Tim Keller on Suffering and Evil

reasonforgod.jpgA choice excerpt from Tim Keller’s new book (written primarily for skeptics) …

“The death of Jesus was qualitatively different from any other death. The physical pain was nothing compared to the spiritual experiences of cosmic abandonment. Christianity alone among the world religions claims that God became uniquely and fully human in Jesus Christ and therefore knows firsthand despair, rejection, loneliness, poverty, bereavement, torture, and imprisonment. On the cross he went beyond even the worst human suffering and experienced cosmic rejection and pain that exceeds ours as infinitely as his knowledge and power excels ours. In his death, God suffers in love, identifying with the abandoned and godforsaken. Why did he do it? The Bible says that Jesus came on a rescue mission for creation. He had to pay for our sins so that someday he can end evil and suffering without ending us. … If we again ask the question: ‘Why does God allow evil and suffering to continue?’ and we look at the cross of Jesus, we still do not know what the answer is. However, we know what the answer isn’t. It can’t be that he doesn’t love us. It can’t be that he is indifferent or detached from our condition. God takes our misery and suffering so seriously that he was willing to take it on himself. … So, if we embrace the Christian teaching that Jesus is God and that he went to the Cross, then we have deep consolation and strength to face the brutal realities of life on earth.”

-Timothy Keller, The Reason For God: Belief in an Age of Skepticism (New York City: Dutton, 2008) p. 30.

4 thoughts on “Tim Keller on Suffering and Evil

  1. […] Tim Keller on Suffering and Evil Posted on February 23, 2008 by Peter Cockrell . A choice excerpt from Tim Keller’s new book (written primarily for skeptics) … . “The death of Jesus was qualitatively different from any other death. The physical pain was nothing compared to the spiritual experiences of cosmic abandonment. Christianity alone among the world religions claims that God became uniquely and fully human in Jesus Christ and therefore knows firsthand despair, rejection, loneliness, poverty, bereavement, torture, and imprisonment. On the cross he went beyond even the worst human suffering and experienced cosmic rejection and pain that exceeds ours as infinitely as his knowledge and power excels ours. In his death, God suffers in love, identifying with the abandoned and godforsaken. Why did he do it? The Bible says that Jesus came on a rescue mission for creation. He had to pay for our sins so that someday he can end evil and suffering without ending us. … If we again ask the question: ‘Why does God allow evil and suffering to continue?’ and we look at the cross of Jesus, we still do not know what the answer is. However, we know what the answer isn’t. It can’t be that he doesn’t love us. It can’t be that he is indifferent or detached from our condition. God takes our misery and suffering so seriously that he was willing to take it on himself. … So, if we embrace the Christian teaching that Jesus is God and that he went to the Cross, then we have deep consolation and strength to face the brutal realities of life on earth.”-Timothy Keller, The Reason For God: Belief in an Age of Skepticism (New York City: Dutton, 2008) p. 30. (HT: Tony Reinke) […]

  2. are we at in a age where we answer questions by stating what the answer isn’t?

    God is righteous and just. He can’t act apart from these two principles(can’t lie, can’t cease to exsist). We as humans aren’t righteous and just. We do have a free will. Jesus was fully God(righteous and just), yet He was fully man(had a free will and chose to be righteous and just). Jesus was perfect,and was killed unjustly. He could still be alive today(He is the life). The forgiveness of sin HAD to be done in a way that doesn’t contridict God.
    God obtained infinite value for the forgiveness of sin through the death of his son. That is the why. God is love because of what he did. It is the ultimate effect of who He is.
    God allows evil and suffering for the same reason. It would be a violation of our free will for God to impose His will on us(unjust). We have a choice. We can choose to live in our flesh, or allow God to work through us. Most of the pain and suffering in the world is a result of our choices. When we are suffering or in pain as a result of someone else’s choices we have a decision to make. Do we forgive(let it go and state our will to God that we won’t try to equal out justice},or take justice in our own hands. God will equal everything out in the end.

    andrew

  3. Great clip, this is such a good book. Thanks for posting it. You have a blessing of a site here and I would like very much to link to it. Your witness and posts are inspiring and I thank God for leading to find it (through Thomas’ website, BTW)

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