Book Review: Why Does God Allow Evil? by Clay Jones
by Timothy Fox
Why Does God Allow Evil? with Clay Jones was probably the most important class I took during my time in the Christian apologetics program at Biola University. Years of pastoring and teaching have allowed him to craft a solid theodicy, a defense of God’s goodness in the face of great evil. And now I’m thrilled that Clay’s course is available to all, translated into book form.
Each of the book’s eleven chapters answers a specific question. The first, “Why Do We Suffer For Adam’s Sin?” explores the origin of evil and why we, thousands of years later, suffer the consequences. Chapter two is the most difficult of all to read, examining “Why Do Bad Things Happen to Good People?” This chapter displays the full depravity of mankind through excruciating detail from human history. The following chapter, “Are There No Good People?” follows a similar theme, but from a biblical perspective.
Chapters four and five explore two important objections with eternal consequences: the fate of the unevangelized and the fairness of eternal damnation (hell).
Chapters 6, 7, and 8 center on the free will defense of evil. While free will enables us to inflict pain and suffering on each other, freedom is immensely valuable. Clay uses many examples from popular sci-fi television shows and movies, such as Star Trek and The Matrix, to show that humans greatly value free will and despise being controlled. Chapter 7 examines whether God could have given humans free will yet somehow avoided evil and chapter 8 answers an interesting question: “Will We Have Free Will in Heaven?”
The remaining chapters continue focus on heaven. So much attention is paid to the pain and suffering humans face in this life that sometimes eternal life is ignored. But heaven is as much a part of the Christian worldview as the trouble that is caused because of sin. No matter how great our suffering may be here on earth, it will be…
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