Continuing reading “Suffering and Evil, from the series “Little Black Books” produced by Matthias Media© Copyright Carolyn Axtens, 2011.
Chapter 1 … well it was my intention to read Chapter 1 but it was the end of Chapter 2 when put the book down to attend other things in life! The conversational style of writing makes it very easy to read while in no way detracting from the enormity or complexity of the subject. The analogies are very modern and well crafted into the text to enhance the points being made. No wonder I was at the end of Chapter 2 before I knew it!
Chapter 1 deals with the question of suffering, visiting the age-old questions of the link between suffering and sin, and why we suffer. No simplistic, pat answers are given. Instead the author draws from the life and experiences of Job, supported by references from the New Testament, to show that suffering is real and may be (in fact, often is) unjust. How I respond to it is the concern: will it make me 'a bitter Christian or a better Christian”? ( p21). The chapter concludes by focusing on God and the unjust suffering He suffered on the cross, suffering “more that you or I” (p22).
Chapter 2 deals with the question of evil and the other age-old question of how there can be a loving God who allows evil to exist. The question is dealt with in real terms: evil does exist, it is caused by sin and Satan in the world. However, the chapter resonates with hope: again drawing from the story of Job, the author shows that God restrains and controls evil while never being stained by evil. The chapter concludes with the point that in “our puny ability to understand his (God's) ways” (p32) we need to trust in the goodness and justice of God when things go awry, rather than charging him with wrongdoing.
Some may accuse the author of skimming over such deep and complex subjects … in the space of 23 small pages to be exact! However, I liked the precise way in which the issues are handled. There are no easy-peezy answers given, no shying away from the topic. Instead there is depth and good Biblical content, crafted in a manner that sufficiently answers my questions on suffering and evil … in 23 small pages and one cup of coffee!
Next … chapter 3 … I'm looking forward to it!