Monday, May 12, 2014

How Did Evil Come Into The World?

Science and the Problem of EvilScience and the Problem of Evil by William Edgar
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

How Did Evil Come Into The World?

The Christian Answers to Hard Questions series from P&R Publishing and Westminster Seminary Press is a great set of resources to become quickly familiarized with those questions that are not explicitly addressed in Scripture and are often the object of serious, and sometimes troubling, debate.  The question addressed in this volume, dealing with the origin of evil, is one of those that will be brought up by skeptics and pondered by any thoughtful believer.

Professor Edgar does a great job providing a foundation from Scripture as to how evil originated in the human world.  I was concerned at first that this was going to be the whole of the booklet and that the greater question of evil’s origin was going to be left unapproached.  My concern proved unwarranted as Professor Edgar did go into evil’s origin and used a metaphysical/covenantal argument for how a good, sovereign being can create a world where evil comes to exist.

Edgar also interacts with scientific objections and alternate claims to the origin/existence of evil.  I have been constantly encouraged with this series of booklets in how science and faith are presented as not mutually exclusive or in perpetual opposition.

I do not think this is a work that is going to convince the cemented skeptic, dead set on undermining the faith of na├»ve Christians.  In fairness, only the Spirit of God is going to be able to reach these people in any meaningful way.  This work, however, will serve the believer to encourage us when the skepticism comes from within.  Edgar acknowledges that his position is not a Rosetta stone for the problem of evil, but, “(w)hile such clarifications certainly do not solve all the problems, we can nevertheless go a little beyond just calling the entrance of evil into the world a pure mystery.”

I received a review copy from the publisher.

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