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
Subscriber Access Only
Delegates Denied
U.S. immigration officials hamper Christian gatherings.
RecommendedPersecution in the Early Church: Did You Know?
Persecution in the Early Church: Did You Know?
Beginning as a despised, illicit religious sect, Christianity endured 300 years of hostility to emerge as the dominant force in the Roman Empire.
TrendingOld Hollywood’s Abortion Secret
Old Hollywood’s Abortion Secret
What a culture of death tells us about a culture of life.
Editor's PickTen Christian Athletes Who Were Tebowing Before Tebow
Ten Christian Athletes Who Were Tebowing Before Tebow
Christian sports stars have a long history of using their public platform to display their private faith.
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.