Upon reading this chapter in the Brothers Karamazov I find myself confused as to why The Grand Inquisitor is considered to be such a powerful argument for atheism and against theodicy. What are typical Christian responses (apologetic) to this argument?
Please also address the following areas which confuse me:
- The chapter itself seems to state that Jesus set the bar much too high for man with respect to salvation, but isn't it true that humans were never intended to reach the level of holiness that Jesus attained and that salvation is a gift to those who repent?
- Why is Ivan's description of the suffering of children such powerful ammunition for rejecting God?
I will accept answers sourced from any reputable apologetic organizations, or well-known apologists/theologians.