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Thursday, November 20, 2008
I don't quite recall what sparked this thought in my head last week, but something occurred to me regarding the current narcissistic fad within the American Church which wants to continually question why there is HUMAN suffering in the world (notwithstanding the fact that the majority of "suffering" in the Western world is quite mild). The question usually goes like this: if God is so powerful and loves people so much, then why does He allow evil to exist when He could just wipe it out with a word? Or, taking that thought one step further, why did He even allow evil to come into being, since He has always been a sovereign God? Why didn't he just throw Satan in hell as soon as he rebelled? Perhaps He just doesn't care about human suffering, at least in comparison to His glory and honor.

Which leads me to my thought... God is not a detached supernatural being that doesn't fully understand human suffering. He has suffered as much or more than any person: He died on the cross. Sometimes we subconsciously forget that Jesus was God and that when He suffered and died on the cross, God suffered and died on the cross (that's not to say that God died, since two-thirds of the Trinity did not). And when Jesus the Son was suffering, God the Father's heart was breaking in sorrow. This is one place where the doctrine of the Trinity is so key; if the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit were all separate beings instead of One, then that could mean that the Father was punishing the Son while staying detached from the suffering of the Son. But since they are One, He must have felt the spiritual torture (and perhaps the physical suffering as well) which the Son was experiencing by being forsaken by the Father.

So God acutely knows what suffering is like, but since He IS all-powerful and all-wise, one would think that He would have chosen to avoid that suffering with a different plan. Yet, He chose to endure the cross and the shame of death "for the joy set before Him" of glorifying Himself, the Father, and us. He is not a God who knows not suffering.


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Darius' book montage

The Cross Centered Life: Keeping the Gospel The Main Thing
Crazy Love: Overwhelmed by a Relentless God
Overcoming Sin and Temptation
According to Plan: The Unfolding Revelation of God in the Bible
Disciplines of a Godly Man
Money, Greed, and God: Why Capitalism Is the Solution and Not the Problem
When Helping Hurts: Alleviating Poverty Without Hurting the Poor. . .and Ourselves
The Prodigal God: Recovering the Heart of the Christian Faith
Respectable Sins
The Kite Runner
Life Laid Bare: The Survivors in Rwanda Speak
Machete Season: The Killers in Rwanda Speak
A Generous Orthodoxy: Why I am a missional, evangelical, post/protestant, liberal/conservative, mystical/poetic, biblical, charismatic/contemplative, fundamentalist/calvinist, ... anabaptist/anglican, metho
Show Them No Mercy
The Lord of the Rings
Life at the Bottom: The Worldview That Makes the Underclass
The Truth War: Fighting for Certainty in an Age of Deception
Cool It: The Skeptical Environmentalist's Guide to Global Warming
The Chronicles of Narnia
Les Misérables

Darius Teichroew's favorite books »