"This book is concerned with why the world is not such an easy place in which to live. Human beings, as its apparently most sentient creatures, live daily in a morally ambiguous environment. Most of us experience contentment, happiness, and even profound joy. But these experiences are all too often interspersed or punctuated with unwarranted suffering, excruciating pain, and sometimes irrational violence. Although human life may at times seem like heaven on earth, it can also be more like scenes from a Kafka novel or a scarred canvas of Edvard Munch. This book is primarily concerned with the problem of reconciling these two kinds of experiences with belief in a God who is said to be all good, all knowing, and all powerful.
"Throughout the book, I continually refer back to three criteria for what I think would count as a good answer to the problem. . . . First, any serious philosophical or theological response to the problem of evil must be true to the tradition from which the problem originates. The problem of evil is a peculiarly Judeo-Christian problem because of the attributes of God in that tradition. . . . Second, any answer to the problem of evil should be one that is logically consistent. . . . Third, a good answer to the problem of evil must take the individual sufferer seriously.
--from the Introduction