Wednesday, July 14, 2010
By Bart D. Ehrman
Ehrman looks at what the Bible has to say about why there is so much suffering in the world. Ehrman is a professor of religious studies and an expert on the Bible and the life of Jesus. He used to be a devout, fundamentalist Christian but now considers himself an atheist. He lost his faith because of this very question: how can a loving, caring God permit so much misery, pain and suffering?
So he began studying what the Bible had to say about this. He figured out that the Bible has several things to say about it. Suffering is punishment for sin, suffering is God's way of reproving his people and getting them back on the right track, suffering is the result of a fallen creation, suffering is caused by evil people and/or evil spirits, and that suffering, like God, is mysterious. But delving into what the Bible had to say didn't provide Ehrman with answers that satisfied him, leaving him to conclude that there simply is no God and that this life is all there is so best enjoy it while you can. And while you're at it, try to make things a little better for your fellow humans.
This was an interesting book to read. While I don't agree with his conclusions, still it provided a lot to think about, plus it has lots of information about the Bible. It was kind of a mini-tour through the Bible. Very inspiring, in its odd way. I enjoyed reading it a lot.