Suffering

In this GodPod, Graham, Jane and Mike start by discussing the inspiration of scripture, and go onto talk about suffering and how some suffer more than others.

God encompasses the vastness of the universe, but chooses to relate to humanity in a personal way, on this apparently trivial little planet. What is the place of humanity in the purposes of God? And if there is life on other planets, is Jesus’ incarnation, death, and resurrection valid for the whole cosmos? Secondly, what does Jesus mean when he says in Luke 10:18 that he “saw Satan fall like lightening from heaven,” and how do we interpret biblical language about the spiritual realm? And finally, should we, as individuals and as communities, respond to aggression by “turning the other cheek”?

Our three theologians grapple with the doctrine of the Trinity and its relation to the cross. In Mark’s gospel, Jesus cries out on the cross, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” (Mark 15:34). What does this cry of dereliction tell us about the relationship between Father, Son and Holy Spirit? Can God suffer? Can he change? Is God’s action sometimes ‘hidden’, as Pascal suggested? Graham, Mike, and Jane go on to consider the relationship between prayer and time and the nature of human participation in the work of God. Can we pray for things that have already happened? Can we pray for our loved ones who have died?

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