Suffering is a concept we tend to struggle with in the western world. Honestly, the Church hasn’t helped this. Too often, and surely with good intentions, it stifles difficult questions and discourages doubts. If you’ve felt like that, hear this:
It’s ok to ask questions. It’s ok to have doubts.
This week’s recommended resource is Amy Orr-Ewing’s answer to the question, “Where is God in all the suffering?” It’s an encouragement to ponder difficult areas of life, because “[q]uestions and doubts are not dangers to be avoided or suppressed but can be companions on a journey towards a relationship with God, and a genuine exploration of faith” (p. 8). She’s right.
Orr-Ewing is no slouch when it comes to the intellectual side of theology; she holds a doctorate in theology from the University of Oxford. However, in this book, she approaches this difficult topic with kindness and gentleness, and offers answers that will undoubtedly be helpful for many of us. It’s worth reading.
For those of you who are less inclined to the written word, she features in the “Unebelievable” podcast in an excellent and well-spirited debate on the topic of suffering with a former Christian, and she covers several of the ideas covers in this book. You might find that helpful, too! I certainly did.