Why do bad things happen to good people?
December 14, 2006 5:22pm CST
Most people want to serve God…usually in an advisory capacity. If human life is in fact ordered by a beneficent being whose knowledge of our real needs and of the way in which they can be satisfied infinitely exceeds our own, we must expect a priori that his operations will often appear to us far from beneficent and far from wise, and that it will be our highest prudence to give him our confidence in spite of this. —C.S. Lewis: Lecture to the Oxford Socratic Club, 1955 A god whom we could understand exhaustively, and whose revelation of himself confronted us with no mysteries whatsoever, would be a god in man’s image, and therefore an imaginary god. —J. I. Packer, theologian Human arrogance tends to believe that if we had been in charge of creation we would have done it better. With a little more care about the details, we would have kept the beauty of sunsets, but eliminated germs like staphylococci. The more we understand the processes of the world, however, the less likely does it seem that this would be possible. As finite human beings we should not claim to know God’s will exhaustively. But it is clear that God did not intend to create an enormous machine whose sole purpose is the elimination of human suffering. Suffering is very much a part of God’s plan for our brief sojourn upon this planet. Why do bad things happen to good people? An often–heard variant: "God would have a lot more friends if He treated the ones He already has better." Response: If God rescued from every problem those who are true to Jesus, Christians would not need faith. Their religion would be a great insurance policy, and there would be lines of selfish people ready to sign up.