[This is the 402nd post published by adozenseconds.com at the rate of 3 per week (MWF). To date, we haven't missed a deadline…For more (in this case), go to the ♣ at the very end.]


   “Why would a good God Allow Suffering?”


Of all the challenges brought against the Bible, or the God of the Bible, this is one of the most common.


And one that asks for a response.


For more use the DOOR.




   For some who want to take Christianity seriously, this is a huge problem, for others, a small problem…or something at least to consider. Others seem to have no problem with this observation at all. Realize that books have been written about this…and fine ones. And we’ve mentioned them before in our posts.

   This may not seem like an answer to what may seem a deep-felt concern.

   But it is a response…and maybe a stepping stone to further exploration. It comes from a small booklet “Why Would a Good God Allow Suffering” published by RBC Ministries [PO Box 2222, Grand Rapids, MI 49501-2222 or www.rbc.org.]

   Here are some quotes, questions, and passages from that booklet–in no particular order–that can become parts of a conversation about this topic. We’ll add a little boldface here and there at parts for emphasis.


♦ “…it makes sense that a terrorist would be killed by his own bomb. It makes sense that a reckless driver would be in a serious accident. It makes sense that a person who plays with fire would get burned. It even makes sense that a chain-smoker would get lung cancer. BUT what about the innocent men, women, and children who are killed by the terrorist’s bomb? What about the young driver who suffers severe brain damage because a drunk driver veered over the the center line? What about the person whose house burns down due to no fault of his own? And what about the 2-year-old child with leukemia? It is dangerous, even foolish, to pretend that we have a complete answer as to why God allows suffering…”

♦ “The fact of suffering undoubtedly constitutes the greatest single challenge to the Christian faith.” — John Stott

♦ “Something’s wrong with the world.”

♦ “Something’s wrong with God’s creatures.”

♦ “Something’s wrong with me.”

♦ “The Bible traces the entrance of evil into the world to a grand but terrible quality of human beings–freedom.” — Philip Nancy

♦ “The great gift of human freedom that He has given to us, the ability to choose, carries with it the risk of making wrong choices.”

♦ “God whispers to us in our pleasures, speaks to us in our conscience, but shouts in our pains; it is His megaphone to rouse a deaf world.” — C. S. Lewis

♦ “Suffering can…be caused by Satan and demons.”

♦ “My son, do not despise the chastening of the Lord, nor be discouraged when you are rebuked by Him; for whom the Lord loves He chastens.” — Heb. 12:5-6


   Don’t concern yourself with a logical thread that runs through all these. It doesnt. ‘t I’ve simply picked out pieces of the booklet’s contents to, perhaps, provide a nugget or two to wrap some of your present concerns around. The whole booklet can be obtained (free, I think) from the above address.


   [♣ About our history of posting, at 3 per week: Be aware of our great weakness--being too broad and general. To help with that we've established 9 different archives--SCIENCE, RELIGION, PHILOSOPHY, LANGUAGE, sources, events, facts, observations, curiosities--as well as a chronological one. Further, some articles are archived in more than one place (e.g. SCIENCE & RELIGION). The archives in caps denote major interests of the site; lower case archives hold posts that don't easily fit elsewhere. A bit sloppy, a bit focused. Some readers enjoy the oddball stuff best, and so chase down "curiosities"; some are most interested in SCIENCE or RELIGION or how they go together, and so go to those categories, ignoring the rest. That's fine. After a "dozen seconds" (or less) go on with the rest of your life. So an archival search that follows your main interest is quite easy. But if you occasionally strike out in our ballpark, because the action isn't that exciting, come back for a return game.]