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Are there any benefits of suffering?
I don't have the book but wanted to respond to these questions. When I was a student at Princeton Seminary, I initially wanted to specialize in Philosophy of Religion. I'm glad I switched to New Testament as my specialty because I think the standard formulations of the philosophical problem of evil are seriously flawed. Why? Because its concept of an omnipotent, omniscient God is not justified by Scripture! The Bible often admits that God changes His mind and regrets what He did. It also teaches that God is not in control of the forces of chaos, the unpredictable harm caused by natural forces: e.g. "All are victims of time and chance (Ecclesiastes 9:11)." In other words, God does not micro-manage the universe. So the 2 real questions for theodicy are:I am going to put the questions here to make it easy for folks to quote & reply. (Thanks to RitaFee for doing that for question 7!)
Questions from the book:
1. What answers have you heard for why God causes or allows evil? What do you think of them?2. What experiences of evil — personal or public — have shaped your view of God?3. Why do some people think all evil is necessary for some greater good?4. Why does it matter that what God considers loving matches what we consider loving?6. Why should we think some pain and suffering is unnecessary or pointless?6. Is it easy for you to believe God is always good? Why or why not?7/ What question do you hope this book will answer?
What other questions would you have asked?
EDITED: Changed from numbered list, to a series of questions with a number preceding. This aids those who wish to quote it.