Evil and the Justice of God

by N. T. Wright

Hardcover, 2006

Status

Available

Collection

Description

With every earthquake and war, understanding the nature of evil and our response to it becomes more urgent. Evil is no longer the concern just of ministers and theologians but also of politicians and the media. We hear of child abuse, ethnic cleansing, AIDS, torture and terrorism, and rightfully we are shocked. But, N. T. Wright says, we should not be surprised. For too long we have naively believed in the modern idea of human progress. In contrast, postmodern thinkers have rightly argued that evil is real, powerful and important, but they give no real clue as to what we should do about it. In fact, evil is more serious than either our culture or our theology has supposed. How then might Jesus' death be the culmination of the Old Testament solution to evil but on a wider and deeper scale than most imagine? Can we possibly envision a world in which we are delivered from evil? How might we work toward such a future through prayer and justice in the present? These are the powerful and pressing themes that N. T. Wright addresses in this book that is at once timely and timeless.… (more)

Publication

IVP Books (2006), Edition: F First Edition Used, 176 pages

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Rating

½ (83 ratings; 3.9)

User reviews

LibraryThing member DubiousDisciple
Wright tackles the age-old problem of evil (why does God allow evil to happen?), but with a little bit of a twist. Wright does not discuss natural evil, and there is little attempt to explain or justify personal evil. No wishy-washy explanations, such as the typical argument that God allows evil
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because it creates circumstances in which virtue can flourish. Rather, Wright focuses on what God is doing about evil. Remember: the prophets repeatedly promised a coming age when the world would be rid of evil. Can we even imagine such a world?

First, if you’re tempted to pronounce judgment on God for all the evils in the world, you’re too late; God has already served his sentence on the cross. But the gospels tell us more; they insist that Jesus overcame evil on the cross. That is some strange theology, no matter how you approach it. How does succumbing to evil prove victorious over it, and why doesn’t it feel like evil has been conquered?

The key to the whole topic is understanding the role of forgiveness. Both the forgiveness of God and our own forgiveness of others. The justice of God is not vengeance; it is granting us a measure of the forgiveness Jesus showed, so that the evil of others cannot hold us hostage. A perfect age is coming, but we cannot embrace it until we have outgrown our bitterness over what others have done to us, conquering evil in the same manner as Jesus.

Dang, that’s deep. I really was hoping we could just hunt evil down and kill it. Good book, by the way, though not as scholarly as I’ve come to expect from Wright.
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LibraryThing member theedge77
Good, albeit brief, handling of the issue of evil. N.T. Wright does not dive into theories for the existence of evil... which he says we humans are probably not able to fully understand anyway... but rather... he gives a road map for how Christians should approach their lives in the midst of an
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evil and fallen world. It was another solid effort by N.T. Wright in helping us think clearly about a particularly difficult issue.
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LibraryThing member deusvitae
Yet another fantastic book by Wright, clearly explaining a very difficult and challenging topic.

Wright provides a theologian's look at the question of the problem of evil. He begins by demonstrating the modern aversion to the question and the implications of that aversion when evil strikes. As he
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moves on to explain the issue of evil in the Old and New Testaments, he quite candidly admits that there is no ability to answer the question of the ultimate source of evil, and shows how the Bible also is not interested in that question. Instead, the Bible explains what God does about evil-- first, the promise embodied in Abraham and the chosen people, and ultimately, how God defeats evil through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Wright goes on to speak about how Christians are to live, heralding the Kingdom and its values, his inaugurated eschatology view expressed in other works, and specifically how it relates to the problem of evil. Believers are to work to defeat evil wherever it may express itself, both personally and corporately. Wright concludes by demonstrating how God ultimately resolves the problem of evil through forgiveness, explains what forgiveness is and is not, and therefore why Christians must be forgiving people if they are to live out the values of the new creation.

An indispensable work for handling this very challenging issue.
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