There is an old saying that goes like this: seek and you shall find. The flip side is also true, if you don't seek (or like Ehrman, if you have blinders on before you even try to seek), you really wont ever find the answers you are looking for. I was able to preview this book after it came to the bookstore that I work at and I am very sadden by this book, not only because it does not give a Godly answer to what is being sought, but because it seems to me that Ehrman has given up on God and just hopes, blandly and dourly, that man can bring man his own peace and preservation. Like many humanists who were once Christian but had left Christianity because their egotistical pride and wounded pride built a wall all around him, Ehrman comes to the Bible with his own bitterness blinding him from realizing the many revelations that are found in Scripture. Like many bitter and blinded people, Ehrman refuses to allow God to answer his questions, thinking that, instead, maybe, hopefully, we can create our own answers through social programs or whatnot. For indeed I challenge not only him but those like him, those who are drowning in the hopelessness of living an enslaved life to disappointments and regrets and tragedies, that God indeed does have the answer to the problem of suffering, but you wont gain the revelation if you go into Scripture with atheistic narrow-mindedness, for you then provide your own bitter answer to your own bitter questions.
We come to Scripture through the recognition that all of Scripture is a culmination of God's revelation, from the creation to the culmination of human history. Even more directly, we as Christians recognize that those questions that are indeed left hanging in the Old Testament find fruition by the lens of Jesus Christ. Let's take for example the Book of Job. Whether this is a real event or just one of the wisdom books we are able to understand the questions that are bound in Job by what God reveals to us through the life, the death, and the resurrection of Jesus Christ, our Lord, our Savior. Life is not easy. Life is painful. We go through all times of struggle, just like, on the other hand, we have times of joy. For indeed as Scripture points out, the rain comes down on both the innocent and the guilty. Yet Job teaches us that above all this, God is indeed on the throne, that God is good even when life gives us sorrow, and that God is whom we are to allow to be our anchor in the storms that life hits us with. Still there are lingering questions, such as well, with that revelation of God, where is the bridge between God and me during our disappointments and tragedies. We have the answer in Jesus Christ, Jesus Christ shows us that He (as He is God's Son, that is, He is God) knows our broken hearts, knows our wounds, and that as long as we keep our sights upon Him, as long as we prayerfully and faithfully hold onto Him, the storm will dissipate.
Let me give an example from some of my seminary family. At the seminary I go to there is a couple that recently lost their three-month-old child to a virus. Much like Darwin, mind you, who also lost his daughter to a disease, this couple had the very real option placed before them: they can keep their sights upon God in Christ and weather the storm or they can give up, give into bitterness and regret. This couple, despite the hardship of the situation, despite the fact that there will always be a wounded spot on their hearts for the rest of their lives, realized that we are to praise God in the rain just as we are to praise God in the sunshine. That God is our foundation through Jesus Christ, that we don't have to give into hopelessness like Ehrman has chosen to give into, that we can instead rejoice that God loves us and helps us if we recognize we have the choice to allow Him to help us. We are to recognize that when we rely upon Christ, though there will be struggles in life, He Himself has overcome the world, and that when we keep our sights upon Him (even during the worst of storms), we know that there is foundation under our feet. Ehrman has sadly rejected that foundation, rejected that hope, that very real foundation and that very real hope, and instead seems to blindly hope that man can save man someway, some how. Thus, in the end, I do not as a Christian necessarily despise Ehrman, instead I truly feel sorrow that he has chosen blindness.