Does the Bible Provide an Adequate answer the problem of Suffering ?

Notes on a debate between Dr. Michael Brown vs Dr. Bart Ehrman

Second round - about a 10 minute rebuttal for each debater

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First - - Dr. Brown -

God has intervened in many lives ! There are testaments all over the world on this point......People all over the world are turning to the Scriptures for answers! To say that God doesn't intervene is not true !

Victor Frankl, an Auschwitz survivor said, "Among those who went through the experience of Auschwitz, the number whose religious life was deepend as a result, or in spite of, the experience, far exceeds those who gave up their belief in God."

Brown said,"I find it personally offensive that God's answers must be acceptable to us, lofty, holy humanity." Most starvation is caused by the fact that we are not caring for starving people..... the excess food in the US could feed 80 million people a day..... And what about the structures of Haiti's buildings - - why were they allowed to build such feeble structures? Where are the building codes?

Suffering happened in Israel for the mere fact that Israel sinned! There were high consequences of being a unique nation living in a theocracy under God's strict rules!

On the Book of Job- Brown argues that the book must be read in its entirety and it doesn't make sense to do otherwise -- the world's foremost scholar on the Book of Job argues that the entire book must be read together.....And- it wasnt fair what happened to Job - - however, thousands/millions have found solace in the Book of Job - - but it makes clear that satan causes evil things. And Job got back double of everything but the same number of children, because children are not like all other posessions and some scholars believe it is a refence to the world to come. And today - - if Job could speak, he would say it was worth it for the millions of people it has helped.....

What was Job's repsonse? - - - Job 42 - 1 Then Job replied to the LORD: 2 “I know that you can do all things; no purpose of yours can be thwarted. 3 You asked, ‘Who is this that obscures my plans without knowledge?’ Surely I spoke of things I did not understand, things too wonderful for me to know. 4 “You said, ‘Listen now, and I will speak; I will question you, and you shall answer me.’ 5 My ears had heard of you but now my eyes have seen you. 6 Therefore I despise myself and repent in dust and ashes.

The point is - - Job is not responding like Ehram responded ! Job has a different view of God!

Can free will explain natural disasters? Yes it can! How can you say human sin is responsible for earthquakes when they occurred before humans were even on the planet?

You want some statistics?

What if God asked us:?

Ultimately - who will it be that will be working on behalf of the people in haiti? The great majority will be people of faith! And the fact is, a majority of hatians are turning to faith in God as opposed to cursing of God! How peverse is it that I lost faith over something that happened to another person when it drove that person to faith in God!

Second - - Dr. Ehrman -

I find it obscene that Job was given 10 children back - - what about the first 10 children?........ Also, "how do I get from Job to the holocasut" - -"by innocent suffering"...."People who don't deserve to suffer -- they suffer......"

The Old Testament prophets taught that the righteous people were rewarded by God and the unrighteous people were being punished by God.... I disagree that the Bible gives a consistent or harmonious response to suffering."

Is this the teaching of the Bible?

Or Is this the teaching of the Bible?

Ehrman's conclusion is that different parts of the bible teaches different things! In his opinion, the Bible isn't consistent on its teaching on suffering or "in fact, no subject is consistent in the Bible". "The Bible is a collection of books written by a group of authors, living at diferent times, writing at different places, using different languages with different messages. It is not a unified whole."

The prophets insist that the children of God are suffering because God is punishing them......Ehrman said "I don't beleive God punishes people because of their sins." If they are punished for their sins, are their worse sinners in the audience tonight or in haiti?

Is it ,that at a point in time -- all will be made right? Well, that is not a teaching that is held throughout the Bible! In parts of the Bible it is taught quite clearly that there is no afterlife at all.....

Even Jesus spoke of the afterlife - - but it didn't agree with the Proverbs teaching - that the rightoeus would be treated fairly here - - because Ecclesiastes proved that didn't happen - - so "they changed it again" - - but according to Ehrman- even Jesus had it wrong - since the following 2 statements turned out tobe not true:

But then it got to this point - this world is such a cesspool of suffering - - that the early Christians thought that all would be made right at the end of time....So, now the Christians claim - - - your body dies and your soul goes to heaven or hell - - this is not a teaching of the Bible......

Most starvation in the world happens because of us? Ehrman agrees with this... But that doesn't get God off the hook... People have been starving as long as there have been people- and it always hasn't been people's fault.....Sometimes its political reasons, sometimes its drought, famine or the livestock dies.... This is God's fault because He is sovereign over this world. "Is he sovereign? ThenHe is responsible!"

Ehrman disagrees that Job would say it was worth it - - lose 10 children to pass a test? No Way....

Ehrman disagrees if you remove God from the equation all hope would be lost....."I find this personally offensive" he says.... Ehrman says "because I dont believe in God - - I don't have hope or meaning - - Well, how does you know that I dont have hope or meaning?"

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