With every earthquake and war, understanding the nature of evil and our response to it becomes more urgent. Evil is no longer the concern just of ministers and theologians but also of politicians and the media.
We hear of child abuse, ethnic cleansing, AIDS, torture and terrorism, and rightfully we are shocked. But, N. T. Wright says, we should not be surprised. For too long we have naively believed in the modern idea of human progress. In contrast, postmodern thinkers have rightly argued that evil is real, powerful and important, but they give no real clue as to what we should do about it.
In fact, evil is more serious than either our culture or our theology has supposed. How then might Jesus' death be the culmination of the Old Testament solution to evil but on a wider and deeper scale than most imagine? Can we possibly envision a world in which we are delivered from evil? How might we work toward such a future through prayer and justice in the present?
These are the powerful and pressing themes that N. T. Wright addresses in this book that is at once timely and timeless.
Included with the book is the companion DVD, Evil. Filmed in Israel, South Africa and England, Evil confronts some of the major issues of our time, from the Christmas Tsunami to the African AIDS pandemic, from the Iraq war and 9/11 to the murky world of violence and sexual exploitation, and puts them under the biblical spotlight. In this 50-minute film Wright explores, with Desmond Tutu in South Africa, the potential for defeating evil. There is a solution to the problem of evil, he says, if only we have the honesty and the courage to name it and understand it for what it is.
1. Evil Is Still a Four-Letter Word: The New Problem of Evil
The New Problem of Evil
The New Nihilism: Postmodernity
Towards a Nuanced View of Evil
2. What Can God Do About Evil? Unjust World, Just God?
To Renew the Blessing
People of the Solution, People of the Problem
My Servant Israel, My Servant Job
3. Evil and the Crucified God
Rereading the Gospels
Jesus Dealing with Evil
Early Christian View of Evil's Defeat
Results: Atonement and the Problem of Evil
4. Imagine There's No Evil: God's Promise of a World Set Free
Interlude: Naming the Powers
World Without Evil
The Intermediate Tasks
Educating the Imagination
5. Deliver Us from Evil: Forgiving Myself, Forgiving Others
God's Final Victory over Evil
Forgiveness in the Present
1. Introduction--What Is Evil?
2. Old Testament Perspectives on Evil
3. New Testament Perspectives on Evil
4. What Can We Do About Evil?
DVD Study Guide