Suffering & Evil is by Scott Petty, the youth minister at Christ Church St. Ives in Sydney, Australia and published by Matthias Media . This book is part of a series called “Little Black Books.” The back flap of the book describes the series as “a series of books that get straight to the point on topics Christians always have questions about. Not too big, not too fancy, not at all boring.” Other books available in the series include, Sex, Predestination and The Bible, with more on the way.
The book does exactly what it sets out to do, which is concisely dive into the subject of suffering and evil. If God exists and He is good, how can suffering and evil exist? This book does a good job of introducing the questions and the answers that surround the existence of suffering and evil. The book of Job is used as a guide through this high-level survey of this difficult topic. The author walks us through Job’s experiences with suffering and evil as a way for us to understand our own brushes with evil.
While I enjoyed the book and think it’s a good introduction to the issue, I couldn’t help but wonder if the book was written for high school age kids. At times the prose was not what I would expect from a book directed at adults. So I would have a hard time giving this book to a friend who was struggling through these issues. Now, if I was mentoring a high school kid, I would have no problem giving them this book to read. It seems like it would be more on their level. However, for a more mature thinker, I think there are better books available.
In the end, whether you would find this book useful depends on your situation. If you are a high school age or work with that age group, this book is a good introduction. If you are college or older, there are better books that address the issues of suffering and evil in more full and robust way.
Back to Post – I was provided a copy of the book in return for a review.