Christian Themes (Masterplots II: Christian Literature)
After reviewing the different explanations for evil and suffering offered by the Eastern and secularist traditions, Guinness turns his attention to the answers provided by the third modern family of faith, the Judeo-Christian. Highlighting Saint Augustine’s formulation of the trilemma (If God is both all-good and all-powerful, how can evil and suffering exist?), Guinness reviews three principal reassurances that a biblical worldview offers to a modern world beset by evil. First, “the world should have been otherwise.” The essence of the story of the Creation and the Fall is that sin and evil are an intrusion into the world, not a natural fact of human existence, as in the Eastern or secularist worldview. Second, as Guinness asserts from his own Christian perspective, “no other god has wounds.” Here, the cross serves as the most eloquent testimony possible of a God who chooses to share in the fullness of human suffering. For Guinness and all who share his faith, “the crucifixion of Jesus is the supreme pattern of innocent suffering in history.” Third, Guinness calls on his readers to recognize that “the resistance leader knows what he is doing and victory day is coming.” For Christians, Jesus of Nazareth is the resistance leader with the plan of salvation and the promise of eternal rest.
According to Guinness, the biblical response to evil and suffering consists of three profound attitudes. First, a biblical perspective requires us to...
(The entire section is 386 words.)
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