Theodicy


Lest we return…   Recently updated!

History does provide distance, but it does not erase the reality of what happened. Nor can changes in ideology or a desire for it to have been different. Yes, it is the nature of humans to harm one another, to be self-centered, and this leads to everything from petty grasping to the wars and atrocities that have never ended. It is human nature, but it is not human destiny. We must not forget and that […]


Beautiful and Terrible Things — A Biblical Theology of Suffering and Grace 3

This is my most recent idea for the title of a work coming out of my recent writings and talks on suffering. (See the page A Biblical Theology of Suffering for those links.) The quote comes from Frederick Buechner and is oft cited. I have used it for years in graduation speeches. The fuller context is worth considering. It is in his collection of daily meditations, Beyond Words. This is from day 127 and the […]


A Biblical Theology of Suffering – Some Conclusions 4

Concluding the text of the talk I presented at Cornell on 11 April 2015, “My God, my God, Why Have You Forsaken Me? A Biblical Response to Loss and Catastrophe.” I did not touch much upon NT texts for reasons stated (they related to a difference context than the one most of us find ourselves in. At a future date I will address those texts more directly. What do we do with our lot? The biblical view then […]


A Biblical Theology of Suffering – Part 3

Continuing the text of the talk I presented at Cornell on 11 April 2015, “My God, my God, Why Have You Forsaken Me? A Biblical Response to Loss and Catastrophe.” There [Lamentations]1 we have what would seem to be a clear-cut argument: we sin and we suffer as God punishes us. God it is not God’s plan for us to suffer, he does not willingly afflict us, but we bring it upon ourselves. Then we remember […]


God’s “Will” or “Plan”? 3   Recently updated!

The last two portions of my Cornell lecture will be coming soon. But this past week I received an email from one of those in attendance asking for some clarification of my use of the terms “God’s will” and “God’s plan.” It seems appropriate to post my response now.  Date: Thursday, April 16, 2015 at 2:09 PM To: “Brady, Christian M.” Subject: feedback   Chris,   Might be helpful to define God’s will and/or plan since we interpret them coming from a fairly […]


A Biblical Theology of Suffering – Part 2

This is a continuation of my lecture given at the Cornell Graduate Christian Fellowship and Chesterton House in early April. My title was “My God, my God, Why Have You Forsaken Me? A Biblical Response to Loss and Catastrophe.” I have a recording of the lecture that I may make available if any are interested. I am slowly posting the content, hopefully with some revisions. I welcome any thoughts or comments. Read Part 1.  From whence comes our suffering? […]


Quick Take: Job again 6

My wife asked my yesterday why I kept thinking and talking Job. It is because it is the locus classicus of human suffering and the demand for divine explanation. Today I wondered, “Are we cursed like Job?” Then I wondered, was he cursed or just human, experiencing life with all its loss and suffering. Cursed or Living?  


Are we impressed with the hippopotamus? 6

This past week my close friend and mentor recommended to me Charles Williams’ War in Heaven. Williams is the member of the “Inklings” that most of us forget about, but whom many consider to be the best theologian of the bunch. (I am on record as attributing that crown to Dorothy L. Sayers.) I am not terribly far into this “mystery-supernatural thriller” (as one blurb put it), but early on there is this exchange between […]


The Will of God 19

Death almost always brings with it the basic question of “why.” When it is young innocents as in the Sandy Hook attack or our son Mack, it becomes even more desperate. Even when those who are older who die for no clear moral reason we are at a loss for an answer and yet need to ask the question. Why did they die? What could possibly be the divine purpose in their lives being taken? […]


A short note: The Angry Faithful 1

As someone wondered if I was having a crisis of faith I was reminded of something that I have often mentioned in the class and in one or two articles, which is that expressing anger towards God is, in fact, a statement of faith. If I didn’t believe in God then with whom would I be angry? The fact that Job cried against God and called for an accounting was a fundamental act of faith. […]