Attempting to properly understand and handle the problem of suffering and evil is one of the greatest challenges confronting church leaders today. How can a good, all-powerful, all wise God allow so much suffering and tragedy and evil in this world? Is it possible that God is the essence of love but lacks the power to stop evil? Or is He omnipotent but lacking in love? Something has to give, or at least our logical minds seem to think so.
When dealing with this subject, many well-meaning authors tend to oversimplify. They dumb-down the teachings of Scripture to render them virtually useless. Others openly twist and pervert what the Bible teaches on this subject in order to fit their theology or presupposition. Carson has avoided both of these errors.
What Carson offers is sound, solid, and biblical teaching on the subject of evil and suffering. He covers a wide range of subjects and examines a large number of Scriptures. But when all is said and done, Carson wisely and humbly admits that the final word is yet to be said, or understood, on this issue. In other words, he leaves room for “mysteries.” Some things in this life, and in Scripture, are meant to be mysteries to our minds. They are beyond our understanding. That does not mean we despair, rather we should trust in the God to whom none of this is mysterious.
I would mention that I do not believe in Carson’s view of the kingdom, or in some of his statements concerning the charismatic movement. But these are not germane issues to his argument and can be easily ignored by the discerning reader.
This is not a fluff book, but neither is it so technical that the serious layman is blown away. For my money Carson has maintained a rare and wonderful balance in this regard. Highly recommended.