The central thesis of this extraordinary work is that the greater-good assumption associated with Greater-Good theodicies is unnecessary to the defense of theism and has actually strengthened the argument from evil by the atheist. Author Bruce Little provides historical context for understanding the work of theodicy beginning with Augustine. Professor Little offers a critique of selected contemporary Greater-Good theodicies, highlighting certain inherent philosophical/theological weakness. The Creation-Order theodicy is presented as an alternative acknowledging the reality of gratuitous evil without compromising or redefining the moral goodness, knowledge and power of God.
Bruce A. Little is Associate Professor of Philosophy of Religion at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary. Professor Little holds a Ph.D. in Philosophy of Religion from Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary and a Doctor of Ministry from the Columbia Biblical Seminary.
Chapter 1 Preface Chapter 2 Acknowledgments Chapter 3 Why Have a Theodicy?: A Synopsis of the G-G Theodicy; The Occasion for the Argument; The Nature of the Argument; Clarification of Terms; The Formation of the Evidential Argument from Evil; Understanding the Challenge of a New Theodicy Chapter 4 The Historical Context of Greater-Good Theodicies: Augustine; Thomas Aquinas; Gottfried Von Leibniz; Conclusion Chapter 5 Review of Contemporary Greater-Good Theodicies: John Hick; Richard Swinburne; Michael Peterson; Conclusion Chapter 6 Why Greater-Good Theodicies Fail: The Work of Theodicy; G-G Theodicy Explanations; Weaknesses in the G-G Theodicy; Summary Chapter 7 Foundations for a Creation-Order Theodicy: Helpful Clarifications; Basic Elements of the creation-Order Theodicy; Middle Knowledge and the Best of All Possible Worlds; Summary Chapter 8 Creation-Order Theodicy: The Creation Order Theodicy; Applying the C-O Theodicy; Conclusion Chapter 9 Selected Bibliography Chapter 10 Index Chapter 11 About the Author