This is the first book I ve read by Os Guinness and I found him thoughtful and articulate What I liked most about this book was the care Guinness gave to examining evil and suffering through the many voices of men and women who have encountered it I was impressed by how well read he seems and his art in pulling SO MANY VOICES INTO HIS WORK I ALSO LIKED many voices into his work I also liked section on how the differences between our answers to the challenge of evil and suffering and the responses that flow from these conclusions do matter He this "section into three parts the Eastern family of faiths Hinduism "into three parts the Eastern family of faiths including Hinduism and varieties of New Age thought what he calls the secularist family of belief including atheism naturalism and secular humanism and the biblical or Abrahamic family of faiths monotheistic Judaism Christianity and IslamThe standards he chooses for assessing the different possible responses to the world we live in are as follows1 Is this response able to give an account of evil that is realistic in its diagnosis2 Is this response able to give an account of evil that is hopeful in its remedy3 Is this response able to give an account of evil that is practical in offering grounds for courage and comfort in facing evilHe then works backward from criteria to implicationsI liked how Guinness assesses our various human responses to the problem of evil and suffering by following each through to its logical andor observed outcomes His source for assessing truth is the examined life At the same time as much as I like this approach from a Reformed evangelical Christian perspective this is potentially problematic if it is the sole source for assessing truth to the extent that it excludes a robust theology of Scripture and the truth revealing function of the Word of God My mixed feelings about how I feel about the chapter on the Christian response to evil People of the Crossed Sticks are linked to this I need to read it again I also suppose that there is possible criticism from another angle why these criteria Realism is easiest to argue for in front of a general audience because it has to do with simply observing the world for what it is Hope and practical grounds for courage though obviously desirable are difficult to account for in and of themselves standing alone because they may not have much to do with observation at all hope looks beyond the observable and practical grounds for courage are often despite the observable This makes sense from the perspective of Christian faith because it is often working with unobservables or the obscured observables of revelation and God breaking through into history Passages from Hebrews and 1 Corinthians come to mind For faith is the substance of things hoped for the evidence of things not seen Hebrews 111 and Now we see but a poor reflection as in a mirror then we shall see face to face Now I know in part then I shall know fully even as I am fully known 1 Corinthians 1312 Guinness Christian faith is the source for these categories But although hope and courage are arguably desirable would they seem immediately sensible as categories for criteria to someone operating from a purely rational or materialistic perspective What could bridge this gap This is a book that I intend to revisit Overall very good and likely a good conversation starter Read this if you are a citizen of Earth Great book dealing with evil Whole 1st part of book is asking key uestions so as to get them answered before dive into solutions 1 Where does Evil come fromKey here is that all philosophies and world views have to deal with evil Religious as well as non religious Sometimes secularist make out the fault is all religion2 What s so right about a world so wrong a Why me b Where is God c How can I stand it3 Are we really worse or ust modern4 Do the differences between philosophies make a difference5 Isn t there something we can do6 Why can t I know what I ne. We are still surprised by evil From Auschwitz to the events of September 11 we have been shocked into recognizing the startling capacity for evil within the human heart We now know 911 revealed that our country was unprepared in terms of national security but it also showed we were intellectually and morally unprepared to deal with such a barbaric act Our language to describe evil and our ethical will to resist it have grown uncertain and confused Many who speak unabashedly of evil are dismissed as simplistic old fashioned and out of tune with the realities of modern life Yet we must have some kind of language to help us understand the pain and suffering at the heart.
Os Guinness ´ 9 Free downloadShould we care for others as ourselves Would it not be The Day We Meet Again just as consistent to eat drink and be merry for tomorrow we dieOn Camus s tombstone are these words from The Myth of Sisyphus The struggle toward the summit itself suffices to fill a man s heart But how many will find rebellion to be a satisfying reason for existence when we know from the beginning that we can never reach the summit When we know that like Sisyphus we can never roll the stone to the top of the hill that even our best highest and ultimate efforts can end only in final defeatAre secularism s bleakness and narrow appeal to elites signs of strength or weakness Are these ualities proof of secularists honesty and a badge of their unflinching realism or are they an admission of secularism s ultimate inadeuacy 133 134Sounds like secularism isust too hard for stupid people3 God is all good no other god has wounds In contrast to the Eastern religions the biblical response to evil and suffering is one of engagement not detachment And in contrast to secularist beliefs we are not on our own as we fight evil Precisely because of a wisdom and strength greater than our own those who combat wrong can have solid grounds for trusting in the final triumph of good over evil Our individual prospects end only in death and the cosmic prospects for the planet are a stay
execution only somewhat by a few billion years But Jewish and Christian confidence is not in science and human efforts Even when we die God keeps faith with us in the dust 145In contrast to those who think religious belief is mere human projection the God of the biblical story is not simply personal for us but personal in himself He is personal because of his own nature not because we need him to be personal He is not made in our image we are made in his And there is no other ground for ustifying the preciousness and inalienable dignity of each human being Those who prize human rights without this root will find it a cut flower ideal as disappointing as it is short lived 146Sounds like magical thinking to me And there have been plenty of wounded gods in the history of religion Check out This book covers a variety of topics but mostly focuses on issues of evil in our world Included are how different religions view these issues and evil itself how they handle them and how Christians should face evil As an adult I would guess it is impossible to not have had to face the realities of evil in some way and this book helps guide that thought process It calls evil what it is does not descend into despair in fact spends much of the time facing evil by showing how we are called to spread hope but is also grounded in historical truth not sugar coating certain groups or countries actions to seem better or less than what they were If you think I m implying Germany and the Holocaust that is mentioned and dealt with but Guinness is careful to point out and provide examples that evil is not a national racial religious past time it is a personal problem in every one of us Honestly I felt this book was excellent Beyond the fact that it helped me work through my own thoughts and feelings on the subject matter which is a struggle I ve often felt the truth of the past and the hope for the future were wonderful Understanding that this world will never be a paradise but in our time here we paradise but in our time here we change it for better Guinness conclusion states it perfectly so many times something horrible happens and our leaders of the time say Never again when we should be saying Not through me Content notes No language issues Painful topics like rapes murders often on extremely large scales are mentioned but though the victims sufferings are not under played the subjects are gently handled and would not be inappropriate for high school or mature middle school readers One of the most honest and full treatments of the problem of evil It is a book that everyone should read. L and ultimately oin the fight against itGuinness frames his study by exploring several uestionsWhere does evil come from What are the uestions raised by evil that we cannot ignore Has the modern world made evil worse How do the different ways of explaining evil affect how we respond to it What must we do to fight evil effectively What does the existence of evil tell us about our ultimate beliefsAddressing individuals as well as a traumatized culture Unspeakable is an invitation to explore the challenge of contemporary evil a call to confront our culture of fear and a ourney to find words to come to terms with the unspeakable so that it will no longer leave us mute. Ed to know7 Isn t there any Good in all the bad What is the world s greatest problem Me This was an incredibly difficult book to read because it deals with the central fact that we are all capable of great evil no matter how much we try to kid ourselves otherwise As a Christian pastor I like to pretend that I m a good person but the reality is that evil is as resident in my heart as it is on the heart of every person on EarthThis would have been a 5 star review except that the first 75 80 pages were a slog to get through Past that point though the searing indictment of every major faith and every person on Earth begins there are so many books on this topic that are "Much Better Than This One This One " better than this one this one rips of all of kevin bales s work along with some other authors it s not even well written The book provides interesting insights on our distorted view of terrorism It challenges you to think about terrorism much broadly than is typical it s not ust bombs being set off in markeplaces but it s also terrorist regimes that have been given so level of legitimacy by a lack of response or commerce activity In that light terrorism is an issue Guinness Argues There Are argues there are ways to respond to the uestion of evil as an Eastern believer in the need to extinguish meaning as a secularisthumanist believer that the individual creates meaning or as a Christian believer that God gives meaning to human suffering by having suffered Himself1 The Buddhist remedy for suffering is stern even drastic If the great deathless lake of Nirvana is a state of extinguishedness what is extinguished is not only suffering but attachment desire and finally the individual who desires as the philosopher Ninian Smart concluded bluntly There is Nirvana but no person who enters it To say it again in the Buddhist view there is uite simply no remedy for suffering in this world Nor is there any prospect of a coming world without suffering There is not even the hope that you and I will ever live free of suffering And finally there is no you or I at all As Buddhagosa said of his state of enlightenment I am nowhere a somewhatness for anyone There is only the nobility of the compassion of the enlightened on their road to the liberation of extinctionAs I see it the modern global era raises a titanic challenge for the Eastern family of faiths at this point These faiths are essentially and explicitly world denying whereas the modern world is essentially and explicitly world affirming 119 120Sounds like the Buddha was clear eyed hard headed realistic He never promised us a rose garden2 Humanism s all decisive claim is that since there is no God there is no revealed meaning and no intrinsic meaning in the universe at all Therefore meaning is not disclosed or even discovered It has to be created Human beings are both the source and standard of their own meaning so it is up to each of us to create our own meaning and impose it on the world And if we cannot impose our meaning on the world as a whole we can impose it in our own small lives as an act of self creation 129Here we can see the modern world s grand challenge to the secularist family of faiths These faiths appeal to society s intellectual elites seen in George Steiner s description of agnosticism as the established church of modernity By its somewhat bleakof execution only
light the educated and the rational conduct their immanent lives but they hold little orthe educated and the rational conduct their immanent lives but they hold little or attraction for ordinary people Bloodless as well as bleak they are too cerebral for everyday life This is a fatal flaw and a central reason for the decline of atheism and the weakness of the secularist movementBertrand Russell prescribed this ethics for temperaments like my own but how many people are included in this sweep How many of us having been told about the bleakness of human prospects will still adhere to the nobility of humanist ethics especially if it appears that the author himself did not Why. Of human experienceAuthor and speaker Os Guinness confronts our inability to understand evil let alone respond to it effectively by providing both a lexicon and a strategy for finding a way forward Since 911 much public discussion has centered on the destructiveness of extrem ist religion Guinness provocatively argues that this is far from an accurate picture and too easy an explanation In this expansive exploration of both the causes of modern evil and solutions for the future he faces our tragic recent past and our disturbing present with courageous honesty In order to live an “examined life” Guinness writes we must come to terms with our beliefs regarding evi. .