Friday, April 29, 2011

"If God, Why Evil?" by Norman L. Geisler ~ Bethany House Book Review

208126: If God, Why Evil?: A New Way to Think about the Question If God, Why Evil?: A New Way to Think about the Question

By Norman L. Geisler / Bethany House

Why does God allow evil to exist? Good question, says Geisler. Addressing metaphysical, moral, and physical complexities, he surveys evil's nature, origin, persistence, and purpose; offers a biblical discussion of why a loving God allows some people to experience hell; and shares personal stories of believers who found real-life solutions to the conundrum of pain and suffering. 176 pages, softcover from Bethany.

"Where does Evil come from? And Why Doesn't God Do Something About It? The problem of evil is probably the most difficult question the Christian must face. If God is all-good and all-powerful, why is there suffering in the world? Can't God put an end to murder, rape, and starvation? What about earthquakes, hurricanes, and tsunamis? Why couldn't a perfect God have made a perfect world?

In this concise but thorough book, Dr. Norman Geisler carefully answers these tough questiopns, using step-by-step explanations and compelling examples. He walks the reader through time-tested answers, but also provides a new approach revolving around whether or not this world is the 'best of all possible worlds.' All this adds up to comforting news for believers: We can rest assured that God is both all-loving and all-powerful."

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How many times have those of us in the Christian faith been confronted with these types of questions? My typical answer is that while we may not understand now, we will see it all clearly when we reach Eternity. God's ways are not our ways, and our human intellect can not always see the reasons why ~ that's when our faith is tested and when we put what we say we believe into practice. There is always a bigger picture and our faith is what gets us through, trusting that He indeed works all things for good.

I do, however, understand that while faith comes so easily for me, for many others it does not. As a Bethany House book reviewer, I jumped at the chance to receive this book. I was hoping for new insights, hoping to be armed with helpful, Biblical responses to those struggling with belief in God as well as those faltering in their faith during tragic times.

This book is described as being written with the layman in mind, but I have to disagree with that description. While the book is very thorough and scripturally sound, and I like to think I'm a fairly intelligent person, I found it difficult to follow and would often have to read each point several times to try to wrap my brain around what the author was saying. It often made me think of what it was like sitting in a difficult professor's college class. =)

There were several times that I set the book aside, thinking I had read all that I could handle. I persevered, however, and managed to get part due to determination, and in part due to pride! I like to think that I'm a pretty smart cookie and refused to let this book get the best of me! It is theologically and scripturally on point, but I also think it's a book that someone like myself would have to read again and again to ever get all of the concepts presented.

As a homeschooling mom, I've learned all about personality types and learning styles, and this book was definitely not written for mine.....or, I think, the "layman", as suggested. This book is extremely intellictually and theologically deep ~ very deep. It would most definitely be a worthwhile read for one to whom this type of writing appeals to. I kept thinking as I was reading, "I bet my husband would like this book".

Maybe he can read it and explain it to me. ;)

This book was provided by Bethany House in exchange for my honest review.

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