Jesus Is My Health Insurance

Back a few weeks ago I was arrogant enough to dip my toe in the question of why suffering exists. I concluded that Christianity is certainly a good thing in that it is a way of living life that can handle the existence of evil. It expects it. Then I stumbled forward and tried to say something along the lines of “It goes further. It can offer a meaning to suffering and it can turn evil inside out and make it what it is not, which is something, since evil is at base a thing without substance….”

CS Lewis would have taken me aside and told me that if I can’t explain an idea, then I don’t really understand it.

So courtesy of Byron, I like this quote from the theologian Nicholas Wolsterstoff after his son died suddenly aged 25:

The Christian gospel tells us more of the meaning of sin than suffering. … To the ‘why’ of suffering we get no firm answer. Of course, some suffering is easily seen to be the result of our sin: war, assault, poverty amidst plenty, the hurtful word. And maybe some is chastisement. But not all. The meaning of the remainder is not told us. It eludes us. Our net of meaning is too small. There’s more to our suffering than our guilt.

I completely agree with Byron’s editorialising comment, “Our job is not to explain all suffering. We can protest, groan, learn to endure – without explaining“.

I sort of feel like avoiding YouTube and creating a separate site called GodTube is not going to help Christians get out of their bubble. It also seems to be a den of dreadful fundamentalism.



God’s Business Plan, originally uploaded by Matthew Baldwin.

From Defective Yeti comes this heavenly artifact. There is an astonishing book called According To Plan that I suspect I should post to Matthew Baldwin and save his heathen ass but if I did that he might end up quitting blogging and resorting to making videos about how the orange colour of the lightbulbs on the motorway mean that Jesus is about to return and punish anyone who didn’t use non-recycled toilet paper.

Your Correspondent, His favourite crisp flavour is bum and onion

5 Responses to “Jesus Is My Health Insurance”

  1. stigmund says:

    OhGodThat’sAwfulTube.com

  2. jimlad says:

    Haven’t read this properly, but in a book on suffering I read, it was pointed out that when Jesus was asked if when a blind man was born blind whether it was his sin or his parents that had caused his suffering, Jesus said neither he nor his parents have sinned, but so that the kingdom of God might be seen (or something like that) … and then healed him. The writer made the point that why suffering happens is not the important question even though we really want to understand. A more important question is: how can God’s kingdom overcome suffering?

    Will read more of your blog when I get a chance.

  3. zoomtard says:

    From NNUS, \”For the early Christians, suffering and evil … did not have to be ‘explained’. Rather, what was required was the means to go on even if the evil could not be ‘explained’. Indeed, it was crucial that such suffering or evil not be ‘explained’ -- that is, it was important not to provide a theoretical account of why such evil needed to be in order that certain good results occur, since such an explanation would undercut the necessity of the community capable of absorbing the suffering.\”

    – Stanley Hauerwas

  4. jimlad says:

    I forgot to mention that “so that that the kingdom of God might be seen (or something like that) …” loses something in the translation. Jesus apparently wasn’t saying that this was the reason the man was born blind. He was saying that he was going to heal the man “so that …”. Just thought I should make that clearer.

    I need to think about that NNUS quote. Should I never ever wonder about why suffering happens, even out of so called idle curiosity, even if I recognise that my answer will probably be a tiny factor in the true answer?

  5. zoomtard says:

    Wonder idly but remember that overcoming suffering never happens through cerebral effort. Suffering, like all the other aspects of life, for the Christian, must be painted on the background of community.