Skip to main content

Posts

Why does God allow suffering?

In response to my invitation to submit questions to be addressed in this sermon series, one of you asked, “God is all knowing, loving, omnipotent. Why is there so much senseless, tragic pain and suffering in the world? Particularly to innocent people?”
Another person wrote, “Why does it always seem like when it rains, it pours? When we are working on one problem or crisis and trying to effectively solve it, several more seem to pile on top. I know God only gives us what we can handle, and He always gives us the tools and guidance to overcome the problems, but it would just be nice to only have one problem at a time.”
This same person said, “I can answer my own question with—this is just life, God is challenging us to reach our full potential, or we are being trained for a next phase in our life—but I would like to hear your take on it as well as what the Bible has to say about it.”
Both of these questions are, I think, different forms of the question: “Why does God allow suffering?”
C. S.…
Recent posts

Is the resurrection just a nice story?

Today, in our series on Ultimate Questions, I want to address this question: is the resurrection just a nice story? In other words, did the bodily resurrection of Jesus really take place in space-time history or is it just an inspiring tale? In the twentieth century, the belief became popular that Jesus rose spiritually but not bodily from the grave, making of the Gospels a nice story, a myth.
For the past few months, our Thursday night book discussion group discussed a book by two New Testament scholars, N. T. Wright and Marcus Borg, entitled: “The Meaning of Jesus: Two Visions”. In the section on the resurrection, Marcus Borg argued for the spiritual resurrection of Jesus. He wrote, “Indeed, this seems to me to be the central meaning of Easter. Beginning with Easter, the early movement continued to experience Jesus as a living reality after his death, but in a radically new way. After Easter, his followers experienced him as a spiritual reality, no longer as a person of flesh and blo…

Why did Jesus die on the cross?

One of the most startling things about the Gospels is that they focus most, not on what Jesus taught, but rather on the last week of his life and specifically upon his death. Two-fifths of Matthew’s Gospel focuses on this. Three-fifths of Mark does the same. One-third of Luke is devoted to the last week of Jesus’ life. And most startling of all, one half of John is devoted to the end of Jesus’ life.

Thus, the Gospels beg the question: why did Jesus die on the cross?

The fact that he did die on a cross is a matter of history. Tacitus, a Roman historian writing in AD 112 refers to the death of Jesus under Pontius Pilate. Lucian, a satirist of the second century, who spoke scornfully of Christ and the Christians, refers to Jesus’ crucifixion in Palestine as a historical event. As F. F. Bruce has summarized, “Some writers may toy with the fancy of a ‘Christ-myth,’ but they do not do so on the ground of historical evidence. The historicity of Christ is as axiomatic for an unbiased historian …