Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Review: If God Why Evil by Norman Geisler

I had high hopes for this book. Though I haven’t read any of his more recent works, I have long respected Geisler as a very solid apologetics teacher. In this one, however, he let me down.

First, I just didn’t like the way it was written. It is page after page of logical syllogisms which just don’t make for interesting reading and might not make that much sense to a reader who hasn’t studied logic.

Second, he seems to be answering questions posed by atheists thirty years ago, rather than dealing with the New Age spirituality (think Emergent panentheists) of today. It really didn’t seem relevant to the issues that face the church today.

Third, his main premise is based on the assumption that we have free will. Reformed readers will likely find this really frustrating to read. Geisler ignores the passages of Scripture in which God answered questions posed to Him about the existence of evil and suffering (Job 40-42, and John 9:2-3 to name a few). While Geisler blames evil on free will, we see in Job that Satan needed God's permission and God gave it (Job chapter 2). All that befell Job was not because of Satans free will, but because God allowed it.

On a more positive note, the last to chapters were devoted to hell and answering the question “What about those who have never hear?” I found those two chapters to be a refreshing improvement over the rest of the book.

I must mention that I received a complimentary review copy of this book from Bethany House, but that in no way influenced my opinion of it.

No comments:

Post a Comment