The meaning of suffering


#1

What’s the meaning of the Tsumani? Does the death of all those people in a blink of the eye mean that GOD is not omnipotent? Does this recent catastrophe reveal a sinister side of the deity? Mr. Hart gives an answer in the WSJ this week that will challenge many Christians.

Mr. Hart blast our culture’s sentimental Christianity with his column in WSJ.

http://www.opinionjournal.com/taste/?id=110006097

“The Christian understanding of evil has always been more radical and fantastic than that of any theodicist; for it denies from the outset that suffering, death and evil have any ultimate meaning at all.”


At Touchstone, Hart is challenged on his editorial.

http://merecomments.typepad.com/

Hart responds to criticism at Touchstone with this clarification:

“Still, the notion that the suffering of, say, dying babies somehow participates in Christ’s suffering and is part of some vast providential calculus whereby God balances accounts is a Stoic parody of Christian orthodoxy, and were it true Christian teaching I should advocate apostasy. There is no biblical or doctrinal warrant for such a view. Yes, the deaths of innocents are indeed meaningless, even if God’s providence will indeed bring good from that evil; there is no spiritual fruit to be reaped from the drowning of tens of thousands of infants, for them or for us;”

“… This world is fallen, and nowhere does God promise to make the sum total of its suffering add up to some greater spiritual truth. Rather, through taking our suffering upon himself, he rescues us from the meaninglessness of death, and even graciously allows us to offer up our own sufferings in obedience to him.”


#2

'the deaths of innocents are indeed meaningless’
**
nothing is meaningless. if God knows when a sparrow falls, He knows when thousands of His children die horrible deaths. and if He knows - there is meaning.
**
perhaps one could say that we don’t understand the meaning - and therefore it is meaningless to US. i don’t speak icelandic. if someone speaks icelandic to me, then to ME, it is meaningless. only because i don’t perceive the meaning.
**
God does.


#3

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.