What I Read Online – 01/16/2013 (p.m.)

17 Jan
    • First, we are likely to make exegetical and theological mistakes when we take any one of these passages and treat it as if it explains all suffering
    • A Christian would be foolish to think that every instance of suffering he or she undergoes must necessarily be the result of God’s disciplining hand arising out of a particular sin—just as a Christian would be foolish to overlook the possibility that God may be inflicting suffering in a disciplinary fashion.
    • Second, in any suffering, or in any other event for that matter, God is doubtless doing many things, perhaps thousands of things, millions of things, even if we can only detect two or three or a handful
    • Third, it follows that when we face suffering of any kind, we should use the occasion for self-examination. God may be speaking to us in the language of a wise heavenly Father who chastens those he loves. Such chastening may be God’s response to specific sins in our lives; it may be a more general way of toughening us up in this broken world so we will stop thinking that God owes us good health, or that our clean living and organic food guarantees us long and robust life. Or it may be that God has a bet going on with Satan himself: think Job. So our self-examination ought to be honest, and any repentance should be forthright—but we should not whip ourselves into thinking that the crippling accident we just endured was a function of our sin. Even if it were, the remedy is always the same: flee to the Cross, and trust our good and gracious and holy God. And it’s not inconceivable that we may conclude, with Job, that this suffering cannot be God’s punishment for specific sins in our lives.


      We sometimes observe that hard cases make bad theology. But easy, formulaic answers to questions of suffering are invariably reductionistic—and they make bad theology, too.

    • “An old preacher . . . told a group of younger preachers to remember that they would die. ‘They are going to put you in a box,’ he said, ‘and put the box in the ground, and throw dirt on your face, and then go back to the church and eat potato salad” (p. 203).
    • However, I came to realise that whatever reason I have for desiring marriage, that desire will never be fully satisfied by being married. That may sound pessimistic but the reality is you are a sinner and you’ll marry a sinner

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

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Posted by on 17/01/2013 in Current Issues


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