Short answer — you can’t.
Well, you can, but that requires mindbending scholastic and philosophical acrobatics. However, even after you painstakingly dot all the i’s and cross every single t, you are inevitably left with an inherently unsatisfying and, I dare say, disappointing argument.
Of course, most orthodox thinkers find such acrobatic resolutions completely satisfactory, and that’s fine.
I mean, if the assumption of Omnigod is non-negotiable, then philosophical gymnastics are not only expected but required.
Nevertheless, it would probably behoove orthodox thinkers wrestling with theodicy to consider the views of their heterodox brothers, particularly Nikolai Berdyaev, who formulated a more satisfactory theodicy, one that subtly challenges the Omnigod assumption yet still manages to maintain many orthodox bulwarks.
Berdyaev’s resolution for the problem of evil resides in the primacy of freedom, freedom over which God has little or no control. Though this conceptualization limits God’s omni capabilities, it also exonerates and vindicates Him from all responsibility for the existence of evil.
Berdyaev argues in favor of the existence of Jacob Boehme’s Ungrund — the Divine Nothing that is still Something — from which the Creator God emerges and, subsequently, creates the cosmos.
In The Destiny of Man, Berdyaev writes,
"From this point of view, it may be said that freedom is not created by God: it is rooted in the Nothing, in the UNGRUND from all eternity.
The opposition between God the Creator and freedom is secondary: in the primeval mystery of the Divine Nothing this opposition is transcended, for both God and freedom are manifested out of the UNGRUND.
God the Creator cannot be responsible for freedom which gave rise to evil. Man is the child of God and the child of freedom - of nothing, of non-being. Meonic freedom (το μη ον —that which is not, or nothingness) consented to God's act of creation; non-being freely accepted being."
In a nutshell, God emerged from freedom, a primordial nothingness that is not nothingness because it is freedom, and it is from this primordial nothingness that He creates.
Hence, everything God creates comes infused with what Berdyaev calls meonic freedom.
God, Berdyaev argues, is all-powerful over the parts He creates (being), but he has no power over the uncreated freedom from which he creates, the freedom that remains in his creations (meonic freedom, or non-being).
Berdyaev postulates that this uncreated freedom is the source of good and evil or, more precisely, that it offers beings the potential for good or evil.
Berdyaev’s theodicy succeeds where orthodox theodicies fail — uncreated freedom convincingly absolves God of evil. Since God did not create the primordial Divine Nothing from which He emerged and from which He creates, He cannot be held responsible for the potential for evil inherent in His Creation.
I suppose the same applies to the presence of good; however, Berdyaev argues that God exemplifies mastery over uncreated freedom by using His solely for good, while we exhibit significantly less mastery.
Though Berdyaev’s theodicy sets limits on God’s omni-powers, it still aligns (more or less) with many orthodox tenets, such as the Trinity and creation out of nothing (sort of, because the Ungrund is a nothing that is not nothing).
Following orthodox beliefs, Berdyaev does not believe God created from eternally existing elements. He also believes God is omni in everything except freedom.
Though I find Berdyaev’s theodicy far more cogent than traditional theodicies, I do not regard it as conclusive. Overall, I believe he takes many steps in the right direction, yet like his orthodox brethren, he is, in the end, far too wedded to convention and ultimately fails to push his breakthrough in the direction it wishes to go — the assumption of eternally existing Beings and pluralism.
But I’ll leave that for another post.