Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Does the existence of suffering mean there's no God?

That's what Bart Ehrman concludes in his new book: God's Problem: How the Bible Fails to Answer Our Most Important Question--Why We Suffer.

I am about halfway finished with the book right now. It's a very simple read, but I can't say that I believe that God really promised to swoop in and fix all of our problems. I also cringe whenever I hear my mom and others say "It was God's will," to some tragic event, on the other hand. Professor Ehrman states in the book that one of the reasons he lost his faith is precisely the problem of suffering. Ehrman basically concludes that if God is powerless to end or prevent suffering, God isn't much of a God.

You know, it must be a really interesting position to be in, to be a scholar and teacher on the Bible and to lose your faith. It seems akin to a vegetarian running a hotdog stand, or a person who is tone deaf working as an orchestra conductor. I mean, basically, since his field of study is textual criticism of the Bible, without faith his work seems to be that of an English professor rather than a professor of religion.

1 comment:

Widening Circles said...

I heard part of an interview with this man on the radio. It was interesting, but I couldn't help wondering if God really owes us an answer, or owes us to prevent our suffering. I mean, as a parent, I hate it when my kids are hurting, but I know that if it were in my power to keep anything bad from ever happening to them, it really wouldn't be good for them. I don't pretend to understand, though.