God's Problem

Author: Bart D. Ehrman
Type: aBook
Date Released: 0000
Format: mp3
Language: English
Page Count: 0
Isbn10 Code: -
Isbn13 Code: -

In this sometimes provocative, often pedantic memoir of his own attempts to answer the great theological question about the persistence of evil in the world, Ehrman, a UNCChapel Hill religion professor, refuses to accept the standard theological answers. Through close readings of every section of the Hebrew Bible and the New Testament, he discovers that the Bible offers numerous answers that are often contradictory. The prophets think God sends pain and suffering as a punishment for sin and also that human beings who oppress others create such misery; the writers who tell the Jesus story and the Joseph stories think God works through suffering to achieve redemptive purposes; the writers of Job view pain as God's test; and the writers of Job and Ecclesiastes conclude that we simply cannot know why we suffer. In the end, frustrated that the Bible offers such a range of opposing answers, Ehrman gives up on his Christian faith and fashions a peculiarly utilitarian solution to suffering and evil in the world: first, make this life as pleasing to ourselves as we can and then make it pleasing to others. Although Ehrman's readings of the biblical texts are instructive, he fails to convince readers that these are indeed God's problems, and he fails to advance the conversation any further than it's already come.

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