Friday, March 07, 2014

Five Excerpts from Keller's "Walking With God Through Pain and Suffering"

  1. Life for our ancestors was filled with far more suffering than ours is. And yet we have innumerable diaries, journals, and historical documents that reveal how they took that hardship and grief in far better stride than do we. (p. 15)
  2. [S]ecularization thins out traditional beliefs . . . . And this secularized belief in God, or this residue of Christianity, may be the worst possible preexisting condition in which to encounter suffering. (p. 58)
  3. If an all-powerful and all-wise God were directing all of history with its infinite number of interactive events toward good ends, it would be folly to think we could look at any particular occurrence and understand a millionth of what it will bring about. (p. 101)
  4. If there is no Judgment Day, then there are only two things to do—lose all hope or turn to vengeance. (p. 116)
  5. [I]t is even more likely that this kind of betrayal [one of four types of suffering that Keller presents] happens simply through a personal relationship going sour. When someone perceives that they have been wronged by you, they may embark on a program of trying to hurt you or damage your reputation. Often someone you thought you knew well can turn on you and attack you because it furthers their career or interests. Personal betrayals are particularly horrific, and this sort of trial can tempt you to give in to debilitating anger and bitterness. While the first kind of suffering requires that you learn repentance, this kind of suffering will entail that you wrestle with the issues of forgiveness. The temptation will be to become bitter and to hide your growing hardness and cruelty under the self-image of being a noble victim. (p. 210)

(HT:  Andy Naselli)

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