Challenger

July 17, 2013 at 10:00 pm (Uncategorized) (, , , , )

The results are in!

Here is the basic breakdown of responses:

Why does a good God allow suffering?

          ~Why does evil exist?

          ~Why does sin exist?

          ~Why do bad things happen to good people?

Why should I trust the Bible?

          ~What evidence is there for the Bible’s veracity?

          ~What about the “contradictions” I’ve heard?

This post is called challenger because I’d like to take 5 topics from the results and write about one for every week of August. I’d love for you to check back on this post, vote up questions you have in common, and then come comment on the August posts. Together, I think we can gain a deeper understanding of some of these tough issues.

(Here is the link to see the most updated responses: http://poll.fm/4bkil )

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23 Comments

  1. Challenger 1b: Why Does God Allow Suffering? | Awestruck Wonder said,

    […] post is in response to an earlier post called Challenger. It is Part 2. Please read Part 1 […]

  2. Challenger 1: Why Does God Allow Suffering? | Awestruck Wonder said,

    […] This post is in response to an earlier post called Challenger. […]

  3. Anniversary Post | Awestruck Wonder said,

    […] to answer the top questions people have had about faith in God, (see inspiration for that post here) as well as some little inspirations that have been bouncing around in my brain for some […]

  4. Danielle said,

    I think that, in my experience, a few major themes have come up as challenges:

    – How do we theoretically have free will, if God already knows what our choices will be, and “works all things together for good”? Who is really in control of our lives? How do we know which things happen in accordance with God’s will and which do not? Or do all things happen in accordance with God’s will, in which case, where does free will come into it?

    – How can we account for the apparent discrepancies between science and the Bible, while still holding to the belief that the Bible is to be understood literally, entirely inspired by God, and perfectly true?

    – Why would those who faithfully practice another faith, believing in their hearts that it is true, and never hearing about Jesus, be punished by God for having never learned of Him, which is something He had the power to change?

    • haywireproductions said,

      A very complete and well thought-out response.
      Thanks, Danielle!

      Could you give an example of an “apparent discrepancy” between science and the Bible that you have come up against?

      • Anon said,

        • haywireproductions said,

          This is a fairly comprehensive site, for sure, except it doesn’t cite the “science” it claims. I wish it had specific references rather than saying “science contradicts” etc.

      • Danielle said,

        Hmm, one of the ones that comes to mind is the whole age of the Earth question, with the Bible only accounting for several thousand years of creation, while geologists places things much further back than that. Also, the skeletal remains of hominids that have been found, which scientists say point to evolution.

  5. John T. said,

    Just any extra-biblical evidence for God or Jesus’ existence.

  6. Leah said,

    “Why would a good God allow suffering?”

  7. haymakerk@plu.edu said,

    For me, the hardest question I have asked about my faith is why did God first create sin, and then punish us for it?

    • Anon said,

      …with infinite punishment for finite crimes.

      • haywireproductions said,

        Wow. I hadn’t thought of that aspect before. Are you thinking that it might be considered “more fair” if God did the whole lightning bolt approach to punishment? Or “an eye for an eye” approach? He sort of did that in the Old Testament, but then it was carried even to the 3rd and 4th generations. (i.e. Exodus 20:5)

    • Robyn Gunderson said,

      Kay, I think this was similar to the question I posted that got lost. I think people have much difficulty with how God knew before He even created us that we would sin, so why does He execute an eternal damnation for (even a small) infraction?

  8. Mary French said,

    Anon, it dawned on me that perhaps you hadn’t meant to reply to my post but only post another comment that was unrelated to what I had said. If that is the case, than forgive my somewhat surprised response.

  9. Anon said,

    The problem of evil. [http://wiki.ironchariots.org/index.php?title=Problem_of_evil]

  10. Mary French said,

    The hardest thing I have been asked is why God allows suffering, and in particular, their specific suffering.

    • Anon said,

      Most folks are more concerned about things like concentrated poverty in Africa and priests raping kids.

      • Mary French said,

        Dear Anon, I’m not sure why you would respond to my post in this way, particularly the part about “priests raping kids”, but leaving that aside, I think we are basically saying the same thing, which is, why does God allow suffering in our lives, whether it be concentrated poverty in Africa, abuse of children, untimely death of loved ones, incurable diseases, etc. This has always been one of the serious objections to God by atheists and it’s one that as Christians, we need to be able to address with the truth of God’s teachings and in a compassionate way. I find it difficult to speak with people about this when they are in the midst of very real suffering. It’s hard to not sound cliché or to come across as uncaring. I’ve had to deal with this question with people who were very close to me and suffering, and that is why I answered the question the way that I did.

        • haywireproductions said,

          You’re right, Mary. This question is hard enough on a logical level. When it gets to the emotional level, it is even harder. Would you be willing to share one of the ways you have responded to people who are suffering in the past?

          “I’ve had to deal with this question with people who were very close to me and suffering.” ~Mary French

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