How can belief in an all-powerful, all-loving God be reconciled with the undeniable presence of evil in the world? A Jesuit philosopher offers some answers in this reprint of Martin D’Arcy SJ’s 1929 classic text.
Reconciling belief in a good and all-powerful God with the obvious presence of suffering and evil in the world is one of the classic problems for Christian (and indeed Jewish) philosophy and theology. The Book of Job famously examines this problem from various angles, and rejects several inadequate explanations. Numerous philosophers and theologians have attempted to answer the question; Martin D’Arcy draws on this rich tradition, and tries to give an account that is both acceptable to an unprejudiced reader, and also (what is more difficult) allows for the possibility not only of accepting the existence of evil in the world, but of giving praise to God for all we experience, good and bad alike. He argues that the Cross shows that God enters into pain and suffering so that evil is not a defeat but an opportunity for God’s love to flourish in exactly the events that seem most to deny it.