I think that it is safe to say that we all have struggled with understanding God’s role in the suffering and evil in our fallen world. It is something that can turn us away from God. It’s something we struggle to explain to non-believers.
Answering the Toughest Questions about Suffering and Evil was written by Bruce Bickel and Stan Jantz in order to answer some of the questions we have all asked ourselves. If God created everything, did He also create evil? Why doesn’t God eliminate suffering and evil? The authors collected and answered ten of the most popular questions they are asked on the subject.
I don’t like not knowing or understanding things. So when I picked up this book, I wanted something along the lines of “God allows evil because blank as stated in the Bible here.” I want simple, straightforward answers so I can fully understand. However, that is not the case here, and that is not the fault of the authors. It is due to the nature of the topic itself, and the fact that we are not meant to understand everything completely. The authors still do a wonderful job of offering theories and explanations in response to the questions.
Throughout each chapter are a ton of reflection and discussion questions. I would recommend keeping a journal to work through some of them, and leaving yourself time (in a quiet atmosphere) to really think about your answers. I especially appreciated that, in answer to the questions, the authors gave actual, researched and supported theories and exploration, rather than listing a bunch of fluffy verses about hope and not understanding God’s ways.
Explaining topics such as this one to a Christian and to a non-Christian are two completely different things, and need to be handled and explained in very different ways. So, I really appreciated that the authors clarified that this book is directed and written for those who already believe in God, but have questions and trouble understanding how God fits in with evil. The tone of the writing was very friendly and enjoyable.
Overall, I gave this book 3/5 stars. I highly recommend it to anyone who is struggling with these questions, or who may be going though a difficult time.
*I received a free copy of this book from the publisher to review. I was not required to write a positive review. All opinions are my own.