Friends, we recently finished reading Why Does God Allow Evil? by Dr. Clay Jones. It’s the fantastic culminating work of decades of teaching and research. Buy it. Read it. The end.
I’m tempted to leave this as is and let that be the extent of our review. But, lest you still need convincing that this book belongs in your hands and on your shelf, I’ll say a bit more.
I first opened my copy on a flight from Los Angeles to Colorado Springs. A flight attendant took notice of the title, asked if it was any good, and quipped that she had better get herself a copy. By the time we landed, I was halfway through the book and knew that I was holding something she needed to read. So, I asked if I could send it to her when I was finished, and we exchanged information. Our interaction further convinced me that this is a topic we are hungry to know more about. This question has burned inside each of us at one time or another.
So What’s it About?
The 11 chapters of Why Does God Allow Evil? cover everything from our inheritance of Adam’s sin to the Biblical depiction of what awaits us in our eternal home, and all of the horrors of human depravity that take place in between. As Jones fleshes out his theodicy, he makes solid points for the worth of Free Will despite our suffering, that the problem of evil isn’t God’s problem but our own, and that eternity with the Lord will dwarf all of the pain in this life.
As I read, I noticed the ways that the material would be relevant to our 10 and 11 year old’s questions about the injustice and pain they’ve seen and experienced in their lifetime. This one isn’t just for adult minds: it can absolutely be applied (with age-appropriate filters) to children’s inquiries. It would be a compelling read for teens, as well.
Unique and Disturbing
What is most unique about the book, and perhaps both its most disturbing and refreshing attribute, is Jones’ firehose presentation of the utter depravity of mankind. It’s hard to stomach—there’s no way around that—but it’s absolutely worth your time. And Jones doesn’t leave you to despair. He pulls you back out of the dark truths of the world with the beautiful presentation of God’s promises to believers and the hope of the resurrection.
You’ll be thankful you hung on for the ride, and I’d wager that your gratitude for and understanding of God will be improved by the end.