating people who fall into the category of transworld depravity.
One possible solution to this objection is “Traducianism”. This doctrine was introduced by Tertullian and entails that not only one’s body, but also one’s soul is reproduced through the union of one’s parents. This was introduced to resolve the problem of universal sinfulness in answering the question of whether God is in the business of creating fallen souls. If our fallen parents produce our soul, then its fallen nature is attributable to them and not to God. 
If this doctrine is correct, then God does not directly control which people are created in any given world. He certainly would have sovereign indirect control through choosing which world he should actualize, but he does not directly choose whether this or that person should come into existence. In this way, it is not up to God to refrain from creating those that would be transworldly depraved since he does not create anyone’s individual soul.
 James K. Dew Jr., in God and Evil: The Case for God in a World Filled with Pain – Kindle Edition by Chad Meister and James K. Dew Jr. (Downers Grove: InterVarsity Press, 2013).
 William Lane Craig, On Guard: Defending Your Faith with Reason and Precision (Colorado Springs: David C. Cook, 2010).
 Robert W. Myrant, “Whence Cometh Our Soul?” Central Bible Quarterly CENQ 06:1 (Spring 1963): 1-16.