God's Problem

God's Problem

How the Bible Fails to Answer Our Most Important Question - Why We Suffer?

Book - 2008
Average Rating:
6
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In times of questioning and despair, people often quote the Bible to provide answers. Surprisingly, though, the Bible does not have one answer but many "answers" that often contradict one another. Consider these competing explanations for suffering put forth by various biblical writers:

The prophets: suffering is a punishment for sin The book of Job, which offers two different answers: suffering is a test, and you will be rewarded later for passing it; and suffering is beyond comprehension, since we are just human beings and God, after all, is God Ecclesiastes: suffering is the nature of things, so just accept it All apocalyptic texts in both the Hebrew Bible and the New Testament: God will eventually make right all that is wrong with the world

For renowned Bible scholar Bart Ehrman, the question of why there is so much suffering in the world is more than a haunting thought. Ehrman's inability to reconcile the claims of faith with the facts of real life led the former pastor of the Princeton Baptist Church to reject Christianity.

In God's Problem, Ehrman discusses his personal anguish upon discovering the Bible's contradictory explanations for suffering and invites all people of faith--or no faith--to confront their deepest questions about how God engages the world and each of us.

Publisher: New York, NY : Harper Collins : 2008
ISBN: 9780061173974
Branch Call Number: 248.86 Eh89g
Characteristics: 294p

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superkate111
Nov 28, 2016

This book was a-okay. Initially I thought it was going to be more of an intellectual and theological approach to how the Bible fails to answer the question of suffering, when in actuality it is more of a summation of what the Bible has to say on this topic. The three star rating is based solely on his sporadic and off putting rants. I understand what suffering means and the different shapes it comes in, I don't need to hear his personal experiences or feelings about the topic.

n
naturalist
Jul 14, 2014

Please, sermonize elsewhere. Bart D. Ehrman, BA (1978), MDiv (1981), PhD (1985) article in Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bart_D._Ehrman ..(note that Dr. Ehrman was born in Kansas) .... .and his website: .... www.bartdehrman.com. .

b
BlackTiger
Apr 17, 2014

It's incredible how humans rant on about something they have been indoctrinated with and leave no room for open discussion when it comes to religion or politics. The fact is, none of us knows anything that can be proven with human intellect to explain why we suffer, nor why we experience joy for that matter. Either we exercise faith in whatever calms our fears, or we don't. That so obviously is the sum of it. For those who " have not read the book, but feel the need to blindly judge it"? Perhaps this mentality alone can explain why mankind suffers. Please read the book and leave educated comments only. This book is a good read for honest open minded people searching for truth instead of religious doctrine. So is the Bible if read with our pride in check. Unfortunately, this is exceedingly difficult for most.

e
elcidd
May 09, 2013

I have not read this book, but I must comment out of my Love for GOD and humanity. The books title is a Lie. The Bible does answer the question of suffering and pain. Some people don't get it, that the only way to truly understand the Bible is with faith and the Holy Spirit. You cant understand it and figure it out like a detective. That's the catch, you need GOD'S help. If you read the Bible, you must LOVE GOD, or want to Love him to even begin to figure it out. The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom. That's why some people cant figure it out and give up or get angry at GOD. The LORD punishes those whom he LOVES, but he punishes the wicked also. Its GOD way or the highway to hell. We are all like wild horse's when we are born, some let themselves be broken, some wont, but the choice is yours alone, no matter who teaches or raises you, you must face GOD alone, and either hate him or Love him. I guess that's why GOD wanted his Word published and given to all mankind, so they could freely choose which way they wanted, Good or Evil. Its a Catch 22, you cant figure out his plan unless you LOVE him and ask him, and then he decides if you can be trusted to know his secrets. Nobody will outsmart or fool GOD. He made the universe and our beautiful planet and you and I. He is the Master, Creator, GOD ALMIGHTY, and he sent his son JESUS to save us from the devil and evil. JESUS IS LORD. Read this 3 or 4 or more times, I could write a book and still not fully explain it all, its all the devils fault for human suffering !

j
jesussongwriter
Sep 08, 2011

This a good book to read because he uses biblical truth like the scholar he is. However, he doesn't seem to know there is a difference between heaven and earth, or the kingdom of this world and the kingdom of God. It also appears that he doesn't believe that God suffers with us or that the Bible says God is "long suffering". The world is in a fallen state and suffers violence, death, and decay, but most believers put their stock in another life or a new creation.

l
Lincolnj28
Jul 18, 2011

I love this man's books, but good grief. God's supposed to be good, there's still suffering, God won't stop it or explain it to my satisfaction, so I'm just not going to believe anymore! About halfway through I expected a CD to arrive so we could hear him stamp his feet.

Religion is rotten at explaining things. I taught my Sunday school kids that when an adult tells you something's a mystery, that's faithspeak for "I have no clue." But sometimes humans can be real rats to each other, and we cause a good deal of our own problems.

While this book raises some good questions, I just wasn't feeling it overall.

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