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Religion Faith

Can God Be Trusted?

Faith and the Challenge of Evil

by (author) John G. Stackhouse

Oxford University Press
Initial publish date
Mar 1998
  • Hardback

    Publish Date
    Mar 1998
    List Price

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In a world riddled with disappointment, malice, and tragedy, what rationale do we have for believing in a benevolent God? If God is all-powerful and all-loving, why is there so much evil in the world? John Stackhouse takes a historically informed approach to this dilemma, examining what philosophers and theologians have said on the subject and offering reassuring answers for thoughtful readers. Stackhouse explores how great thinkers have grappled with the problem of evil--from the Buddha, Confucius, Augustine, and David Hume to Martin Luther, C. S. Lewis, and Alvin Plantinga. Without brushing aside the serious contradictions posed by a God who allows incurable diseases, natural disasters, and senseless crimes to bring misery into our lives, Stackhouse asks if a world completely without evil is what we truly want. Would a life without suffering be a meaningful life? Could free will exist if we were able to choose only good? Stackhouse examines what the best minds have had to say on these questions and boldly affirms that the benefits of evil, in fact, outweigh the costs. Finally, he points to Christian revelation--which promises the transformation of suffering into joy--as the best guide to God's

About the author

JOHN G. STACKHOUSE, JR. is an associate professor in the Department of Religion, University of Manitoba.

John G. Stackhouse's profile page

Editorial Reviews

"John Stackhouse does not attempt to 'solve' the problem of pain and evil in this book. Rather, he reduces the tangled issue to one fundamental question--Is God trustworthy?--and offers a careful, wise, and well-argued answer."--Phillip Yancey, author of Disappointment with God and The Jesus I Never Knew

"John Stackhouse has written a candid, accessible, humane and impressively informed discussion about reasons to trust the Christian God in a world of sorrows and pain. He sets the Christian understanding of these things within the context of other world religions, treating them respectfully and noting Christian particularities. There is much learning worn lightly here, and much humility and human authenticity as well."--L. W. Hurtado, University of Edinburgh

"Stackhouse succumbs neither to skepticism nor to pious cliche. Here is an author who has heard our cry from the depths and who joins us in wondering if God has heard it too. This wise and illuminating book belongs not on the shelf, but on the desk, of anyone who cares about humanity's oldest question."--Cornelius Plantinga, Jr., Dean of the Chapel, Calvin College, Professor of Systematic Theology, Calvin Theological Seminary

"Can God Be Trusted? is intended to be practical, not esoteric, informative, not preachy, and in that it succeeds.... His approach is measured, reasonable and, considering how much philosophical and historic ground he has to cover, surprisingly comprehensive."--Ottawa Citizen

"Stackhouse has succeeded admirably in producing a broadly accessible work that is religiously sensitive and offers for the reader a reasonable argument that it is rational to trust God even in the glaring face of evil."--First Things

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