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Gordon McLauchlan: Dear God: What’s going on here? [via Dan]
Prospects are bleak I found it very hard to not adopt a distancing wry uninvolved stance towards most everything, I couldn’t get a handle on anything. Nothing made any sense. I came away feeling disorientated. There are so many beautiful things around to celebrate, and so many horrible things to challenge, why are these writers all wasting everyone’s time being clever and quirky and self-involved?
Or would you like to answer the question rather than praising it?
Sorry what where?
I mean to say – ‘why does God let all this terrible stuff happen?’ is not a stupid question. And there isn’t an easy answer. And Gordon’s article is an example of the opposite of the Prospect 2004 exhibition – it is grappling with real trouble in the world, not navel gazing.
Absolutely not a stupid question, “have a go at an answer, then you can get involved with real trouble” was what i was trying, obviously unsuccessfully, to say. Gordon is not actually grappling with an answer, he is asking a hard question. It is not enough for us to echo the question, we must grapple with an answer.
Ah. I understand. My answer would be like Job’s but somehow including the revelation of God in Jesus that God is not distant, but is involved intimately in the sufferings listed by Gordon McL. That isn’t an answer in the sense that ‘four’ is the answer to ‘what is two plus two?’, though, which is what Christians have often tried to do with this question, I think.
God suffers because His beloved are being tormented by His beloved while His Name is defiled by all sorts of His children. If the honour of God is primary rather than our own comfort or ease or happiness being primary, the answer changes a bit. What I mean, the answer to GMs question is easy. His question is almost rhetorical. He is saying; ” I have a good question, you, god/allah/budda/zeus/brahma, have not and will not answer it because you cannot. Either you exist but are dumb, stupid/impotent or, as I strongly suspect, you are not there at all”
Our answer must be along the lines of God’s revelation, eg in Job etc.
I like your “not four as in 2+2 equals analogy, please expand on how we could apply this in real life apologetics/outreach.
What’s the easy answer to GMs question? I say there isn’t one.
But a hard one might start like: God IS working on that problem, *the* problem, but it is a process (reconciling the troubled creation to himself), not like finding the secret door which ends a video game, more like healing a family feud. And the process is centred on Jesus.
But by Jesus’ prayer in John 17, GM has very good reason NOT to believe that Jesus comes from the Father.
So outreach-wise, we Christians can give GM good reason to think God is not sitting on his hands by being as one, being the light, peace-bringers, agents of reconciliation.
AMEN and AMEN
there is an easy answer to GMs question. god doesn’t exist. but easy answers in life aren’t the right answers all that often
I’m not sure ‘God doesn’t exist’ is such an easy answer for anyone. I mean, some scientists devote their whole live to the sole task of proving that God doesn’t exist. They can’t just simply accept it.
thats true i guess. so glad we agree… ok i’ll concede matthew’s point then :-)
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