Monday, July 15, 2013

Something to believe in

That's what I need: something to believe in. 

The big question for me about Christianity is not just "What is the Good News?" but "What could possibly be Good News in a world that entails such terrible and gratuitous suffering?" What, in other words, would make human life worth living in spite of all that is painful and wretched about it - not only worth living but worth propagating?

What I come up against whenever I try to answer this question is not only my own suffering, nor even just the sufferings of others. What disturbs my attempts to make light of, rationalize, or avoid thinking about our adult traumas are the tears of pain and grief on the faces of children encountered in the flesh and depicted daily on page and screen, innocent and uncomprehending.

Woody Allen is quoted as saying that if God exists he'd better have a good excuse. But can an excuse, even the best, be good enough? And is anything better than an excuse imaginable? Is Good News possible?

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