Sixteen: “After Shock” on Why Suffering?


“After Shock” by Kent Annan is quite simply one of the few books that has completely blown my mind by shaking my faith to it’s core.  It’s a real deal look at a major disaster while poking and prodding about suffering.  The book both deeply disturbed my faith and made some of my theological foundations seem like mere cliche.  Below is a quote on why suffering.  Read this book.

God performs jujitsu in response to our questions about suffering – our protests are not answered but are instead redirected back at us and we are made responsible.  As Jesus got ready to leave for good after the resurrection, he said “Very truly, I tell you, the one who believes in me will also do the works that I do and, in fact, will do greater works than these, because I am going to the father.”  So the follower will do works that are as good as – and even better – than Jesus.  Because Jesus is multiplied now through thousands and millions of us.  We’re supposed to love like little Christ’s.  Belief should trigger our helping others in a way related to how Jesus loved people.

The suffering question is theological and the answer is ethical.  This is the divine jujitsu.  “Why suffering?” comes back at us as “Help each other in your suffering.” People are supposed to experience God’s love through others showing up to help.  And Jesus says something else happens too: those who help actually experience Jesus in the one they’re helping.

How do you resonate with this quote?

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