, January 25, 2011
(view all comments by Michael Powe)
This short, dense book presents a logical response to "the problem of evil" in Christian thought. "The problem of evil" typically is presented by non-Christians in something like this format: If God is all-powerful and all-knowing, then God could do away with evil in the world. That he does not do so, has various negative connotations: he's not all-powerful; he's not a loving God (because he lets evil things happen to people); he doesn't exist; &c.
Using syllogistic logic, Plantinga demonstrates that evil must exist in order for human beings to have free will. It is impossible for God to remove evil from the world without at the same time removing free will.
This is not a proof that God exists. It simply is a refutation of the "problem of evil" arguments against the existence of God as he is understood by Christians. It's not an easy read, either. To fully understand the argument, you have to be able to follow some fairly complex logical constructions. I found it a worthwhile book because it enables the reader to simply dump the whole "problem of evil" question back on its proponents.