How long, O Lord?

The brokenness of the world has once again been horribly exposed through the devastating earthquake that has ripped apart Haiti. The world is counting an unimaginably high death toll, and once again the dead and missing are from one of the poorest nations on earth.

How do you make sense of such pain and horror? How does God fit into the picture?

I think Christians often feel the pull to speak quickly and sensibly about such horror. Often in blatantly offenseive and untruthful ways, as demonstrated by Pat Robertson today, but more often than not in less stupid ways. In ways that try to make sense of the pain and horror.

In the past I’ve posted some thoughts on this, but for a far better response you should read Byron Smith’s incredibly insightful series of reflections on Theodicy & the need for eschatology. Byron’s deep conviction is that we must resist to give evil a place in this world, we must resist the temptation to make sense of suffering. This is precisely because evil and suffering make no sense in this world because they are enemies of God that will be finally removed from the created order when Jesus returns.

I have found Byron’s thoughts on this immensely helpful, but there are also some other great books out there offering a similar position. Check out David Bentley Hart’s The Doors of the Sea and N. T. Wright’s Evil and the Justice of God.

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2 Responses to “How long, O Lord?”

  1. What unbelievably silly and cruel remarks that Pat Robertson makes! What a dead set goose. I found some good comments on his rant here: http://thegospelcoalition.org/blogs/justintaylor/2010/01/14/pat-robertsons-remarks/

    And yep, I think that insisting in a water-tight resolution to the problem of evil is disastrous!

    There’s a good relief fund here in case anybody wants to respond that way: http://www.sovereigngraceministries.org/About/FinancialSupport/DisasterRelief.aspx

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