Carl F. H. Henry on the Problem of (Good and) Evil

Open access


Carl Henry devotes a few chapters directly (and a few indirectly) in volume 6 of his God, Revelation, and Authority [GRA] to the problem of evil [POE]. The author examines Henry’s contribution as a theologian, noting that GRA is a work of theology, not philosophy proper. However, Henry had a PhD in Philosophy (Boston, 1949), and one finds present several presuppositions and control beliefs that are philosophically motivated. Observation of the text reveals several of these. Chief here is Henry’s working assumption that to understand and explain the nature of evil, one must first understand and explain the nature, origin and etiology of good. This point and its implications are developed at length in this article. Unsurprising is Henry’s contribution exhibiting an awareness of methods and theodical approaches traditionally used by philosophers of religion such as Rowe, Plantinga, and Hick. Surprising is the fact that Henry does not clearly take a side on the nature of human free will. What he does say seems to underdetermine his exact position. Finally, the importance of Kant vis a vis Henry’s theodicy and entire theological program is emphasized as well.

If the inline PDF is not rendering correctly, you can download the PDF file here.

  • Feinberg JS (2004) The Many Faces of Evil. Revised and expanded edition. Wheaton IL: Crossway Books.

  • Feinberg JS (1979) Theologies and Evil. Washington DC: University Press of America.

  • Henry CFH (1983) God Revelation and Authority. Volume 6. Waco TX: Word.

  • Henry CFH (1957) Personal Christian Ethics. Grand Rapids: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Co.

  • Henry CFH (1948) Remaking the Modern Mind. Grand Rapids MI: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Co.

  • Hick J (1977) Evil and the God of Love. Revised edition. New York NY: HarperCollins.

  • Kant I (1981) Grounding for the Metaphysics of Morals. Edited and translated by James W. Ellington. Indianapolis: Hackett Publishing Co.

  • Kant I (1965) The Critique of Pure Reason. Edited and translated by Norman Kemp Smith. New York NY: St. Martin’s Press.

  • Lewis CS (1960) Mere Christianity. New York NY: Macmillan.

  • Linville MD (1990) On Goodness: Human and Divine. American Philosophical Quarterly 27(2): 143-152.

  • Madden EH and Hare PH (1968) Evil and the Concept of God. Springfield IL: Charles C. Thomas Publisher.

  • Moore GE (1903) Principia Ethica. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

  • Patterson BE (1983) Carl F. H. Henry. Waco TX: Word Books.

  • Plantinga A (1974) God Freedom and Evil. Grand Rapids MI: Eerdmans Publishing Co.

  • Rowe WL (1978) Philosophy of Religion: An Introduction. Belmont CA: Wadsworth Publishing Co.

  • Rowe WL (1979) The Problem of Evil and Some Varieties of Atheism. American Philosophical Quarterly 16(*): 335-341.

  • Vanhoozer KJ (2002) First Theology. Downers Grove IL: InterVarsity Press.

  • Wykstra SJ (1990) The Humean Obstacle to Evidential Arguments from Evil: On Avoiding the Evils of ‘Appearance’. In Adams RW and Adams MM (eds) The Problem of Evil. New York NY: Oxford University Press pp. 138-160.

Journal information
Impact Factor

CiteScore 2018: 0.18

SCImago Journal Rank (SJR) 2018: 0.100
Source Normalized Impact per Paper (SNIP) 2018: 0.526

All Time Past Year Past 30 Days
Abstract Views 0 0 0
Full Text Views 152 152 20
PDF Downloads 112 112 16