Monday, March 12, 2012

The Problem of Suffering: A Father's Hope by Gregory Schulz

I recently finished The Probelm of Suffering: A Father's Hope by Gregory Schulz. You would expect a book like this to give us a theodicy--some type of intellectually satisfying answer to how God can be good and allow us to suffer. Instead, this book is an anti-theodicy. Schulz shows how all theodicies fail and kick the sufferer when he's down. Dr. Schulz is a professor of philosophy and knows philosophy well enough to know that philosophy cannot provide us with the comfort that we desparately need as we suffer. The book is written at the lay level but incredibly deep and useful to those at any level. The author tells the heart-wrenching story of his own suffering through the death of two of his children. He shows from the Psalms and from Job that Christian life is a life of suffering. Dr. Schulz makes no excuses for God. He expresses his anger toward God for His failure to act just as the Psalmist does. He also shows us God's grace that is given to us in suffering. Dr. Schulz serves the truth about suffering up straight and this makes the book very hard to read but it's definitely worth it and will change the way you think about God and suffering. So much of what passes for "Christian" today gives us a completely different picture of the Christian life. The Christian movie industry would have us believe that when someone becomes a Christian they either stop suffering or suffer less. The Scriptures and the stories of the martyrs tell us the exact opposite.

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