You've got to change your evil ways... Lord knows you got to change...

Following up on the recent theodicy meme, I'm directing your attention to a New Yorker review essay on a significant new and relevant book, “God’s Problem” by Bart Ehrman.

The review part of the article does not lavish unreserved praise on the book, remarking that as to discussing theodicy, "There is something adolescent about such complaint; I can hear it like a boy’s breaking voice in my own prose. For anti-theodicy is permanent rebellion. It is not quite atheism but wounded theism, condemned to argue ceaselessly against a God it is supposed not to believe in. Bart D. Ehrman’s new book, “God’s Problem” (HarperOne; $25.95), is highly adolescent in tone. Its jabbing subtitle, “How the Bible Fails to Answer Our Most Important Question—Why We Suffer,” sounds as if it should be furiously triple-underlined on the dust jacket. Ehrman has been the favorite academic of the new wave of atheism since his book “Misquoting Jesus” (2005) became an unlikely best-seller."

Getting past James Wood's silly title, "Holiday in Hellmouth: God may be dead, but the question of why he permits suffering lives on" -- the remainder of the piece does rove across many of the problem's pertinent popular points and draws the reader into the growing discussion of the theodicy meme:
Nietzsche said that if a human being put his ear to the heart chamber of the world and heard the roar of existence, the “innumerable shouts of pleasure and woe,” he would surely break into pieces. But a newspaper, pumping its inky current of despair, might serve as well. On a single day, Thursday, May 15th, the Times contained the following. The lead article was about the earthquake in China, now estimated to have killed more than fifty thousand people. It was titled “Tiny Bodies in a Morgue, and Unspeakable Grief in China,” and was accompanied by a photograph of two parents sitting next to their dead child. A story about the recent cyclone in Myanmar estimated the number of deaths at anywhere between 68,833 and 127,990. The journalist mentioned a man named Zaw Ayea, twenty-seven, who found his sister’s body; his mother and two younger brothers are missing. He cannot speak: “He stares straight ahead with a strangely placid expression on his face. His friends say he has been in shock since the cyclone.” much more...

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