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The Problem of Pain - Mondays with Mounce 264
I’ve had a great summer. Good meeting with the CBT on the NIV. Time at the cabin with my wife Robin. And all the kids came back for a week before my Marine son goes on deployment. A good summer.
I’ve got lots of new ideas for blogs, but before I jump in I want to share something on a more personal level. I think I have finally come to terms with the problem of evil. No new revelation, but perhaps all the pieces finally came together after the right amount of time spent in reflection.
This is a big deal for me. I have often thought that if I had not been raised in a Christian family, I would never have come to Christ. Why worship a God who created the world knowing the unbelievable amount of pain that would ensue?
I think what happened was that I was finally faced with having to make a decision. Having watched churches torn apart, families fall apart, relationships dissipate, do I really think that God is all-loving, all-knowing, and all-powerful?
My answer is this: everything that happens is filtered through God’s all-loving, all-knowing, all-powerful fingers. Some of the events I understand; some I don’t. For those I don’t understand, God asks if I am willing to admit that my seven pound brain has limitations, and will I trust him for what is beyond my ability to understand?
Pretty simple. Nothing new. God does bring calamity—I’ve been reading Jeremiah! He doesn’t do evil, but he will bring calamity. Some things he does; some things he allows to happen. But at the end of the day, everything filters through his fingers, and I am called to believe.
Are you willing to take that step of faith?
William D. [Bill] Mounce posts about the Greek language, exegesis, and related topics on the ZA Blog. He is the author of numerous works including the recent Basics of Biblical Greek Video Lectures and the bestselling Basics of Biblical Greek. He is the general editor of Mounce's Complete Expository Dictionary of the Old and New Testament Words. He served as the New Testament chair of the English Standard Version Bible translation, and is currently on the Committee for Bible Translation for the NIV.
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