The topic of suffering (and I use the word “suffering” as a shorthand for the well-known “problem of evil” as well as the existence of undeserved pain and suffering in the world) is one I think about a lot.
Though certainly not a new issue, it is one which I hadn’t thought about or studied much until it touched me personally. Which perhaps is a little selfish, but I guess also is human nature. I’ve written before about struggling with the grief of miscarriage, as well as the heartbreak of my daughter Kinsley being diagnosed with a devastating genetic condition.
In addition to these personal concerns, I also took a class on Providence and Suffering last fall, and as I did a lot of reading on the subject and reflected on those readings, some of my thoughts were further developed and refined.
So what I would like to do intermittently over the next several weeks and months (I’ll be posting other stuff too, unrelated to this topic) is to share some of those thoughts. It will in no way be a systematic coverage of suffering, but it will be a reflection of my efforts to work through some of the difficult questions surrounding this issue (How can a loving God allow pain and suffering? Why do tornados and tsunamis kill innocent people? What is God’s response to the pain and suffering which is present in the world?). I do not claim to have definitive answers to these questions, but I do want to share some ideas and resources which have been helpful to me and have aided my understanding to this point.
I’ll use the end of this post as a Table of Contents for the series:
- “Suffering and God’s Knowledge of the Future”
- “Alexander Campbell and the Problem of Evil”
- “Moral Evil and Natural Evil”
- “Creation, Chaos, and Suffering”
- “The Suffering Heart”
- “Hurting With God: Faith and Lament, Part 1”
- “Hurting With God: Faith and Lament, Part 2”
- “Reflections on Lament For A Son”
- “Lament For A Son: Lament As Love Song”
- “Lament For A Son: Speaking Into Suffering”
- “Lament For A Son: The Awfulness Of Death”