The “Jesus asleep in the boat during a terrible storm” story has always seemed unfair to me. I feel for the disciples when they wake him; they are understandably angry that he doesn’t seem to care that they are about to die. I’d be just as angry at Jesus for appearing so calm in the midst of real danger.
The disciples are uncomfortable that Jesus is not acting according to the category of “concerned friend,” much less “messiah”—so they kind of yell at him. And when it comes down to it, who hasn’t yelled at God during the storms of life?
Pat Robertson had a ready explanation for the Haiti earthquake—he said that it was an expression of divine wrath at a centuries-old pact with the devil. Robertson's explanation may offend many of us, but attempts at offering a theodicy have a long pedigree.
Zachary Braiterman challenges a well-subscribed theory about the delay in the expression of post-Holocaust thought and the onset of dialogue. Often understood as a kind of post-traumatic stress response, the near quarter-century of silence is due more to "discursive factors" than the "psychologism" of shock, Braiterman proposes.
The question arises in some form or another almost every time I teach a course on the Bible: If God knew what a mess humanity would make of God’s creation, why did God create the world as we know it? The question has force for us, as it projects our own experience onto the cosmic screen.
In the film The Reader, Kate Winslet, playing an SS guard accused of great brutality, says to her meaning-seeking erstwhile partner, “Nothing comes out of the camps.” He wants to have a relationship that can restore their former joy, but in her emptiness she resists.
God, Evil, and Design: An Introduction to the Philosophical Issues
A world more full of weeping than [we] can understand.” David O’Connor quotes this line from Yeats in the first sentence of his book on God and the problem of evil. His conclusion at the end of the book is that a world with both God and evil cannot be understood. One of the terms has to go, and it is God.
The problem of evil has plagued Christians for centuries. It has led Augustine to suggest the free-will defense, Hume to doubt God’s existence, thoughtful Christians to question their faith and a host of philosophical theologians to develop various permutations allowing God to coexist with evil.