God and the Problem of Evil: Five Views
Edited by Chad Meister and James K. Drew Jr. (Spectrum/IVP Academic)
God and the Problem of Evil: Five Views is an upcoming title in the Intervarsity Press Spectrum series, in which several writers taking different positions on a particular issue write short essays explaining their perspective and offer replies to each of the other essays. This book features Christian philosophers Phillip Cary, William Lane Craig, William Hasker, Thomas J. Oord and Stephen Wykstra each discussing the presence of evil and suffering in the world and providing possible theological explanations.
Cary argues the “Traditional” view, holding that God permits evil for the sake of a higher good. Craig presents the “Molinist” argument, claiming God in his meticulous foreknowledge has created the best possible world. Hasker gives the “Open Theist” argument, which provides a “general policy” approach to suffering where God’s good creation contains within it elements that necessarily allow for suffering but do not undermine the inherent goodness of creation. Oord writes the “Eternal Kenosis” view, claiming God’s nature of love prevents God from being able to consistently override individual’s free will to prevent evil. Wykstra provides the “Skeptical Theist” view, holding that humans cannot understand the workings of God, and evil and suffering therefore do not provide strong challenges to the existence of God.
God and the Problem of Evil will be a helpful volume for those new to the discussion of this problem and looking for a brief overview of the possible arguments and counter-arguments made by Christian philosophers and theologians.
Jake Raabe, student
Truett Theological Seminary