God, Relationships, and Evil
As an undergraduate the author was influenced strongly by Bertrand Russell’s rejection of Christianity due to the amount of evil in the world. After years of reading and reflecting on this topic, this book was written in the hope of providing better insight on this issue.
The book’s first part offers an analysis of the two primary historical approaches to theodicy—the free-will theodicy originated by Augustine and the “soul-making” or character development theodicy elaborated by John Hick. But the great value of human free will and character development does not seem adequately to justify all the evil we perceive.
The second part shows why development of relationships among God and human beings requires considerable evil. Important non-relationship oriented explanations are taken into account. Justifications for permitting horrific evils including holocausts and world wars are given.
The final part provides an analysis of the argument from evil including forms of the argument which have appeared in recent years in philosophical journals. Although evidence restricted to some evils or evil alone may have some weight, when good is included as well as evil, theists are justified in claiming the evidence supports their position far better than atheism.