I’m a Christian, but I have lately been struggling with a question: Do I believe God is Good, or do I believe God is just good to me? I see my life as having been blessed and guided by God into many good things (great husband, amazing kids, food to eat, etc.), but I struggle to reconcile all these gifts with the lives of those in extreme suffering and poverty. I’m not sure how to trust God with my everyday, (relatively) minor needs like relief for sick kids or financial problems. Why would I be rescued, when God didn’t rescue Holocaust mothers who watched their babies used as target practice? I believe in God. I believe he is Good. But I don’t know why I believe that.
Lots of you left many interesting and thought-provoking comments, and Lisa chimed in as well. It’s been a great discussion to watch.
At the core of your question, Lisa, is how arbitrary are God’s actions of beneficence (or tragedy)? This is a question I’ve been wrestling with a lot lately, for it sits at the heart of the book I’m now writing, Why Pray?
It seems that we have a choice: God is either arbitrary and therefore terrifying, or God is predictable and impotent. Here’s what I mean: