The problem addressed in this book is captured it its title: If God, Why Evil?
If there is a good and all-powerful God, why does evil exist? There are many related questions:
- Why did God create creatures who could sin?
- Why didn’t God create a better world with less suffering and evil?
- Why do natural disasters occur?
- Why doesn’t God miraculously intervene more often?
- How is hell fair?
- Why would God create people knowing they would go to hell?
- What about those who have never heard about Christ?
If God, Why Evil? by Norman L. Geisler tackles these questions. Other books tackle them too, but I don’t know of many that cover so much ground so clearly and concisely. If you want to untangle the assumptions contained in any of the questions listed above, and get clarity about the answers, then this book is for you.
The chapters on hell and inclusivism seemed especially timely. The questions being raised about hell point to some assumptions that need to be uncovered. We need to be prepared to answer tough questions about heaven, hell, and the fate of those who’ve never heard of Christ. Geisler’s book is a helpful guide in answering these questions.
One caution: In facing the problem of evil, you need to decide whether you’re dealing with a logical question or emotional pain. While this book confronts both logic and emotion, it’s much stronger on the logic side. This means I’d be much more likely to give it to a university students than I would to grieving parents, at least at first. We need to be equipped to answer these questions, though, and you can’t really answer them well pastorally if you can’t think through them logically.
An appendix contains a critique of The Shack. At first this seemed out of place, but I get it. It’s almost like a practicum that applies the logic of the book to the ways that some of these questions are normally answered.
If you’re looking for a short, clear, and logical response to the problem of evil, I highly recommend this book. It will equip you to think through the issues and to be ready to minister to those who are asking these questions.
Book has been provided courtesy of Bethany House Publishers and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc.