The evil that afflicts our lives often leaves us confused and directionless, wounded and powerless. How should we respond to evil's power to assault us? How can we understand God's work in a world that seems all too often to be permeated with evil?
Narrating her own wrestling with evil as well as engaging in biblical and philosophical analysis, biblical scholar Ingrid Faro explores the many dimensions to evil. Soberly honest, biblically engaged, and theologically nuanced, Demystifying Evil examines the power of evil to disrupt and fragment our lives and tempt us to collude with it.
But evil does not have the last word. Faro takes us on a journey into the book of Genesis, the Ancient Near East culture, the cross, and her own story of suffering to engage the undoing of evil.
"Probing the depths of human experience, Ingrid Faro addresses evil, what it is, how it works, and how God in his goodness overcomes it. Breathtaking in her honesty and relentless in her biblical scholarship, Faro broaches the subject we all must eventually face. Demystifying Evil is a masterful treatment of a fundamental issue from a voice uniquely gifted to write this book. A truly overwhelmingly powerful book."
"Jesus taught us to pray, 'Deliver us from evil.' Jesus believed in the destructive power of evil, and he warned us to avoid and combat it. Ingrid Faro equips us to do just that by explaining what Scripture says about evil. She masterfully moves between simple explanation, rich theological analysis, and poignant personal stories. This is not a dull treatise on evil; it is a call to embrace and participate in the grace of God to bring goodness to the world."
"Ingrid Faro offers readers a gift—of her scholarship as well as her life. Her study of the Bible, along with personal stories and practical insights, can educate as well as encourage those who try to make sense of the vicissitudes of life. Faro says evil is not the absence of good but the corruption of good; she invites us to be agents of God's goodness in our world and to let God make beauty from ashes."
"Philosophers and theologians frequently distinguish between the 'emotional' and 'intellectual' problems of evil, and they make the point that these matters need to be approached differently. Ingrid Faro's Demystifying Evil beautifully brings together both the emotional and intellectual, the personal and the intellectual—and biblical and theological. In a wonderful and truly powerful way, Faro draws out the richness of the biblical text as it speaks to evil in the world and attests to God's confrontation of and victory over it in the gospel of Christ. While doing so, Faro weaves in her own honest and penetrating story of traumas and abuse, of encounters with deep evil and the demonic realm, of inner struggles with perfectionism and pride and failure, of anger at God, and of brokenness before him. But she also came to realize the power of Christ to transform lives bludgeoned and ruined by sin, evil, and demonic powers. The book also includes rich and practical lessons of gratitude, contentment, trusting in God, and allowing his grace to transform us. It is a compelling book, and I highly recommend it."
"Ingrid Faro weaves her stunning story throughout this richly researched and deep, biblically based study. A journey for both the mind and soul, Demystifying Evil draws from Old and New Testament scholarship and the author's own experience and expertise; it guides readers through a depth of understanding of the evil within, the evil without, where evil comes from, and most vitally, how to be truly and faithfully strong in the Lord. I am so grateful to Ingrid for her transparency and generosity as she shares her own journey so readers may be changed by the powerful and transforming love of God and gain an understanding essential for every Christian."
"'Life is hard. The world is filled with evil.' These are the first words in chapter one of Dr. Ingrid Faro's wonderful book, Demystifying Evil. The reality of evil is everywhere, and we must have tools and strategies to navigate our approach to evil. Dr. Faro does a fantastic job of weaving both the theological and practical, which enables us to face the evil in our world and not be stifled. Dr. Faro is an outstanding biblical scholar and a tremendous communicator. I highly recommend this book without hesitation, and hopefully you, too, will gain insights as I have from Dr. Faro."
"Blending personal testimony, biblical study, and theological reflection, Ingrid Faro probes evil—our world's greatest menace. She is readable, intelligent, chilling, and, at last, reassuring."
"Ingrid Faro's Demystifying Evil is profoundly philosophical and theological, passionate, and practical. As long as evil remains mysterious, it cannot be directly opposed and overcome. Evil defined can be defeated. Alas, we are not helpless against evil. This book offers each of us a stark challenge to live our lives fully embracing God's flourishing goodness, or we will find ourselves acquiescing and participating in wickedness. We cannot remain neutral. We are either a force for evil or good. Faro urges, let's choose the good!"
Foreword by Heather Davediuk Gingrich
Part 1: Wrestling with Evil
1. Entering the Conflict
2. Distinguishing Between Evil, Suffering, and Pain and the Ambiguity of Evil
3. Defining Evil—Biblically
Part 2: Natural Causes: Cosmic Seed and Natural Evil
4. Action-Consequence and the Cosmic Seed
5. Nature: Are All Natural Forces Natural?
Part 3: Human Causes: Surprising Ways We Participate in Evil and Good
6. Human Need and Desire: The Misuse of Intended Good
7. Self-Sufficiency: The Root of Pride and Insecurity
8. Human Responsibility and Authority
9. Human Freedom and the Path to Restore the World
Part 4: Unseen Causes: Spiritual Forces at Work
10. Malevolent Forces and the Rise of the Satan
11. Demons, Angels, and Other Spiritual Entities
12. The Divine Council and the "Rules of Engagement"
Part 5: God at Work
13. The Power of Mercy and Grace
14. The Costly Work of Forgiveness
15. For Those Who Mourn: Turning Ashes into Beauty