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The Many Faces of Evil (Revised and Expanded Edition): Theological Systems and the Problems of Evil Paperback – May 6, 2004

4.8 out of 5 stars 14 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews


"Feinberg's classic treatment of the problem of evil has been a standard treatment of this philosophical issue for some time. Coming from the Augustinian/Reformed tradition, it is a vigorous defense of both God's sovereignty and human responsibility. This new edition makes an already great book even better, as Feinberg has been able to incorporate new material in his debates and conversation with people like Rowe and Plantinga. This is surely one of the most important books ever written on the problem of evil. Those who ignore it will find their own understanding of the issue impoverished, especially in light of the current discussion."
Chad Owen Brand, Associate Professor of Christian Theology, The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary

"The Many Faces of Evil presents an excellent overview and response to the logical, evidential, and existential aspects of the problem. Those who expect insightful, decisive analyses from John Feinberg will not be disappointed. Crossway Books is also to be commended for its ongoing tradition of strong scholarly publications. This is a 'must read' text."
Gary R. Habermas, Distinguished Research Professor and Chair, Philosophy Department, Liberty University

"In this updated edition, Feinberg continues to press home the message that there are many versions of the problem of evil and that, in fact, there are many successful solutions to these versions as well. Feinberg gives a thorough presentation of the alternatives as well as of his own position. A valuable resource!"
Winfried Corduan, Professor of Philosophy and Religion, Taylor University

"This latest edition of The Many Faces of Evil is a gem. It provides extensive analyses of various statements of the problem of evil as well as responses that can be offered from a variety of Christian perspectives. Feinberg shows that both the problem and the response to the problem will vary, depending on one's understanding of God and of evil. His own position is offered in dialogue with major classic and contemporary discussions of the problem of evil."
Ronald J. Feenstra, Director of Doctoral Studies, Calvin Theological Seminary

"The Many Faces of Evil is a thorough, clear, and highly competent treatment of a perennial problem. At times, it is painful and moving to read. All of us can learn much from it."
Keith E. Yandell, Julius R. Weinberg Professor of Philosophy, Emeritus, University of Wisconsin Madison

About the Author

John S. Feinberg (PhD, University of Chicago) is department chair and professor of biblical and systematic theology at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School. He is the author of Ethics for a Brave New World (with Paul D. Feinberg) and is general editor of Crossway’s Foundations of Evangelical Theology series.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 544 pages
  • Publisher: Crossway; Revised and Expanded ed. edition (May 6, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1581345674
  • ISBN-13: 978-1581345674
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1.1 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #145,387 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By J. F Foster on October 15, 2004
Format: Paperback
It is clear from this book that the problem of evil has long been a pressing concern of John Feinberg. What started out as a doctoral dissertation many years ago has morphed into an effective and mostly comprehensive exploration of this perennial problem from an evangelical perspective. While I don't agree with everything Feinberg proposes, I do think evangelicals of all theological stripes will be greatly informed by this book.

Among the strengths of the book is Feinberg's interaction with the ideas of non-evangelicals where the problem of evil is concerned. He effectively and thoughtfully interacts with a number of non-evangelicals as well as skeptics, and this alone is noteworthy. Feinberg seems to be interested in constructive, yet principled dialogue with those outside his own camp, and as an evangelical, it is hoped by this reader that such dialogue will be reciprocated by theological liberals who claim to be interested in such dialogue.

I also thought that Feinberg's view that the problem of evil is actually a series of problemS of evil is penetrating and really helps the comprehensive treatment of the subject that we see here. While I might quibble a bit with the degree to which Feinberg attempts to categorize these various problems, and thus arguably diminishes their interrelated nature, I do think this approach does justice to the issue and helps avoid a facile examination that too often plagues evangelical treatments of the subject. In particular, his 'religious problem of evil', which is really the existential problem of evil, is a valuable and thoughtful addition that evangelical scholarship in the theodicy area has been severely neglectful of.
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Format: Paperback
Evil and suffering are perennial problems which baffle theist and atheist alike. But the presence of evil in the world is a real challenge to those who believe in an all-powerful and an all-benevolent God. Thus the problem of evil. Or, as Feinberg makes clear, the problems of evil. For there are many problems.

Thus in this volume Feinberg interacts with a number of theological and philosophical issues surrounding the topic of evil in the world. As such, it is perhaps the most thorough and rigorous evangelical treatment of the problem thus far available.

And it is no lightweight. Those wanting an easy-to-read overview of the issues are urged to look elsewhere. But for those willing to think carefully and critically, this 500-page treatment is top quality.

Since there are many issues involved, Feinberg treats each one in turn. For example, there is the logical or deductive problem of evil. There is the evidential or inductive problem. And evil itself can be broken down, as in moral evil and natural evil. And there are different was of approaching this issues. There is the free-will defense of Augustine and Plantinga. There is the soul-making theodicy of Irenaeus and Hick. There is the best possible world approach of Leibniz, and so on. All of these major approaches - and criticisms of them - are tackled by Feinberg. Feinberg therefore interacts with many dozens of earlier as well as recent thinkers on this issue.

The result is a very thorough and comprehensive treatment of the issue. Feinberg himself comes from a Reformed perspective, and he argues for a position he calls the Modified Rationalist framework. And even that position can be broken down into various versions.
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Format: Paperback
In the past year or so, I have had many questions concerning God and his role in our lives, if any. I have had many of these questions because of the amount and intensity of evil in the world today. Given these questions, I was looking for a book that had some answers for me. I kept wondering how an all-loving God could allow such evil in the world with the intensity that it is today. I was lucky enough to find this book which has answered many of my questions.

Dr. Feinberg does a wonderful job of explaining that there is not just one problem of evil but there are several. He also clearly states that an answer to one of the problems may not be the answer to another problem. For instance, there is moral/logical problem of evil, the eveidential problem of evil, the problem of hell and the religious problem of evil. The moral problem of evil deals with the seeming inconsistent position that God is all good but there is evil in the world. The evidental problem deals with the argument that the amount of evil or the appearance of gratuitous evil demonstrates that there is no God. The problem of hell deals with the question of how an all good God could punish humans for sins that are finite in nature for eternity. Lastly, the religious problem of evil deals with the question of why bad things happen to good people.

All of these questions are answered in several different ways. The one thing I loved about this book is that Dr. Feinberg sets forth the arguments of atheists and then counters them from many different points of view - theonomy, rationalists, modified rationalists, theists, etc....Dr.
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