Saturday, March 17, 2007

The Problem of Suffering

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* Why do bad things happen to good people ?
* If God is All Mighty, why is there any evil?
* Why do people suffer ?

In response to these age old questions, Boston College's Dr. Peter Kreeft first explores the "easy answers" of Atheism, Demythologism, Psychologism, Polytheism, Scientism, Dualism, Satanism, Pantheism, Deism, and Idealism - finding them all to be more than wanting. He proceeds to mine clues from philosophers, artists, and prophets. In the end, this elegant book beautifully reminds us of God's Creation, Humanity's Fall, and Redemption:

* In creation, God first showed His almighty love and wisdom and announced His loving plan. The 1st people, our first parents, lived in perfect holiness & perfect justice: their relationships with God, with each other, with themselves, & with their environment - were all in perfect harmony. There was no death or suffering.

* People abused their freedom & rejected what God had given. The first people lost that original holiness & justice - not just for themselves, but for all people. We rejected God's offer & struck out on our own. Not born into that original holiness & justice - our situation is called "original sin." Our powers are now more weak: We can be ignorant; we suffer; we die; we sin.

* While the 1st people rejected God's perfect world for all people, that's not the end: Christ's victory over sin gave us greater blessings than those that original sin took away! Jesus' Redemption is better than what we lost!

* Jesus experienced evil, & He suffered. Through His death & Resurrection, He overcame evil. We can unite our sufferings to His - suffering can have redemptive value. God wouldn't permit any evil if He didn't allow for good to come from the same evil.

(Click image to enlarge)

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