Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Unspeakable: Facing Up to the Challenge of Evil” as Want to Read:
Unspeakable: Facing Up to the Challenge of Evil
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Unspeakable: Facing Up to the Challenge of Evil

4.06  ·  Rating Details ·  118 Ratings  ·  12 Reviews
We are still surprised by evil. From Auschwitz to the events of September 11, we have been shocked into recognizing the startling capacity for evil within the human heart. We now know 9/11 revealed that our country was unprepared in terms of national security, but it also showed we were intellectually and morally unprepared to deal with such a barbaric act.

Our language to
Paperback, 256 pages
Published February 7th 2006 by HarperOne (first published February 1st 2005)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Unspeakable, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Unspeakable

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Mary Overton
Guinness argues there are 3 ways to respond to the question of evil: as an Eastern believer in the need to extinguish meaning; as a secularist/humanist believer that the individual creates meaning; or as a Christian believer that God gives meaning to human suffering by having suffered Himself.

(1) "The Buddhist remedy for suffering is stern, even drastic. If 'the great deathless lake of Nirvana' is a state of extinguishedness, what is extinguished is not only suffering but attachment, desire, and
Dec 19, 2008 Melanie rated it liked it
Recommended to Melanie by: Scaleybark library book sale - 25-cents
This is the first book I've read by Os Guinness, and I found him thoughtful and articulate. What I liked most about this book was the care Guinness gave to examining evil and suffering through the many voices of men and women who have encountered it--I was impressed by how well-read he seems, and his art in pulling so many voices into his work. I also liked Guinness' section on how the differences between our answers to the challenge of evil and suffering, and the responses that flow from these ...more
Jun 05, 2016 Lydia rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book covers a variety of topics, but mostly focuses on issues of evil in our world. Included are how different religions view these issues (and evil itself), how they handle them and how Christians should face evil.

As an adult, I would guess it is impossible to not have had to face the realities of evil in some way, and this book helps guide that thought process. It calls evil what it is; does not descend into despair, in fact, spends much of the time facing evil by showing how we are call

Nov 04, 2010 Douglas rated it really liked it
What is the world's greatest problem? Me. This was an incredibly difficult book to read because it deals with the central fact that we are all capable of great evil, no matter how much we try to kid ourselves otherwise. As a Christian pastor, I like to pretend that I'm a good person, but the reality is that evil is as resident in my heart as it is on the heart of every person on Earth.

This would have been a 5 star review except that the first 75-80 pages were a slog to get through. Past that poi
Feb 01, 2013 Sheri-lee rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
One of the most honest and full treatments of the problem of evil. It is a book that everyone should read.
Aug 25, 2009 Sarah rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
there are so many books on this topic that are much better than this one. this one basically rips of all of kevin bales's work along with some other authors. it's not even well written.
Jul 14, 2013 Jeanann rated it liked it
Read this if you are a citizen of Earth.
The book provides interesting insights on our distorted view of terrorism. It challenges you to think about terrorism much more broadly than is typical - it's not just bombs being set off in markeplaces but it's also terrorist regimes that have been given so level of legitimacy by a lack of response or commerce activity. In that light, terrorism is an issue that has been with us for a very long time - really through most of recorded human history.

Beyond this view and the need to recognize that
Jul 17, 2016 Joe rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Janelle rated it really liked it
Jul 18, 2007
Annelyse Howell
Annelyse Howell rated it really liked it
Jul 09, 2014
Leif Egil
Leif Egil rated it really liked it
Oct 11, 2016
Tiffany rated it really liked it
Feb 19, 2013
Kristin Hung
Kristin Hung rated it liked it
Mar 24, 2007
Tim Ridolfi
Tim Ridolfi rated it really liked it
Jul 28, 2010
Pete Cantelon
Pete Cantelon rated it it was amazing
Jul 23, 2010
Jan Young
Jan Young rated it it was amazing
Jul 13, 2015
Mandy Turner
Mandy Turner rated it it was amazing
Nov 12, 2010
Mark Murray
Mark Murray rated it it was amazing
Apr 06, 2014
Patrick Todoroff
Patrick Todoroff rated it really liked it
May 25, 2011
Matt Roberts
Matt Roberts rated it it was amazing
Apr 01, 2013
Tim Hoiland
Tim Hoiland rated it really liked it
Dec 05, 2012
Marc Swan
Marc Swan rated it it was amazing
Apr 02, 2012
Darth Vader
Darth Vader rated it liked it
Nov 03, 2007
Kim rated it really liked it
Aug 02, 2016
Joe rated it liked it
Mar 27, 2008
Angie Bosman
Angie Bosman rated it liked it
Jun 15, 2016
Craig rated it really liked it
Dec 03, 2012
Dawn rated it really liked it
Feb 21, 2016
« previous 1 3 4 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Losing Our Virtue
  • When God Goes to Starbucks: A Guide to Everyday Apologetics
  • Divine Sovereignty and Human Responsibility: Biblical Perspective in Tension
  • Created in God's Image
  • The Historical Reliability of the Gospels
  • Scaling the Secular City: A Defense of Christianity
  • A Place for Truth: Leading Thinkers Explore Life's Hardest Questions
  • Evangelical Theology: A Biblical and Systematic Introduction
  • The God I Don't Understand: Reflections on Tough Questions of Faith
  • Men and Women in the Church: Building Consensus on Christian Leadership
  • Seven Days That Divide The World: The Beginning According To Genesis & Science
  • Salvation to the Ends of the Earth: A Biblical Theology of Mission (New Studies in Biblical Theology (InterVarsity Press), #11)
  • Bioethics: A Primer for Christians
  • Eyewitness to a Genocide: The United Nations and Rwanda
  • The Unquenchable Flame: Discovering the Heart of the Reformation
  • The Art of Dying: Living Fully Into the Life to Come
  • Evangelical Dictionary of Theology
  • True Paradox: How Christianity Makes Sense of Our Complex World
Os Guinness (D.Phil., Oxford) is the author or editor of more than twenty-five books, including The American Hour, Time for Truth and The Case for Civility. A frequent speaker and prominent social critic, he was the founder of the Trinity Forum and has been a visiting fellow at the Brookings Institution and a guest scholar at the Woodrow Wilson Center for International Studies. He lives near Washi ...more
More about Os Guinness...

Share This Book

“When we learn the wrong lessons of history, evil is reinforced rather than restrained- particularly when we use the injuries of the past to serve the interests of the future and ignore the injustices of the present.” 1 likes
More quotes…