Saturday, February 25, 2012

Where the Hell is God?

If ever there is a book title that was meant for me, it is Where the Hell is God? by Richard Leonard, SJ, a Jesuit in Australia. Mom must have thought the same thing because she gave it to me for Christmas.

It is very good -- I will never again pray for it not to snow -- and he knows what he is talking about -- his sister was in a bad car accident. But I am still not sure where the hell God is.

Here are eight points from his introduction (his words, my bullet points):

  1. God does not directly send pain, suffering and disease.
  2. God does not punish us, at least not in this life.
  3. God does not send accidents to teach us things, though we can learn from them.
  4. God does not will earthquakes, floods, droughts or other natural disasters: can we stop praying for rain please?
  5. God’s will is more in the big picture than in the small.
  6. God did not need the blood of Jesus. Jesus did not just come ‘to die’ but God used his death to announce the end to death.
  7. God has created a world which is less than perfect, else it would be heaven, and in which suffering, disease and pain are realities.
  8. God does not kill us off.
The problem is I knew all these before I started.

The one that comes closest to answering my main question -- what kind of God allows genetic disease? -- is #7, and the author does say that God bears responsibility for the world he created.  But he does not really investigate that responsibility. Instead, he points out correctly, that most problems have human causes and solutions if we are strong enough. He uses famine as an example. It could be cured if enough people cared to help and if people were not caught up in war, terrorism, tyranny and more. He suggests we could solve many of the world's problems.

But not genetic disease. It is in our makeup. So is God responsible  and what does that mean? Will I get some reward? Can I curse God?

The author also gives God a pass for performing miracles -- my other big problem because God did heal some people. The author suggests that the miracles may have been less external healing but people letting their bodies heal themselves after being touched by God. I don't buy this.

I still don't know where the Hell God is, but it does make me happier to know that I am far from alone.


Anonymous said...

You are so very far from alone, brother of mine.

Matt Trott said...

I know

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