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God and Suffering

Marilynne Robinson's "Lila"

Martin Marty | Posted 12.13.2014 | Religion
Martin Marty

Being "Spiritual?" "Religious?" They are both easy. Robinson writes explicitly "Christianly," and that is harder. In a time when the "Prosperity Gospel" rules, she excises the word and concept "prosperity."

Out of Darkness, a Light Breaks

Daniel Davis | Posted 05.25.2014 | Arts
Daniel Davis

Such cruel tragedies are never easy to handle, and doubly so when the victim was a young woman whose spirit brightened the lives of all around her. But Ben was a contemporary Christian artist and worship leader at a large church. How was this soul-rending tragedy going to square with his faith? How could a loving God allow such things?

Everything Happens For A Reason?

Zack Hunt | Posted 03.29.2014 | Religion
Zack Hunt

Let's assume for a moment that is true, that the sort of events I've described were the handiwork of the divine. What, then, does that say about the nature of God?

Are There Some Questions the Church Can't Answer?

Ryan Thomas Neace | Posted 01.23.2014 | Religion
Ryan Thomas Neace

Many of my clients aren't looking for answers, even when they think they are, and even when I want them to be. They are not seeking to understand, but longing to be understood. I suspect the same is fundamentally true of churchgoers.

God Suffers When We Suffer

Stan Duncan | Posted 07.28.2013 | Religion
Stan Duncan

God is indeed in the midst of suffering, but as its resolution, not its cause. God is in its healing. God is in the relief workers, the doctors, the volunteers, and in the heroic acts of people who saved their neighbors and pulled survivors from their shattered homes.

Answering God's Call

Chief Rabbi Lord Sacks | Posted 07.17.2013 | Religion
Chief Rabbi Lord Sacks

In crisis, the wrong question to ask is, "What have I done to deserve this?" The right one is, "What am I now being summoned to do?" Each of us has a task. Every life has a purpose. We can bear the pain of the past when we discover the future we are called on to make.

Getting Through Your Gethsemanes

Robert C. Crosby, D.Min. | Posted 06.11.2013 | Religion
Robert C. Crosby, D.Min.

The final week in Jesus' life included especially great depths and heights: He faced a dark night of the soul in Gethsemane, a torturous cross and, ultimately, a glorious resurrection. Identifying with Jesus in His journey keeps us focused and faithful in ours.

When Easter Is No Comfort: A Jesus For The Darkest Times

John Backman | Posted 06.03.2013 | Religion
John Backman

Not only does God stand with those who are suffering. God also stands with those who are suffering and cannot return the favor. Whether I could drag myself to church made not one iota of difference to this solidarity.

Religion’s Most Repellent Idea

Rabbi Shmuley Boteach | Posted 03.17.2013 | Religion
Rabbi Shmuley Boteach

Any attempts to infuse suffering with rich meaning shows callous indifference to the heartache of fellow humans. Suffering does not leave us ennobled but broken, morose and bitter.

The God Who Shows Up When God Disappears

Jennifer Danielle Crumpton | Posted 02.17.2013 | Religion
Jennifer Danielle Crumpton

The one none can really imagine in our wildest dreams, and the one none of have a corner on. The one who stays no matter what we do, hurts when we hurt, and loves us beyond belief. The one that is for us all.

Is A Perfect God Necessary For Believers?

Posted 12.04.2012 | Religion

In a much discussed New York Times piece called ‘An Imperfect God’, the philosopher Yoram Hazony opens by stating the standard descriptions of Go...

The Alliance of Adversity

Raymond Torres | Posted 01.13.2013 | Healthy Living
Raymond Torres

Through struggle, we give birth to new features of our character. In those features, we unlock the possibility of appreciating our commonality and of realizing our most profound potential.

Where Was God When Hurricane Sandy Struck?

Rabbi Shmuley Boteach | Posted 12.31.2012 | Religion
Rabbi Shmuley Boteach

What was G-d thinking when he sent Hurricane Sandy and what could have been its purpose? In truth, I don't much care, because our role as humans is not to understand G-d's plan in the face of horror and tragedy, but to challenge God and demand that human life always be protected and preserved.

Peace Is Not The Answer

Andrew Z. Cohen | Posted 12.11.2012 | Religion
Andrew Z. Cohen

It continually amazes me that the majority of spiritual seekers from the most affluent countries on our small planet seem to be looking for one thing above anything else: peace. Has our lot in life really been that bad?

Losing a Parent... and How Empty Spiritual Teachings Make It Worse

Intent | Posted 09.17.2012 | Healthy Living
Intent

People don't get cancer because God wants to teach them a lesson. Children don't starve to death to learn about universal love. Life includes suffering, simple as that. Feel it, endure it, and hopefully -- when you finally stop trying to make sense of it -- it will pass.

Suffering, Thanksgiving And The Book of Job

Levi Ben-Shmuel | Posted 01.24.2012 | Religion
Levi Ben-Shmuel

Even at the depth of Job's suffering, he engages God. He does not cut himself off from the ability to give thanks. Job doesn't deny his own pain; he uses it as a gateway to go deeper into his relationship with God.

If You Meet God On The Road, Kill Him

Christian Piatt | Posted 12.02.2011 | Religion
Christian Piatt

By killing all preconceptions we have about who or what God is, we do indeed free God simply to be, as stated in Exodus and by great theologians and philosophers ever since.

Hurricane Irene And The Wrath Of God

Shane Claiborne | Posted 10.29.2011 | Religion
Shane Claiborne

I'm happy to say, I looked into his innocent young eyes and I said, "God is love. God is not out to get the world, God is out to save it."

Pastor Probes 'Where Was God?' In Katrina

Posted 10.29.2011 | Religion

By Richard Yeakley Religion News Service (RNS) When Hurricane Katrina roared ashore six years ago, it brought in its wake untold property damage a...

Acts of God? A Jewish Perspective On Natural Disasters

Rabbi Laura Geller | Posted 06.02.2011 | Religion
Rabbi Laura Geller

Was the tragedy in Japan unleashed by the earthquake and tsunami, as well as the damage to the nuclear power plants, an act of God? Of course, it depends on what kind of God you believe in.

Japan's Earthquake And The Will Of God

Adam Hamilton | Posted 05.25.2011 | Religion
Adam Hamilton

On Monday, Tokyo's governor, Shintaro Ishihara, was quoted as saying, "I think (the disaster in Japan) is tembatsu." Tembatsu is a Japanese term that means "divine punishment."

Pope Says Suffering is Good for You

Clay Farris Naff | Posted 05.25.2011 | Religion
Clay Farris Naff

Call me a crank, but I think Hank Williams has a better chance of knocking Justin Bieber off the Top-10 charts than the Pope has of recalling young people to the Mother Church with tales of faith and suffering.