This book is 400 pages and is a well-written survey of Western theodicies (i.e. defense of God's goodness and omnipotence in view of the existence of evil) since the time of Socrates until the twentieth century. Especially the Augustinian concept of 'privatio boni' (the illusory existence of evil) is thoroughly criticised. Hick is brave enough to propose a theodicy of his own. He draws largely upon Irenaeus (c.120 to 140-c.200 to 203) who proposed a different solution than the Augustinian. Irenaeus suggested that man's condition in Paradise was a childish wholeness rather than a perfect wholeness. Instead, inside man resides the image of God whom humans try to manifest during their lives. So Irenaeus view of man is more positive than the traditional Christian which argues that man, after the fall, is a mere sinful and helpless being, bowing down to a perfectly good and very remote God. In Irenaeus view, there remains the possibility of man restituting paradisal wholeness again by striving to manifest that inner image of God. In this view, man is closer to God and, surprisingly, it tallies finely with our modern psychological and anthropological worldview. I think it's good to hear that, within Christian theology, there exists alternatives to the boring harping on man's miserable condition. Man's condition after the fall is still meaningful since we can strive to attain paradisal wholeness again, although not a childish and naive wholeness like before.