Monday, February 11, 2008

God and Suffering - the Pastoral Question

In part 2 of my recent series on "Does God Suffer?", Iconoclast asked me about pastoral responses to suffering.

Of course, often it's best not to say anything, and just to be with people.

However, the following theological points are relevant:

  1. God suffers with us and for us. He is not a remote God who inflicts suffering on humanity; he is a God who shares in the suffering of humanity through Jesus.
  2. In Jesus, God overcomes suffering and demonstrates that it is not the final word.
  3. In Jesus, God redeems suffering and shows that he can and does use even the rubbish of his son being crucified for good.

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