The book is a philosophical treatment of the problem of evil, especially in Christianity.
Adams explores one of the main dilemmas of Christian philosophical thought ”“ reconciling of faith in God and the evils afflicting human beings. The issue of evil in Christianity is an eternal question, because every believer has to think about the worth of the life, about the will and power of God, and about the might of evil. She is an avowed Christian Universalist, so she believes that horrendous evils would be defeated by God and the goodness, and ultimately all can achieve salvation. Analyzing the traditional approach to this dilemma, Adams points out the narrowness of modern understanding of this problem. Adams draws the resources of Biblical religion to support her belief. According to her opinion, god never created something to ruin, including human beings. Thus, the traditional doctrines of hell are the mistake.
Reading the book requires some time to adopt the lexica of the author and her manner of thinking and writing. Adams’ style corresponds to the traditions of religious philosophical theories. The complicated writing style makes it rather difficult to follow the argumentation of author. The strongest argumentation is based on contradictions of different concepts, like sin and purity, honor and morality, morality and shame, aesthetics and morality. The idea that no one dies pure enough for heaven is close to my personal point of view. It was rather useful for me to follow the author’s argumentation and to agree that God did not create his children for hell. Thus, the book is useful not only for philosophers, but for common readers, though it can be difficult to follow the author.
Adams, M. “Horrendous Evils and the Goodness of God”. In: Philosophy of Religion. 4th Edition, Peterson, Hasker, Reichenbach, Basinger (eds). Oxford University Press, 2009.