#YCAS2015 Fifth Panel

The morning of the second day of the York Christian Apocrypha Symposium began with Gregory Fewster discussing assumptions scholars work with regarding pseudepigraphy, and the question of what made a pseudepigraphal work “successful,” focusing in particular on 3 Corinthians. Among the assumptions we take for granted is that, for pseudepigraphy to work, the reputation of [Read More...]

The Meaning of Tragedy

The quote comes from Rev. Stan Duncan’s article in the Huffington Post, “What God’s Role in Tragedy Really Is.” [Read more...]

Foolproof Theodicy?

Jonathan Bernier wrote this in a comment here on this blog, and I thought it deserved wider circulation. It seems to me that a foolproof theodicy would have to be one in which the innocent never suffer. Therefore it would have to argue that those who suffer are not innocent. Such a theodicy should be [Read More...]

A Pre-Christian Dying Messiah?

Ryan Covington has posted on his blog about a subject we also discussed here, namely the question of whether there was a pre-Christian concept of a Davidic Messiah who, rather than ascending the throne and restoring the Davidic dynasty, is executed before he can do so. Ryan points to some of the well-known proposed counter-examples: [Read More...]

Daring to Doubt

Without the courage to doubt, Christians (and the same applies to many other religious believers) cannot do what we are called to do. In times of suffering, people doubt not merely the existence of God, but their entire worldviews. We are called to comfort those who suffer. But we cannot do so with the confidence [Read More...]

Could the Problem of Evil Become a Thing of the Past?

Students in one of my classes wrote about the problem of evil this semester, and some chose to do their final paper on that topic. For many of them, the problem of evil seems to be something simple. Sure, there may be suffering, but all the joys and pleasures of life make up for them. [Read More...]

The Sith Way

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Job Notwithstanding

That the view that suffering is due to sin is still prevalent, even in traditions that have the Book of Job, just goes to show how tenacious that way of viewing things is. It is easier to accept the view of Job's friends (even if one accepts as authoritative the Book of Job, which condemns [Read More...]

God Doesn’t Suffer, So Why Should We?

In my Sunday school class last weekend, the discussion quickly moved from a discussion of the atonement to a specific focus on whether God suffers or can suffer. A number of interesting observations were made, but one seemed particularly worth sharing. Following a discussion of why some consider it better to be above suffering (and [Read More...]

A Whirlwind of Inconsistencies

In the wake of the devastating tornado in Oklahoma, a number of people have drawn attention to John Piper’s tweet of Job 1:19. Far from this verse indicating the notion that God is judging Oklahoma (which is what some have come to expect to hear from spokespeople for conservative Christian viewpoints), in context the verse [Read More...]

Graphing a Problem

David Hayward’s cartoon could be about the Book of Job or the recent act by terrorists in Boston. Indeed, we could plot both on the graph. Does correlation indicate causation in this case? Certainly, if more intense suffering is a problem for a monotheistic worldview and so brings out more inane theological utterances, those utterances [Read More...]