How do we ‘make sense’ of suffering?

August 20, 2012 — Leave a comment

cairns -sufSuffering is one thing we have in common with all humanity.  But can we make ‘sense’ of it?

We not only suffer and often have compassion on others who suffer,  but we also suffer from what Scott Cairns calls “the disturbing pieties that swirl about in the aftermath of suffering and loss, most of which strike me as being, at best, the unfortunate hybrids of good intentions and poor theology.” (The End of Suffering) 

The biblical book of Job helps to answer some poor theology. (Examples are in the book itself – in the speeches of Job’s friends! The Bible contains or rather records some bad theology!) Job is the antidote, e.g., to the ‘health and wealth’ Gospel and any other system that wants to contain and control God.

In Narnian words, the Lion (the King) “is not safe…but He’s GOOD!”                

The only New Testament reference to Job focuses our attention on God’s goodness and purpose, and on Job’s endurance:

“Behold, we consider those blessed who remained steadfast. You have heard of the steadfastness of Job, and you have seen the purpose of the Lord, how the Lord is compassionate and merciful.”   

QUESTION FOR DISCUSSION: What struggles with suffering do you wrestle with?  What helps you to ‘make sense’ of suffering?

Advertisements

No Comments

Be the first to start the conversation!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s