“My help comes from the Lord, maker of heaven and earth.”
Evil is an intruder upon a world created by God and declared good. Scripture emphasizes this: laments are regularly juxtaposed with declarations of God as creator. But evil is not merely a problem for the doctrine of creation. Rather, the doctrine of creation provides a hopeful response to evil.
In Evil and Creation, David J. Luy, Matthew Levering, and George Kalantzis collect essays investigating how the doctrine of creation relates to moral and physical evil. Essayists pursue philosophical and theological analyses of evil rather than neatly solving the problem of evil itself. Including contributions from Constantine Campbell, Paul Blowers, and Paul Gavrilyuk, this volume draws upon biblical and patristic voices to produce constructive theology, considering topics ranging from vanity in Ecclesiastes and its patristic interpreters to animal suffering.
Readers will gain a broader appreciation of evil and how to faithfully respond to it as well as a renewed hope in God as creator and judge.
A very welcome collection of essays on the perennial problem of evil, or rather reflections, drawing upon the wide breadth of the Christian tradition, that offer theological responses to the existence of evil and suffering, and their place in creation, and deepen our understanding of the mystery of God and ourselves: a rich feast on which to be nourished!
–Fr. John Behr, Regius Chair of Humanity, University of Aberdeen
Evil is more than a theodicy issue: it has the potential to purify our understanding and so to deepen our theological endeavors. By placing our experience of suffering within a broader theological context, Evil and Creation enhances our understanding of the doctrine of creation. The result is a rich variety of reflections on topics such as evolution, animal death, intellectual disability, sabbath, and covenant.
–Hans Boersma, Saint Benedict Servants of Christ Chair in Ascetical Theology, Nashotah House Theological Seminary
Ever since Hume, “the problem of evil” has widely been seen as the ultimate argument against religious faith: if our world is the creation of a God who is supremely just, supremely loving, and supremely powerful, how can it continue to be so much characterized by unwarranted suffering, and wounded so much by deliberate human malice? Since earliest times, literature has grappled with this question in various forms, the Bible and the Christian theological tradition have struggled to answer it, philosophers secular and religious have continued to address it – without a consistent or conclusive response. This volume brings together a collection of Biblical scholars, students of early Christianity, contemporary theologians, and thoughtful readers of literature who consider again aspects of the relationship of faith to our experience of evil, both individual and universal. The result is consistently informative, widely provocative, and often unsettling – redefining the boundaries of the questions we ask and putting into new light the answers we look for. It is a rich and significant contribution to our continuing search for long-term meaning in our history.
–Brian E. Daly, SJ, Catherine F. Huisking Professor Emeritus, University of Notre Dame
Studies in Historical and Systematic Theology is a peer-reviewed series of contemporary monographs exploring key figures, themes, and issues in historical and systematic theology from an evangelical perspective.
Learn more about the other titles in this series.
David J. Luy (PhD, Marquette University) is associate professor of biblical and systematic theology at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School. He is the author of Dominus Mortis: Martin Luther on the Incorruptibility of Christ.
Matthew Levering (PhD, Boston College) is James N. and Mary D. Perry Jr. Chair of Theology at Mundelein Seminary. He is the author of numerous books, including Participatory Biblical Exegesis, Engaging the Doctrine of Creation, and Dying and the Virtues.
George Kalantzis (PhD, Northwestern University) is professor of theology at Wheaton College and the director of The Wheaton Center for Early Christian Studies. He is the author of Caesar and the Lamb: Early Christian Attitudes on War and Military Science.