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If God, Why Evil?: A New Way to Think About the Question Paperback – February 1, 2011

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From the Back Cover

Where Did Evil Come From? And Why Doesn't God Do Something About It?

The problem of evil is perhaps the most difficult question the Christian must face. If God is 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 questions, 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 loving and all-powerful.

Named an Outreach Magazine Resource of the Year

"This is classic Geisler--brilliant, incisive, succinct, convincing. He's one of the great defenders of Christianity."
--Lee Strobel, author, The Case for Christ and The Case for the Real Jesus

"This is one of the clearest, most comprehensive, and penetrating presentations on one of the most difficult problems that thinking Christians face."
--Ravi Zacharias, Author/speaker, President Ravi Zacharias International Ministries

About the Author

Norman L. Geisler (PhD, Loyola University of Chicago) has taught at top evangelical colleges and seminaries for over fifty years and is distinguished professor of apologetics and theology at Veritas Evangelical Seminary in Murrieta, California. He is the
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 176 pages
  • Publisher: Bethany House Publishers (February 1, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0764208128
  • ISBN-13: 978-0764208126
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.4 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (73 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #107,937 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Norman L. Geisler (PhD, Loyola University) has taught theology, philosophy, and apologetics on the college or graduate level for over 50 years. He has served as a professor at Trinity Evangelical Seminary, Dallas Theological Seminary, and Liberty University. He was the co-founder of both Southern Evangelical Seminary and Veritas Evangelical Seminary. He currently is the Chancellor of Veritas Evangelical Seminary, the Distinguished Professor of Apologetics at Veritas Evangelical Seminary, and a Visiting Professor of Apologetics at Southern Evangelical Seminary.

He is the author/coauthor of more than ninety books including I Don't Have Enough Faith to be an Atheist, Twelve Points that Show Christianity is True, The Big Book of Apologetics, Baker's Encyclopedia of Apologetics, When Skeptics Ask, When Critics Ask, From God to Us, A History of Western Philosophy, Defending Inerrancy, Systematic Theology, If God Why Evil, Philosophy of Religion, Christian Apologetics, and Biblical Inerrancy.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

26 of 28 people found the following review helpful By David C. Leaumont on February 25, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Dr. Geisler continues to show his accessibility as a scholar by providing another work that appeals to many different audiences. The budding apologist could use this as an introduction to the issue of evil. The church teacher or lay reader benefits from having a solid and accessible discussion of the topic from beginning to end. The scholar can have a quick read to refresh the logical aspects behind the apparent problem of evil. Dr. Geisler states that the greatest and most frequent criticism of Christianity is the Problem of Evil. This work is the culmination of his years of thought and writing on the subject in an attempt to bring a concise yet thorough work to the public on this issue.

Dr. Geisler's focus in dealing with the Problem of Evil is to use various logical premises to come to a conclusion. What he does is breaks the logical argument into small concepts that can each either build upon each other into a theory, belief or fact, or they can be individually critiqued to find out where the logic is flawed. He starts off with the skeptic's logical concepts, like:

.....1) God created all things.
.....2) Evil is something.
.....3) Therefore, God created evil.

From here, Dr. Geisler takes each of the three premises to see if the argument is sound or if it contains flaws. Dr. Geisler's argument in this case is that evil is not a created item, but a corruption of the good God created. He discusses how this logical flow breaks down in premise two, and should be rephrased to say:

.....1) God created all things.
.....2) Evil is not a thing.
.....3) Hence, God did not create evil.

This does not end the discussion on this issue, as there are critiques of his stance such as 'why didn't God make incorruptible things?
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15 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Amy Deardon on April 25, 2011
Format: Paperback
Geisler's book would not necessarily be the most comforting to read for those who are concurrently going through an emotionally trying time, since it maintains an objective presentation for the problem of evil. At the same time, it WOULD be helpful for those who wish to puzzle through these issues, and gives credible reasons for believing in God despite the existence of evil.

The ten chapters with topics that Geisler addresses are:

Three Views on Evil
The Nature of Evil
The Origin of Evil
The Persistence of Evil
The Purpose of Evil
The Avoidability of Evil
The Problem of Physical Evil
Miracles and Evil
The Problem of Eternal Evil (Hell)
What About Those Who Have Never Heard?

Geisler presents arguments for the existence of the Christian God: a separate being from his creation, who is all-knowing, all-loving, all-just, and all-powerful. He asks blunt questions: if this evil type of situation exists, how can God be there also?

Geisler sets up the arguments against God in a syllogistic format, stating the premises that lead to disbelieving that God exists, and then discusses why some of the premises may be faulty.

His arguments are elegant, with information that takes time to digest. Even so, the book is only about 175 pages, certainly not over-intimidating. Geisler also includes three appendices: Animal death before Adam, Evidence for the existence of God, and a Critique of The Shack, that are provocative.

As a Christian I found Geisler's arguments compelling. At the same time, while talking with atheists I find that straight logic is usually not sufficient to "prove" God's existence, although God's existence can be strongly supported.
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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Dr Conrade Yap TOP 1000 REVIEWER on February 23, 2011
Format: Paperback
This is a very clearly presented book set out to defend the theistic perspective of God, evil and the nature of suffering. It uses simple language that can be readily understood by the layperson. It will be helpful especially those without much training in philosophy or theology. Using step by step 'handrails' to guide the reader through the arguments and counter-arguments, one can easily navigate the flow of arguments. In ten chapters, Geisler deals with the different views of evil, the nature, origin, persistence, purpose, miracles, and many of the common difficult challenges facing people who are genuinely concerned about evil and suffering in this world. Each chapter contains brief examples for quick appreciation.

The last three appendices comprise of materials that cover animal deaths, proving the existence of God, and a book critique of The Shack. They do not seem to fit into the overall flow of the book. Yet, they are somewhat relevant to the topic of suffering. They are helpful chapters, but I feel are not necessary toward the overall thesis of the book. What surprises me is the way Geisler squeezed into the appendices a sharp critique of Paul Young's The Shack. A little uncalled for, I thought.

I am amazed at how the author treats the topic sensitively and clearly, without sacrificing the breadth of coverage. My main critique is that Geisler fails to include more of the alternative arguments from the standpoint of the questioner. For example, in arguing the Best Possible World theory, what about the arguments against this? At times, I feel like Geisler is over-enthusiastic to present his side of the story, that he understates the 'other point of view.' I believe Geisler is right on many fronts.
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