By Andrew Gleeson
A daunting Love extensively rethinks God and evil. It rejects theodicy and its impersonal perception of cause and morality. religion survives evil via a mind-blowing love that resists philosophical explanation. Authors criticised contain Alvin Plantinga, Richard Swinburne, Marilyn McCord Adams, Peter van Inwagen, John Haldane, William Hasker.
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Additional resources for A Frightening Love: Recasting the Problem of Evil
I won’t accept it. (Dostoevsky 1912, pp. ’ In those words Ivan sums up the problem of evil for believers. Believers want God, but cannot accept 40 A Frightening Love the world we know, the world of the suffering children. The perpetual temptation of theodicy is to try to ease the severity of this conflict by making the world a better place than it seems to be, trying to make it more palatable to us in order to make God acceptable. Ivan’s words are a howl of protest against this attempt to justify the unjustifiable.
In the modern era, though the picture is under serious attack, non-Christian and Enlightenment writers from Mary Shelley in Frankenstein and Robert Louis Stevenson in Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde to H. G. Wells in The Invisible Man have told cautionary tales that depend on it. Oedipus, Dr Frankenstein, Dr Jekyll, Wells’s invisible man: in each case we have men who overestimate their importance and abilities (in Oedipus’s case at least, who throw their weight about with a knowing swagger) and bring disaster upon themselves, realising too late their hubris.
Far from Ivan’s horrifying examples – and, more importantly, his own responses of sorrow and anger to them – being a distraction from serious, ‘intellectual’ thought, they are, on the existential view, included in the very stuff of it. And if we ask how the examples and responses are to be appraised, we need to realise that the capacities integral to such appraisal are not merely those of factual information, rationality, logic and their kin (though of course they are essential) but include those that might be associated with the work of a (now oldfashioned) sort of moral-cum-humanistic literary critic: such things as courage, seriousness, honest self-examination and the power of moral imagination to envisage suffering, childhood, parenthood, love and what they mean.