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Tragic Humanism

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					                                 BOOKS On Evil   79 Top 5: On the problem of evil 80 Dancing with Max: A Mother and Son Who Broke Free 81
                          Excerpt: Under the Influence 82 Wilson’s Bookmarks 82 INTERVIEW Bradley Wright 83 TV No Ordinary Family 84
                       MOVIES Chaplains Under Fire 84 Two minutes with Michael Jr. 85 MUSIC Doug Burr’s O Ye Devastator 85 QUICK TAKES 86




                                                                                                                                     BOOKS, MOVIES,
                                                                                                                                       MUSIC, AND
                                                                                                                                        THE ARTS
JONATHAN BARTLETT




                    Tragic Humanism
                    Terry Eagleton argues that evil is not as mysterious or
                    as explainable as we think. By Christopher Benson



                    T

                                                               On Evil


                                                                                                   September 2010   |   C H R I ST IAN I T Y TODAY   79
                                                                               On Evil belongs to the genre of religious
                                                                               psychology, where Eagleton brilliantly
                                                                               relates the ultimate concerns of the
                                                                               theologian with the penultimate
                                                                               concerns of the psychoanalyst.


   EVERYDAY DOGMA




                                                                                                                                LOVING ‘FOR NAUGHT’




  MY TOP 5 BOOKS ON THE PROBLEM OF EVIL
By John Stackhouse, author of Can God Be Trusted? Faith and the Challenge of Evil (InterVarsity Press)




       DIALOGUES                                                                                                      A GRIEF OBSERVED               GOD, FREEDOM, AND
      CONCERNING                                        THE BROTHERS                    THE PROBLEM                      C. S. LEWIS HARPERONE              EVIL
    NATURAL RELIGION                                     KARAMAZOV                        OF PAIN                     This cri de coeur (“cry from   ALVIN PLANTINGA EERDMANS
        DAVID HUME HACKETT                              FYODOR DOSTOEVSKY              C. S. LEWIS HARPERONE                                         The most accessible state-
                                                                                                                     the heart”), rivaled by Nich-
     This is the classic philo-                           PENGUIN CLASSICS            Lewis’s classic is still the    olas Wolterstor ’s Lament        ment of Plantinga’s Free
   sophical assault on the idea                         Why does God allow          most wide-ranging, acces-                                           Will Defense, this argu-
                                                                                                                      for a Son, keeps any intel-
    of God being all-good, all-                        evil, particularly atroci-   sible, and cogent response                                         ment revolutionized the
                                                                                                                        lectual response to evil
     wise, and all-powerful. If                          ties? No book more            to the problem of evil.                                        modern philosophical dis-
                                                                                                                         appropriately modest.
    a book can answer Hume,                             e ectively punctures        Don’t let its analytical tone                                     cussion and helped make
                                                                                                                       Ideas are good; prayers,
    it can answer most skep-                           philosophical and theo-      make you forget, as many                                         Christian thinking plausible
                                                                                                                     even angry ones, are better.
    tics today. If it doesn’t try                     logical abstractions with      do, that its author lost his                                      in the broader academy.
     to answer Hume, move                            the sharp end of real life.     mother in childhood and
       on to one that does.                                                           fought on the frontlines
                                                                                       of the First World War.
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                                              A Gifting Child
                                              Emily Colson says ‘no one remains neutral’ about her
                                              autistic son. By Amy Julia Becker



                                              E                             Dancing
                                                     with Max: A Mother and Son Who
                                                    Broke Free




                                                                                                                                                           8


                                                                                                           Amy Julia Becker is a con-
                                          8                                                                tributor to the women’s blog
                                                                                                           and author of a forthcoming book
Christopher Benson is a humanities                                                                         about her daughter with Down
instructor and book reviewer in Denver.                                                                    syndrome.

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