John Hick’s classic study, Evil and the God of Love, offers one of the most creative and important of modern attempts to reconcile classical theism with the reality of evil. Regretfully, critics of his theodicy often seem to have lost their force by misunderstanding or neglecting basic elements of his view. Hick, in turn, has misunderstood at least one of his major critics, David Griffin, who has charged that Hick’s theodicy, like other classical efforts, leads to a denial of ‘genuine evil’. The task of the present study is twofold. First, I want to show how Hick has misunderstood Griffin’s argument and explain why that mistake is of fundamental importance. Second, having clarified what is at stake for Hick, I want to show the inadequacies of Hick’s Irenaean theodicy in ways dealing directly with the most powerful forms of his arguments. In order to set the stage for these efforts, I will begin by outlining the relevant positions of both Griffin and Hick.
KeywordsCritical Study Great Good Slippery Slope Human Freedom Eternal Life
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