God Forsaken by Dinesh D'Souza is a book that looks at the question, "With all the pain and suffering in the world can there really be a loving, omnipotent God?" While this is the question of the ages, this author attempts to answer the question, using modern scientific reasoning, with a resounding yes.
When I first started to read this book, I struggled with the author's approach that he was on "God's defense team." I think Scripture makes it very clear, that God doesn't need a defense team and creation itself speaks loud enough on His behalf. I, however, soon came to a different appreciation for the author's gift with the following analogy: We all know how to spell, but we all do not have the ability to teach spelling. There are rules behind spelling, but we do not stop and think about them in order to spell every single word, we just do it. However, there are brainy people who are able to step back, dissect spelling and show the rules behind it. So it is with this book. We all operate in this created world - whether we understand the rules behind it or not. It is true that a loving, benevolent, omnipotent God created this world. We don't need to understand the "technicalities" of how this is true in order for it to be true. However, there are people who have the ability to step back and show the rational reasoning behind these truths. This author has attempted to do this showing through the laws of science, theology and philosophy how there can be a loving, omnipotent God who allows pain and suffering to take place.
As the author states, this book is not an attempt to help people deal with the emotional pain they are experiencing as a result of suffering . Rather it is a rational, logical approach to the subject. The book is an easy read and he has made it very easy to comprehend his reasoning. This question is probably the number one question of humankind, so it is something that we should reflect upon.
As a little background, the author often debates today's well known atheists so he looks at atheistic arguments head on. The author also believes fully in the Big Bang Theory and discusses how he believes the God of the Bible initiated the Big Bang. He does believe in literal hell and discusses why. He only mentioned satan once or twice and in almost off-handed ways. I personally, think that looking at the issues of pain and suffering two-dimensionally (God and man) without including satan or demons is missing a big piece of the puzzle.
The truths of God are Truths without our ability to comprehend them, however, even through modern science today, He continues to confirm what He has said from the beginning - that man has a free choice and that He loves us. Pain and suffering exist in our world and if you haven't come to intellectual terms with how those things can be both be true, this book might help you on that road.
I didn't necessarily like the book nor dislike it. It is written in an easy to read fashion. I struggled with understanding his audience. It seemed like he was talking to Christians, who already know these things are true and wanted to point out reasons why we don't have to struggle internally with these thoughts. At the end, though he addressed atheists head on. I personally didn't feel the way he spoke to his audience made it a book to give to an atheist, especially with the expectation that they would necessarily be moved or convinced to change their philosophy. Finally, the author implies that he is looking at the question in a whole new way. However, there wasn't one argument he presented that I hadn't heard bits and pieces of before. While, it was nice to have it all laid out in one single book I wasn't blown away by anything he presented either.
I know I've said a lot. If you have further questions about the book, let me know.
I received this book free of charge for the purposes of review from Tyndale House Publishing. All opinions expressed are mine and mine alone.