Review of “GODforsaken”

by hamiltonmj1983

D’Souza, Dinesh. GODforsaken. Carol Stream, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, 2012. Pp. 274. $24.99.

Dinesh D’Souza asks a very important question in his new book, GODforsaken: If God exists, and God is good, then why do bad things happen?

He spends 260 pages answering that question in a variety of ways. The book is divided into six parts: (1) Introduction; (2) A Universal Conundrum; (3) Moral Evil; (4) Crimes of Nature; (5) The Character of God; and (6) Conclusion.

The introduction, as expected, introduces the audience to the author and his background, as well as the basic problem of evil in the world. D’Souza then moves on to discuss how this problem has been dealt with in the past, and how those solutions are not good enough. He also discusses the neo-atheist attack on Christianity through this problem (particularly bringing up the difference between challenging the existence of God and challenging the character of God, which he gets back to later in part 5). The next section, “Moral Evil,” discusses free will and natural laws in our universe, ultimately coming to the conclusion that God was limited in the types of universes that he could create to end up with a final product of a free-willed human being, and therefore his hands are bound when it comes to questioning why he didn’t create a universe with free will AND without evil. The fourth part of the book discusses natural evil, such as earthquakes, whether or not animals can feel pain or not, and finally the “Anthropic Principle,” which basically states that everything is the way it is in order for human life to be exactly what it is at this exact point in time. Everything is focused around humanity according to this principle. Finally, D’Souza discusses the character of God and whether or not allowing evil, allowing pain and suffering, and condemning people to eternal torment in hell all make up the character of an evil God or a just God.

D’Souza seems to attempt to make an argument that will hold its weight with an atheist while also satisfying the sunday school crowd. In his attempt to convince everyone, I don’t think he is going to please anyone. He blends philosophy, theology, and science into one confusing jumble, and doesn’t do justice to any of the three. While D’Souza is obviously learned on these topics, and has spent a great deal of time researching and debating the principles for which he stands, he has not succeeded in adequately relaying this information in a convincing way to as wide an audience as he is attempting to reach.

 

(Thanks to Tyndale House for the free review copy in exchange for an honest review!)

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