Book Review: “ Why God Allows Us To Suffer: The Definitive Solution To The Problem Of Pain And The Problem Of Evil” By Kevin Tewes (Trinity Publishing Group, LLC: Chapel Hill, North Carolina, 2015) -- By: Gregory Schulz

Journal: Global Journal of Classical Theology
Volume: GJCT 13:2 (Sep 2016)
Article: Book Review: “ Why God Allows Us To Suffer: The Definitive Solution To The Problem Of Pain And The Problem Of Evil” By Kevin Tewes (Trinity Publishing Group, LLC: Chapel Hill, North Carolina, 2015)
Author: Gregory Schulz


Book Review: “
Why God Allows Us To Suffer:
The Definitive Solution To The Problem Of Pain And The Problem Of Evil”
By Kevin Tewes (Trinity Publishing Group, LLC: Chapel Hill, North Carolina, 2015)

Gregory Schulz

Professor of Philosophy
Concordia University Wisconsin

First, a word from God, who is referenced in the title of this book: “Not many of you should become teachers, my brothers, for you know that we who teach will be judged with greater strictness” (James 3:1). We’ll come back to this apostolic admonition.

Ladies and gentlemen of the jury, this book, from its hubristic title to its concluding unphilosophical postscript-ing of Soren Kierkegaard, ought to be ruled inadmissible to the discussion of the Problem of Evil. It is not serious. It is not philosophical. It is not theological.

1.

Not many of us should presume to write on the Problem of Evil. Let me put this in philosophic terms and in the words of the philosopher D.Z. Phillips.

Philosophizing about the problem of evil has become commonplace. Theories, theodicies and defenses abound, all seeking either to render intelligible, or to justify, God’s ways to human beings. Such writing should be done in fear: fear that in our philosophizings we will betray the evils people have suffered, and, in that way, sin against them. Betrayal occurs every time explanations and justifications of evils are offered which are simplistic, insensitive, incredible or obscene.1

Now, the logic of Why God Allows Us to Suffer does not rise to the level of the theodicies and defenses that Phillips identifies as “simplistic, insensitive, incredible or obscene”; notwithstanding, the content of the book is a transgression, as is its title. We have to agree that there is a minimum requirement of intellectual seriousness for anyone of us who presume to teach in the classroom or preach from the pulpit or go into print regarding the Problem of Evil. Why? Because it is human beings who suffer. It is obscene to deploy real-life examples in the service of an incoherent “final solution” to the Problem of Evil and Suffering – the book’s final solution to the Problem of Evil, as far as I can make sense of it, is that “experiences of friendship-love” outweigh pain, suffering and death – as this book does, for example, in a chapter headed “God is All Wise”:

Is the experience of love so valuable that it outweighs our experience of pain, injustice, fear and death? … Consider the following example. A double amputee who lost his legs in combat asserts that he would not exchange his experiences of wartime friendship for the ability to undo th...

You must have a subscription and be logged in to read the entire article.
Click here to subscribe
visitor : : uid: ()