If God exists and if God is a loving God then the most obvious, and only acceptable, answer to the question "Why does God allow suffering?" is that God cannot stop it.

But this just places the problem one step back. We would still have to answer the question, "Why did a loving God create a situation in which there would, inevitably, be suffering?" I suggest that the most obvious, and only acceptable, answer to this second question is that God didn't.

Perhaps we need to ditch or, at least, distance ourselves from, the concept of God as the original creator of matter and energy and concentrate instead upon that other ancient understanding of God where God is the bringer of order out of chaos. This would allow God to be interventionist and caring, a true redeemer. This would tie in very well with the story of Christ and our understanding of it. For such a God the greatest achievement, when faced with the suffering in the universe, would be the bringing in of a "Kingdom" where such suffering does not exist and the resurrection of all that has suffered into that Kingdom.


THEODICY — 6 Comments

  1. For me the response to that can only be “God is!” That is enough. I try not to ask for anything (although that is difficult) but rather to be grateful for what I have…I am with Mrs. Eddy who said, “Divine Love always has met and always will meet every human need.” Notice that is need not want. I want a lot of things. I suppose now I have to be like some of the Eastern religions and get rid of the want… Thanks for the post which got me thinking.. You do that a lot.

  2. You’re just an old Job, Jay. 🙂
    I wish I had your vocation in life. The curse of needing to find reason does not lead to many friendships.

  3. I think we can say with the ancients that somehow evil/chaos entered the creation. Now God, having given us the freedom that brought chaos, calls us back to the original intent, but chaos remains a part of our reality until we reach God.

    Did that make any sense?


    • It did. But I’m referring to the concept that the act of creation was bringing order out of chaos, not the concept of creating a universe that then descended into chaos and was then brought back to order.

      But these are just thoughts. I’m not disagreeing with anybody because I don’t know the answer anyway.

  4. Hmm…It may have been bringing order out of chaos. But the chaos remained, and a gate to it was the stewardship of the sentient. Some of the sentient, on our world at least, opened that gate. We do not know the experience of other sentient beings in other places. It may be that they unlike us, have not opened that gate.

    Or so it seems to me. I am also not at all sure that is an answer, maybe it is a long form of a question.