Saturday, March 23, 2013

Review of GOD AND EVIL edited by Chad Meister and James K. Dew Jr.

The reality of evil and suffering in a world is a problem that everyone struggles with at some point, especially when it comes to believing in the existence of a good God who created the world we live in. If a good God created the world, why all this evil? GOD AND EVIL is a new book from InterVarsity Press edited by Chad Meister and James K. Dew Jr. The book is a collection of essays by scholars and Christian thinkers wrestling with the many different issues involved in the problem of evil. There's some interesting essays in this book, including possible reasons why God might allow evil, an essay on God's hiddenness, original sin and its origin, evil from the perspective of other religions, and of course hell. There are even essays on evolution and intelligent design.

I especially appreciate Bruce Little's contribution on gratuitous evil, Paul Copan's contributions on original sin, and William Craig's chapter on the doctrine of hell.

The only issue I had with the book, which could be a strength or a weakness to the book, is the differing and sometimes contradictory viewpoints taken up. For example, Craig argues for a particularist approach to hell which is followed by an essay by Kyle Blanchette and Jerry L. Walls arguing for more of a Rob Bell-like inclusivist approach. Someone reading this book hoping to come away with some solid answers may find themselves more frustrated by the end. Still, it was interesting to see some of these viewpoints side by side and would recommend it to someone who has already had some experience wrestling through the issues presented.

Review copy provided by InterVarsity Press

Photo Credit: InterVarsity Press

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