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...]

Evolution Doesn’t Make the Problem of Evil Worse

I continue to encounter – and to find incredibly puzzling – the claim that depicting God creating through evolution portrays God less favorably than depicting God creating directly and instantaneously. Here is why: In either view of creation, the world includes suffering, starvation, carnivores eating other animals, parasites devouring hosts alive, illnesses of a variety [Read More...]

Job in Newtown

That’s not “job” as in employment in the title of this post, but “Job” as in “the Book of…” Someone asked me on Facebook recently what I thought the message of Job is and how it relates to the tragedy in Connecticut. I said that the Book of Job has a number of points that [Read More...]

Doctor Who: Snakedance and the Triple Temptation of the Mara

The Doctor Who episode “Snakedance” from the Peter Davison era is the sequel to the earlier episode Kinda, featuring the same enemy, the Mara, an evil presence which can hide within a mind and take control of it, and from there (if it can find the power to do so) emerge into physical form as [Read More...]


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