Evil and Suffering, Part 1: Randy Alcorn http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BYWayNQWiC0
The Problem of Evil and Suffering Tim Keller http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ih-b0RkgFnw
The Problem of Evil and Suffering Peter Kreeft 75-minute video, for those who have time and want to really delve in. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MdbrkL6eHPw
The Problem of Evil, Part 1 William Lane Craig http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EPqSrnR6VtI
Randy Alcorn blog: “Why Doesn’t God Do More to Restrain Evil and Suffering?” Part 1 http://www.epm.org/blog/2012/Dec/19/restrain-evil-part-1
Exploring Christianity: God is Not Indifferent to Suffering http://www.christianity.co.nz/suffer7.htm
If God is Good Randy Alcorn
The Problem of Pain C.S. Lewis
Where Is God When It Hurts? Philip Yancey
********** Thoughts from Tim Boyd, Licensed Counselor:
• Crises like this puzzle us, confuse us, and drive us crazy. I think it’s because we are meaning makers and we want things to make sense. It’s interesting listening to the news and all of the conjectures and attempts to understand why this boy did what he did. I think we may be able to make some sense out of it but I never think that will be able to deeply understand what was going on. It’s natural to want to make sense out of things, but sometimes we have to just accept mystery and lack of clarity and answers to our questions. I think we want things to make sense because it gives us a sense of control. Unfortunately, our desire for control does not match our ability to control. That’s where God’s sovereignty comes in.
• One of the things we try to figure out is whether this is about psychological motivations, biological disorders, mental disabilities, and spiritual warfare. I think it’s safe to say that it’s all of the above. The willingness to slaughter six-year-olds is so abhorrent to us that it’s easy to see the malevolence of Satan being expressed through a confused young man. We have to work spiritual warfare into the equation.
• After 9/11, my wife and I worked with some people at the World Trade Center. At that time we saw the best in people surface. People were desperate to help each other and to bring comfort. I see the same thing happening now in America. However, I also saw that man’s fallenness trotted along behind man’s goodness. It didn’t take very long for greed and competition to rear their ugly heads.
• I also worry about our ability to sustain compassion for very long. It seems like we experienced a lot of compassion fatigue, and our best intentions become weakened and diluted over time.
• I struggle with the culture of violence that we live in. I feel fairly sure that as the story of this young man comes out, we will find that he has been feeding on simulated violence. It seems like we have managed to devalue human life, and we have marketed that. I feel a dissonance between messages of shock over six-year-olds being killed, and apparent indifference over children in the womb being aborted. I think we pay a price for our various forms of violence and devaluation of life. When we desensitize ourselves, the next steps come more easily.
• I hear people talking a lot about more need for mental health assessment and early warning systems. That’s certainly a good idea, but it doesn’t really get at what makes a person shoot their mother in her bed and then gun down first graders. I think we want to write this off as a mental illness. That’s too simplistic for me.