Book Discussion Posts

Confronting Christianity - Chapter 11: How Could a Loving God Allow So Much Suffering?

These discussion questions are intended to help us think through the content of the chapter. Feel free to answer each question, answer only one, or simply use them as a launching pad for your thoughts.

- What are your general thoughts on the chapter? Any parts stick out to you?

  • The author discussed 3 frameworks for dealing with suffering, suffering without God (an atheist perspective), suffering from a Buddhist perspective, and suffering in the Christian worldview.

- What are some ideas within the atheist and Buddhist perspective that might seem compelling?

- Have you known people that view suffering through one of these lenses?

  • The author states,
Jesus is not a means to an end, a mechanism through which Martha can change her circumstances. He is the end. Her circumstances drive her to him. It’s not that her suffering or our suffering doesn’t matter: it matters enough to bring tears to the eyes of the Son of God! But it matters like a first meeting matters to marriage, or like birth matters to motherhood. It is an entry point to relationship, a relationship formed through suffering as much as through joy. If, as Jesus claims, the goal of our existence is relationship with him, finding him in our suffering is the point.”

- Share some ways (if you feel comfortable) that God has used suffering to bring you into deeper relationship with Him.

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