Monday, 25 October 2010

Is it logical to say that there is a God of love when there is so much suffering in the world?

The presence of so much suffering in the world can seem inexplicable to many people of many different beliefs. It can, however, seem especially incompatible with a belief in an all powerful, all knowing and all loving God. However, suffering is not something new and it is something which Christianity has long learned to live with and about which the Bible has much to say. The Bible offers a number of coherent explanations regarding the existence of suffering in our world. However, it must be acknowledged that it does not offer comprehensive answers. Precisely how we fit the tragic death of a baby into this framework can, at times, seem unclear. However, the Bible is also clear that we should not expect to be able to understand why God permits so much evil in this world. The Bible stresses that God does not think like we think and that we are incapable of approaching him as his intellectual equal. However, in a sceptical age it seems unreasonable to hold such blind faith in our own cognitive facilities that we believe that if we cannot see the entirety of the explanation for all suffering there must not be one.

The Bible offers a framework for understanding suffering which, although not complete, is certainly logical. In fact the Bible offers considerable explanation for the existence of so much suffering in our world which is noticeably lacking in other frameworks and philosophies. Any claim that it is not logical to believe in a God of love when there is so much suffering in the world fails to take seriously the explanations given by the same Bible which asserts that God is a God of love. However, ultimately the belief in the God of the Bible is not a result of a logical analysis of the suffering in our world. Rather belief in the God of the Bible is a result of God’s revelation to us primarily in the person of Jesus Christ. Even if the existence of so much suffering in the world does create a logical barrier to believing in the God of the Bible this is not strong enough evidence to counteract the evidence for believing in him offered by the written accounts of the life of Jesus Christ. In the person of Jesus, God came to earth as a human and revealed himself to us. He lived on earth, he suffered on earth, he died on earth and he came back to life on earth. The evidence offered by eye witness accounts is so strong that any problems offered by the existence of suffering cannot be sufficient to logically keep anyone from believing in the God of love the Bible presents.

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