Suffering

Exuberant over an experience, an oh-so-sweet manifestation of divine providence, you delightedly seek to give God praise in telling your story. “It was such a ‘God thing’,” you proclaim. As you see it, God wove together an otherwise inexplicable combination of events to deliver a wonderful—even...
Any theological system worth its salt affirms that faith is a gift from God rather than the exercise of some innate power of the human soul. But that affirmation can be misleading, particularly so if one's notion of "gift" is determined by the culture of gift-giving and gift-receiving we currently...
Thomas Manton (1620–1677) was called "the king of preachers" at his funeral. Anyone that has ever used his expositions of James or Jude for their sermon preparation knows this to be true. He is consistently deep, thorough, and memorable in his exposition of Scripture. All told, his Works comprise...
John Bunyan is no doubt best known for his Pilgrim’s Progress, a beautiful allegory of the Christian life, a book which has lasted the test of time. And in his own day Bunyan was well known as an excellent preacher. He often preached at John Owen’s church in London, where Charles Doe remarked that...
We only need to read the headlines in the morning paper or turn on the evening news to have confirmed what we already know to be true, suffering is an ever-present companion in this world. As a result of the Fall, every individual throughout the history of humanity has known suffering and...
We only need to read the headlines in the morning paper or turn on the evening news to have confirmed what we already know to be true, suffering is an ever-present companion in this world. As a result of the Fall, every individual throughout the history of humanity has known suffering and...
J. Todd Billings
In previous posts, I have suggested that the question of suffering before God needs to remain an open question - a question that we, along with the Psalmists, bring before God in the midst of our grief, anger, and confusion. All of this relates to prayer. But it also relates to action - action in a...
J. Todd Billings
How can we avoid the extremes of monocausal fatalism, on the one hand, and open theism which insists that some events are "pointless" even to God, on the other? As I immersed myself in the Psalms after my cancer diagnosis, I came to see the value of the much-maligned "classical distinctions" in...
J. Todd Billings
As I explored in the previous article in this series, my cancer diagnosis forced me to join the Psalmists in prayer more deeply than I had ever done before. I prayed the Psalms - especially Psalms of laments - with others and in solitude. And I noticed that as they pray to the good and Almighty God...
J. Todd Billings
As I explored in the previous article in this series, my cancer diagnosis forced me to join the Psalmists in prayer more deeply than I had ever done before. I prayed the Psalms - especially Psalms of laments - with others and in solitude. And I noticed that as they pray to the good and Almighty God...