The Doors of the Sea: Where Was God in the Tsunami? (David Bentley Hart. Eerdmans. 2005) came to my attention at last week’s national staff meetings for InterVarsity Graduate & Faculty Ministries.*Â I’ve found the reflections of the Eastern Orthodox scholar and First Things contributor a timely Lenten follow-up not only to After Shock: Searching for Honest Faith When Your World Is Shaken (Kent Annan. IVP. 2011), but also an extended discussion of How Could A Good God Allow Suffering (Chapter 2 of Tim Keller’s The Reason for God: Belief in An Age of Skepticism. Dutton/Penguin. 2008).
Below’s an excerpt of The Doors of the Sea, posted by Eerdmans:
I said at the beginning of this book that silence might have been the wisest response in the days following the Indian Ocean catastrophe. And here, after (at this writing) two months and many thousands of words, I remain uncertain whether what I have said is proper or even remotely adequate. These rather desultory reflections were occasioned by what happened on that day, but I have clearly ventured far from any direct discussion of the sufferings of those who fell victim to that horrendous paroxysm of nature at her most murderous; and I do not know if I ought to have done so. This has not, obviously, been a book of apologetics, in large part because I still find myself less perturbed by the sanctimonious condescension of many of those who do not believe than by either the gelid dispassion or the shapeless sentimentality of certain of those who do. Neither has it been a book of “technical” or “philosophical” theology, though I have at points touched upon “technical” elements of Christian philosophical tradition (too lightly, I fear, to be entirely convincing and too heavily to be entirely lucid). Much less has it been a book of consolations. Rather, my principal aim has simply been to elucidate â€” as far as in me lies â€” what I understand to be the true scriptural account of God’s goodness, the shape of redemption, the nature of evil, and the conditions of a fallen world, not to convince anyone of its credibility, but simply to show where many of the arguments of Christianity’s antagonists and champions alike fail to address what is most essential to the gospel. [Read more…] about Lenten Wrestling w/God, Natural Disaster, Suffering, Good, Evil