On vacation, I was getting ready to add some resources to the sermon on the Tough Questions of ‘Suffering’ when the Boston Marathon bombing tragedy hit the news. The question sadly rages again as we groan and weep and pray.
Here are some important resources from the viewpoint of our Christian worldview:
Some books I often recommend:
Philip Yancey has written extensively on this issue. Where is God When It Hurts is still among the best.
Tim Keller’s book covers several tough questions: The Reason For God: Belief in an Age of Skepticism.
C. S. Lewis’ The Problem of Pain is a classic and helpful as ever.
Christopher Wright has written The God I Don’t Understand: Reflections on Tough Questions of Faith, that has a helpful study guide.
Finally, David Bentley Hart, editorial writer for First Things, wrote this article in 2008 at the time of the Asian Tsunami. It is not easy vocabulary but worth the work. One of his statements is rich with insight: “…(our faith) has set us free from optimism, and taught us hope instead.”
Tsunami and Theodicy
No one, no matter how great the scope of his imagination, should be able easily to absorb the immensity of the catastrophe that struck the Asian rim of the Indian Ocean and the coast of Somalia on the second day of Christmas this past year; nor would it be quite human to fail, in its wake, to feel some measure of spontaneous resentment towards God, fate, natura naturans, or whatever other force one imagines governs the intricate web of cosmic causality. But, once one’s indignation at the callousness of the universe begins to subside, it is worth recalling that nothing that occurred that day or in the days that followed told us anything about the nature of finite existence of which we were not already entirely aware. Continue Reading…