I am currently reading the book:
Godforsaken by Dinesh D’Souza.
It has a subtitle: Bad Things Happen. Is there a God who cares?
I had not heard of this author until a few days ago. From his Amazon page:
In the fall of 2010, Dinesh D'Souza was named the President of The King's College, a Christian College located in New York City. The mission of The King's College is to transform society by educating students so that they are prepared to shape and lead the strategic institutions.
Here is a link to his Amazon page:
Mr. D’Souza has written several books (I find 14 listed on Amazon) and apparently he debates atheists in public at universities, etc.
I can remember how much I enjoyed debating Christians as an atheist. . . asking them difficult questions. . . trying to weaken or destroy their faith. In my own mind, all of my previous questions about God and Christianity have been answered to my own satisfaction, but difficult questions still remain.
This book deals with a favorite question of unbelievers: “If there is a loving God, how can He stand by and watch all the horrible cruelty taking place on the earth, without doing anything.”
There are several traditional/historical Christian responses to this, none of which feel completely satisfying. . . He covers these in chapter 2:
1. Blame it on Adam and Eve
2. Suffering for punishment for evil deeds
3. Suffering as benefit for all involved
4. Evil isn’t real (proposed by St. Augustine)
5. Best of all possible worlds
I find this discussion to be very fascinating. One observation of his, really struck home with me. The word Atheist, means without theism or without belief in God, but for people who do not believe in God, atheists define themselves by their relationship to God, and spend enormous amounts of time and energy focused on God.
Mr. D’Souza puts forth the idea. . . and this is very powerful and described me perfectly, that many/most atheists, could better be described as wounded-theists, rather than a-theists. Many/most (and I was absolutely in this category) atheists have turned away from God after having felt betrayed, abandoned, or greatly disappointed by Him. This explains much of the energy and anger which they display towards Him.
My lunch time is almost over, and I must draw this to a close for today, but Mr. D’Souza raises another question: If Christians have a problem explaining evil, and how can a loving God allow evil to continue in this world. . . How do atheists explain the inherent evilness of Man?
Most atheists depend upon the theory of evolution to explain man’s origins. If mankind is descended from animals, How is it that animals really don’t manifest evil in the way that humans do? Evilness is pretty much a uniquely human attribute. . .
I am not even 25% of the way through the book, and if it ended at where I have currently read, I would feel satisfied with the purchase price. . . It is a very interesting and enlightening book. . .