The Age Old Question

Blog / Produced by The High Calling
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It is a question frequently asked in our age, though it is the question of the ages. It didn't seem to bother ancient people as much, for some reason. Possibly because they were not as oriented toward individualism as we. Possibly because they had no serious intellectual options other than God, so they were rightly afraid. But the question bothers modern people. It plagues us. Everywhere I go I hear it. "Why does God allow such bad things to happen to us?" Writer and professor and blogger James Schaap lives in a part of our country that has a history of tornadoes. And these days, those parts of our country have been pretty scary. Jim knows people who have suffered recently. He asks "The Question."

"Last weekend an F-5, the monster, wiped out one-third of Parkersburg, Iowa, the central Iowa town where my grandfather grew up, a place where I spoke just last fall. The devastation was immense and unbelievable. It will be years before that town looks like anything more than a war zone. Four people died that night in Parkersburg, two of them elderly members of the church where I spoke last fall. They were eighty years old and on their way to their basement when the monster struck. They just didn't get there fast enough. When TV cameras caught some of the survivors standing before the mangled wreckage of their homes--if there was any home there--some of them praised God for sparing them. It's a natural and wonderfully pious impulse, to thank the Lord for keeping us in the palm of his hand. It's an expression of blessed relief and immense gratitude. But the flip side of the argument--or so it seems to me--is to blame the Lord God almighty for not protecting the elderly couple who died, by keeping them from the safety basement by inflicting them with gimpy knees or whatever. How can the God of heaven and earth be responsible for the safe-keeping of some, but not for the deaths of others? I don't know." ...Read More