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The Problem of Evil stands as one of the major topics of Philosophy and Theology throughout the history of thought. The very nature of evil is elusive to the unaided human reason, and presents much room for speculation. This does not minimize the problem for, "In a day such as this, men and women are seriously troubled with the problem of evil." The fact of evil cannot be escaped, therefore it is of prime importance to all who attempt to think through on the major problems of life. Evil is around us on every hand. "We try to ignore it or tone it down, to think of it in more or less conventional terms, but . . . the fact of evil has always been a most real fact concerning man in the whole course of his history."

Much has been said and written on the subject. "In the literature which has come down to us there have not been wanting records of what men have thought about evil." Any attempt to propound a new theory would seem to be a wasteful expenditure of time, strength, paper, and ink. It was rather the purpose of the writer to examine the views of John Williams Fletcher, Edgar Sheffield Brightman, and Edwin Lewis on the Problem of Evil and to compare their views.

The writer is aware that other authors might have been chosen for such a study. For this study, at least, it has been felt that it would be better to confine ourselves to men from the Methodist tradition. Each of these authors were or are Methodist. They also have been chosen because they seem to represent three different positions concerning the problem of evil.