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Discovering HOPE in the midst of evil SUFFERING AND THE HIDDENNESS OF GOD.

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Presentation on theme: "Discovering HOPE in the midst of evil SUFFERING AND THE HIDDENNESS OF GOD."— Presentation transcript:

1 Discovering HOPE in the midst of evil SUFFERING AND THE HIDDENNESS OF GOD

2 The problem of suffering and evil is THE problem humans have to deal with Many have rejected faith because of it from a universal standpoint (often by people who cannot comprehend such suffering) Some from a personal standpoint (Darwin and Annie) It’s important to ask the right questions This story VS. what really happened Wiesel interview (kept his faith) Again and again, we see examples of people who go through horrible things and keep their faith… Why? INSIDERS VS. OUTSIDERS AND PERSONAL VS. UNIVERSAL

3 What do you think of this text? The movie? Especially the question at the beginning? Elie Wiesel’s take and story? Is Paul right? Does suffering produce perseverance, character, and hope? Or is it a certain kind of suffering? Why or why not? Does it matter what the person suffering believes? Can one really understand suffering unless one has been through it? Discuss for 10 minutes ROMANS 5:1-5

4 Why is there suffering? No worldview that exists has a COMPLETE answer to this question. The most prominent worldviews cannot be PROVEN 100% What we have to decide is what we think, having thought deeply about it, what makes the MOST sense of reality and what is WORTH believing in, having faith in, and what isn’t… I find the Christian world most worth believing in, especially when it comes to this question… Glasses or lenses We all choose initially what we WANT to believe and that colors everything else Why the first question when talking with someone trying to decide is, ‘Do you WANT a God to exist?” Both atheism and theism begin this way… THE QUESTION

5 Ready to think? Christians are supposed to be THINKING people… Why is there suffering if there is a God? Either God is not all powerful or not all good. God doesn’t exist Epicurus and David Hume “God either wishes to take all all evils, and is unable, or he is able and unwilling; or he is neither willing nor able, or he is willing and able.” My own journey… THE ARGUMENT

6 Contradiction: A condition in which at least two things are truly contrary to each other. Paradox: A correlation that appears to be a contradiction or even absurd, but when examined closely, proves to be true. Antimony: A combination of two thoughts or principles, each true in its own right, but together do not harmonize Mystery: An assumed truth which the human mind cannot comprehend but which we accept by faith LOGIC 101

7 Fully aware of my limitations in these areas All worldviews are accountable to the problem of evil and suffering 1. Atheism or Naturalism Suffering is part of the system CS Lewis quote (Problem of Pain) Evil is not a category for observation Tension here (Lewis says that people are often better than their beliefs) Most reasons against God belief from here are appeals to emotion Universe is a grouping of blind IMPERSONAL forces, random, chance Even looking at suffering with humanist lenses is not satisfying Most tragedies don’t allow the victims to LEARN “Evils are just a brute force to swallow at gravesites”—Jeff Cook THE OTHER OPTIONS

8 Buddhism and Hinduism (while not the same) Evil is not real, its an illusion The problem is perception and, more importantly, attachment or DESIRE Karma and reincarnation Karma becomes the judge of good and evil (thoroughly impersonal) No personal soul that endures through time (justice?) According to Karma, there is no unjust suffering… Thoroughly impersonal (much like evolution as an actor on the stage of history) The goal is to escape the realm of karma and reincarnation to a place beyond called nirvana that is beyond personality, individuality, morality, and history… Contrast with the New Heavens and the New Earth in Revelation of the Bible THE OTHER OPTIONS

9 If God is real, suffering and death could be doors leading to new lands, that it could mean something… If God is good, there could be a reason for all this, and one could assume He is or is going to do (or actually is)something about it The hopeful choice But that doesn’t answer the question, does it? Why? Again, there is no complete answer, but is the Christian story the one worth believing in? THE CHRISTIAN OPTION

10 The cross proves that He cares… Unlike all other faiths, Christianity is based entirely on a Person. Every religion is based upon the teachings or the philosophy of its founder. Not so with Christianity. Biblical Christianity is based on the Person of Jesus and not simply His teachings. Suffering CANNOT be understood impersonally… Look at the cross… Jesus’ suffering and dying on a cross was a tragic, incomprehensible, ugly, meaningless event on the surface… Colossians 3 Paul says there is a hiddenness to what your life means, including your suffering… Is the God of the Cross worth believing in? THE CROSS

11 PRAYER “Faith is to believe what you do not see; the reward of this faith is to see what you believe.”— Augustine.


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