We all suffer, and we often wonder why we suffer. We yearn to find meaning in—or despite—the evils that assail us. Everyone does this, whether they believe in one God, no god, many gods, or claim ignorance on the matter. Christians are compelled to give a meaningful and rational explanation for God, good, and evil (1 Pet. 3:15). Those enlisted in this noble cause include intellectual giants such as Augustine, Aquinas, Pascal, Jonathan Edwards, C. S. Lewis, and Alvin Plantinga. Now Dinesh D'Souza bids to join their august ranks—and even to outshine them.
D'Souza, president of the King's College in New York City, made his name as a conservative public policy analyst. In recent years, however, he has also written books on Christian apologetics and has debated well-known atheists such as Christopher Hitchens and Peter Singer. His latest offering is Godforsaken: Bad Things Happen. Is there a God who cares? Yes. Here's proof (Tyndale). In it, D'Souza tackles the perennially vexing problem of evil.
From Epicurus to David Hume to Hitchens, unbelievers have denied that one can rationally believe in a God who is both all-good and all-powerful, given the amount and variety of evil in the world. If God were good, he would want to eliminate evil; if he were all-powerful, he could eliminate evil. Yet evil exists. Therefore, the atheist concludes that the God of traditional theism does not exist. The burden of the Christian apologist is to reconcile the fact of evil with the reality of God, without committing intellectual suicide.
Tackling this topic is a tall order for a short book written by a non-philosopher. I respect much of D'Souza's political analysis. However, concerning apologetics—despite his native intelligence, ...