Guest / Limited Access /

This is the classic philosophical assault on the idea of God being all-good, all-wise, and all-powerful. If a book can answer Hume, it can answer most skeptics today. If it doesn't try to answer Hume, move on to one that does.

The Brothers Karamazov
by Fyodor Dostoevsky (Penguin Classics)

Why does God allow evil, particularly atrocities? No book more effectively punctures philosophical and theological abstractions with the sharp end of real life.

The Problem of Pain
by C. S. Lewis (Harperone)

Lewis's classic is still the most wide-ranging, accessible, and cogent response to the problem of evil. Don't let its analytical tone make you forget, as many do, that its author lost his mother in childhood and fought on the frontlines of the First World War.

A Grief Observed
by C. S. Lewis (Harperone)

This cri de coeur ("cry from the heart"), rivaled by Nicholas Wolterstorff's Lament for a Son, keeps any intellectual response to evil appropriately modest. Ideas are good; prayers, even angry ones, are better.

God, Freedom, and Evil
by Alvin Plantinga (Eerdmans)

The most accessible statement of Plantinga's Free Will Defense, this argument revolutionized the modern philosophical discussion and helped make Christian thinking plausible in the broader academy.


Related Elsewhere:

John Stakhouse is author of Can God be Trusted? Faith and the Challenge of Evil (InterVarsity Press).

Previous articles on evil from Christianity Today include:

Theodicy in Light of Eternity | Theologians see hope for the future based on the past. (January 25, 2010)
The Problem of Goodness | It's not just the problem of evil that baffles the secularist. (December 22, 2009)
The Evil In Us | Prisoner torture ...
Subscriber access only You have reached the end of this Article Preview

To continue reading, subscribe now. Subscribers have full digital access.

From Issue:
Read These NextSee Our Latest
Also in this Issue
A 21st Century Reformation: Be Agents of Reconciliation
Leaders from Malaysia, Argentina, Nigeria, and the United States share their dreams for major changes in the global church.
RecommendedWhy You Can Still Bet Your Life on Christ
Subscriber Access Only
Why You Can Still Bet Your Life on Christ
An updated version of Pascal’s wager offers a powerful argument for Christian commitment.
TrendingNicole Cliffe: How God Messed Up My Happy Atheist Life
Nicole Cliffe: How God Messed Up My Happy Atheist Life
I had no untapped, unanswered yearnings. All was well in the state of Denmark. And then it wasn’t.
Editor's PickLetters with the Mosque Next Door
Letters with the Mosque Next Door
How a budding friendship between a pastor and an imam brought a community together.
Christianity Today
My Top 5 Books on The Problem of Evil
hide thisSeptember September

In the Magazine

September 2010

To continue reading, subscribe now for full print and digital access.