D’Souza’s purpose is to not only respond to the atheist to show that there is no contradiction between suffering and the existence of God, but also to help Christians understand why God permits suffering and how we can love and relate to a God who often seems indifferent to suffering.
D’Souza claims to offer a solution to the problem of evil that has not been offered before, a solution that complements and integrates existing answers. He leans on the Anthropic Principle – the princle of the fine-tuned universe. He logically illustrates that the divine architect wanted to make a lawful universe of human beings who could freely relate to Him – designed not in the best possible way but in the ONLY possible way for a God who is both loving and just.
D’Souza also intelligently tackles other difficult issues like accusations that God is portrayed in the Old Testament as the perpetrator of violence and genocide. He also provides rationally convincing arguments for other difficult topics, like the existence of hell.
The answers don’t make suffering go away or dry all tears. D’Souza admits that the intellectual solution to the problem of evil and suffering doesn’t solve the immediate emotional problem. He states, “This book helps to make suffering intelligible, and this, I believe, can provide in the end a profound consolation.” While we still mourn, we can draw closer to God instead of blaming Him as we see why He permits evil and suffering. D’Souza’s goal is to provide a rational ground for hope. I think he accomplishes this well.
This book touched on a number of topics covered in my seminary philosophy class, but in a very readable and entertaining fashion. I did not agree with all of D’Souza’s theology, but I could still follow along and agree with the larger points he was making.
This book isn’t beach material. I had to lay it aside on my vacation and pick it up when I returned when I was ready to put my thinking cap on. This is not to imply that it’s deeply academic, but it is easily readable in a mind-stretching way. I would recommend this book for those in ministry, counseling, or evangelism, or those who enjoy reading apologetic-genre books.
I was provided a complementary copy of this book from Tyndale House Publishers in exchange for my honest review.