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Jr. John G. Stackhouse's Can God Be Trusted?: Faith and the Challenge of Evil PDF

By Jr. John G. Stackhouse

ISBN-10: 0195117271

ISBN-13: 9780195117271

In a global riddled with unhappiness, malice, and tragedy, what motive will we have for believing in a benevolent God? If God is omnipotent and all-loving, why is there lots evil on the planet? John Stackhouse takes a traditionally trained method of this quandary, analyzing what philosophers and theologians have acknowledged at the topic and providing reassuring solutions for considerate readers. Stackhouse explores how nice thinkers have grappled with the matter of evil--from the Buddha, Confucius, Augustine, and David Hume to Martin Luther, C. S. Lewis, and Alvin Plantinga. with no pushing aside the intense contradictions posed by way of a God who permits incurable ailments, average failures, and mindless crimes to convey distress into our lives, Stackhouse asks if an international thoroughly with no evil is what we really wish. may a lifestyles with no soreness be a significant existence? may unfastened will exist if we have been in a position to opt for basically stable? Stackhouse examines what the easiest minds have needed to say on those questions and boldly affirms that some great benefits of evil, actually, outweigh the prices. ultimately, he issues to Christian revelation--which delivers the transformation of pain into joy--as the easiest advisor to God's

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Sample text

The lore of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam is full of speculation, but only a small core of instructive material appears in the authorita39 PROBLEMS tive Scriptures themselves. We seem to have two ways of judging the reality of such beings. The first would be to assess the credibility of the sources that claim the existence of angels and demons. Can the Hebrew Scriptures, or Christian Bible, or Muslim Qur'an be trusted in this regard? The second way would be to examine the phenomenon of evil in the world and attempt to decide whether natural causes alone suffice to explain the quantity and quality of such evil.

Isn't it simply the product of a society's history and its current power relations? Well, what do we make of the categories of guilt and innocence, of the concept of justice? Where do such ideas come from, and where ought they to come from? If we can answer these basic questions, then (and perhaps only then) we are properly poised to ask questions about God's apparently inept or uncaring response to injustice in the world. If we cannot answer them, however, then perhaps we ought to leave off accusing God for a while and think harder about what we do mean by guilt and innocence.

According to what standard? And who is to judge? " But perhaps one is guilty of Y, and X is a form of retribution for committing Y. Or perhaps one is not as innocent of X as it seems atfirstglance. . When we speak of guilt and innocence, and particularly when we protest that guilt is not punished nor innocence protected and blessed, we generally do not mean to speak only subjectively. We do not mean to express merely our own preferences about how people ought to behave. Our instinct is to pronounce this rapist or that extortionist, or this reckless driver or that murderous thief, objectively guilty, whether or not a court finds him guilty, whether or not he gets away with his misdeed.

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Can God Be Trusted?: Faith and the Challenge of Evil by Jr. John G. Stackhouse

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