A new theodicy embracing the Augustinian tradition of free will as the touchstone for evil
Evil and the Evidence for God
The Challenge of John Hick's Theodicy
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R. Douglas Geivett, afterword by John Hick
How to reconcile the existence of evil with the belief in a benevolent God has long posed a philosophical problem to the system of Christian theism. John Hick's book, Evil and the Love of God, is perhaps the best known work to redress this difficulty in modern terms. Sharing Hick's interest in responding to the question of evil, R. Douglas Geivett constructs his own new "theodicy for today." But Geivett departs from Hick by embracing the Augustinian tradition of free will and returning the responsibility for evil to human beings themselves.
"Moving from a comparison of the Irenaean and Augustinian traditions in theodicy to a powerfully original critique of Hick's influential 'soul-making' theodicy, Geivett presents a richly developed natural theology drawing on contemporary scientific opinion in support of an ex nihilo creation. Geivett's writing on natural theology is lucid and informed, honestly engaging many of that tradition's critics....This work is notable for its exceptionally thorough documentation and references, making it a valuable sourcebook for reflection on God and evil. A stimulating afterword by Hick himself significantly enriches this book's provocative analyses."
"Geivett details a natural theology and develops a way of understanding the existence of evil that places the fact of evil within, rather than in opposition to, a theistic view. Both the natural theology and the theodicy are rich and complex."
"In this interesting and worthwhile work, Geivett's statement of arguments in natural theology is fuller and fairer than that given by Hick in his writings. This book is an outstanding contribution to the field."
Part I: Two Traditions
Part II: Religious Epistemology
Part III: Theodicy Proper
Afterword by John Hick