When Bad Things Happen to Good People
|Followed by||To Life: A Celebration of Jewish Being and Thinking|
When Bad Things Happen to Good People (ISBN 1-4000-3472-8) is a 1981 book by Harold Kushner, a Conservative rabbi. Kushner addresses in the book one of the principal problems of theodicy, the conundrum of why, if the universe was created and is governed by a God who is of a good and loving nature, there is nonetheless so much suffering and pain in it—essentially, the evidential problem of evil. The book argues for theistic finitism. Kushner proposes a finite God solution to the problem of evil. God is benevolent but not all-powerful to prevent evil.
The book is dedicated to the memory of Kushner's young son, Aaron, who died at the age of 14 in 1977 of the incurable genetic disease progeria. Rabbi Kushner's book was a New York Times bestseller for many months in the non-fiction category.
Kushner seeks to offer comfort to grieving people. His answer to the philosophical problem is that God does his best and is with people in their suffering, but is not fully able to prevent it.
- New York Times bestseller, "nonfiction"
- Michael, Martin. (1990). The Finite God Theodicy. In Atheism: A Philosophical Justification. Temple University Press. pp. 436-438. ISBN 0-87722-642-3
- Patricia Montemurri (August 3, 2008). "'One of a kind': Little girl with progeria makes a big impact on loved ones". Detroit Free Press. Archived from the original on April 26, 2009.
- John Frame (1994). Apologetics to the Glory of God. p. 157. ISBN 0-87552-243-2.
- Rabbi Y. Kirzner, Making Sense of Suffering ISBN 1-57819-757-0.
- When bad things happen to good people 2001 edition with a new preface
- "Rabbi Kushner: An 'Accommodation' With God" Morning Edition interview with Rabbi Kuchner on NPR in 2010 at the 30th anniversary of publication.