I’ve always hated the book of Job. It makes God out to be totally amoral.
I mean, the premise is that God wants to win a bet against Satan, so that’s why there is suffering. And, just in case you complain about being unjustly oppressed, know that God can beat you up, so you better watch it.
God, in the book of Job, is an unjust bully. And for any of you out there who contend that Job is a theological argument against the so-called prosperity Gospel, it’s not. In the end, Job is given back his stuff for staying true to God.
God, in the book of Job, is an unjust bully and an egomaniac.
As a theodicy goes, it is morally bankrupt.
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As you may or may not know, ACU has just experienced a tragedy. A car full of ACU students was in a wreck. There was one fatality and several injuries.
And in such a tragedy we turn to God for answers.
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I saw a bunch of Facebook statuses today.
Some of them simply asked those reading to pray for the families affected. And for the victims. And for those suffering.
Some asked that we pray for the ACU community.
Some asserted that, despite this tragedy, God is good.
Some expressed that God is specially present with the broken hearted.
Some maintained that God didn’t ordain this, but that he would redeem it.
Some even proclaimed confusion and anger at God. How could he?
But none of them expressed the theodicy of Job. No one, that I read, said that this was the perfect judgement of God. That God was glorified in this because it demonstrates our depravity. No one accused those asking questions of not having enough faith.
And, for this, I am profoundly thankful.
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But, my statement is a bit different.
Because, yes, I think God is good and did not ordain this tragedy. God is present with the broken-hearted, our God of comfort he is. And, yes, perhaps God will redeem this piece of brokeness, this terrible tragedy.
But instead of all that, I just want to say: God died with Lindsey, and he suffers alongside the others.
The God who lets us live in the world without the working hypothesis of God is the God before whom we stand continually. Before God and with God we live without God. God lets himself be pushed out of the world on to the cross. He is weak and powerless in the world, and that is precisely the way, the only way, in which he is with us and helps us . . . Christ helps us, not by virtue of his omnipotence, but by virtue of his weakness and suffering.
-Dietrich Bonhoeffer (found here)