Theodicy is like the elephant in the room for those involved in Christian ministry. We often try to ignore it, but are rarely ever able to avoid it. A helpful resource for those who struggle with the issue is Norm Geisler’s new (2011) book If God, Why Evil? While my bread and butter discipline is more related to the biblical text, I found Geisler’s work to be interesting at a philosophical level.
In general, Geisler’s book is helpful in at least two ways. First, it identifies the major issues and/or problems. This can be of immense value because of the breadth of the questions involved. Second, If God, Why Evil? provides a clear and specific explanation of the issues. In many cases, the issue or problem is laid out in logical form (with premises and a conclusion). The writing is succinct and contains a number of scriptural references (it is too bad that there is no scriptural index).
Thanks to Bethany House for the review copy.