If there is a God, why do we suffer? Why do some suffer while others don’t?
Editor’s note: Timothy Keller is senior pastor of Redeemer Presbyterian Church in New York and author of The New York Times best-selling book “The Reason for God.” His book for church leaders, “Center Church,” will be published in September.
By Timothy Keller, Special to CNN
(CNN)–When I was diagnosed with cancer, the question “Why me?” was a natural one.
Later, when I survived but others with the same kind of cancer died, I also had to ask, “Why me?”
Suffering and death seem random, senseless.
The recent Aurora, Colorado, shootings — in which some people were spared and others lost — is the latest, vivid example of this, but there are plenty of others every day: from casualties in the Syria uprising to victims of accidents on American roads. Tsunamis, tornadoes, household accidents — the list is long.
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Ligonier Ministries just announced their internet radio station RefNet. The online radio station will stream broadcasts from Ligonier Ministries. It will also include broadcasts from Alister Begg, John MacArthur, John Piper, Albert Mohler and other.
Most of these are broadcasts that you can find in podcasts. But not everyone like to or knows how to listen to podcasts. I listen to these broadcasts on podcast occasionally but I’m also happy about it being in streaming radio format. Many times I have the radio streaming in the back while working on the computer.
Read more about it on Ligonier
I like to idea of being able to comment on my ebooks and see comments from my friends. I hope they make an Android app soon.
Create a Virtual Book Club
Once you sign up for BookShout you can browse through their selection of Christian books. Buy books with your friends and create circles of people you would like to share notes with.
You can use BookShout for your local Bible study or small group. Or you can create a virtual book club with people all over the world.
Share your notes via Facebook or Twitter or share them with your circles. The multicolored highlights makes it easy to see and reply to other people’s notes. If you want to take notes for yourself you can even take private notes.
Dan Phillips explains on the Pyromanics blog why you should have a bible reading plan.
Why a plan? One is mindful of the possibly apocryphal story of the evangelist who was set upon by a critic, who announced, “Sir, I do not like your methods!” The man replied, “I am always glad to hear of a better approach. What is yours?” The critic stammered, “Why, I…I don’t have one.”
“I like mine better” was the response. And while pragmatism is a baneful worldview, there is something to be said for a touch of it once one has set on the needed goal within a God-centered worldview. Find the goal that pleases God, then figure out how to get there from here.
Ligonier has a good list of reading programs to start this year. If you never have used Professor Horner’s Bible Reading System before I highly recommend trying it this year. Reading 10 chapters a day might look like a lot to read but once you start you can see that it doesn’t really take that long.
Reading ten chapters a day, in the course of a year you’ll read the Gospels four times, the Pentateuch twice, Paul’s letters four to five times, the Old Testament wisdom literature six times, the Psalms at least twice, Proverbs and Acts a dozen times, and theOT History and Prophetic books about one and a half times.
Here are a couple quotes from R.C. Sproul’s book. Holiness of God
We tend to have mixed feelings about the holy. There is a sense in which we are at the same time attracted to it and repulsed by it. Something draws us toward it, while at the same time we want to run away from it. We can’t seem to decide which way we want it. Part of us yearns for the holy, while part of us despises it. We can’t live with it, and we can’t live without it.
Access to the Father is ours. But we still must tremble before our God. He is still holy. Our trembling is the tremor of awe and veneration, not the trembling of the coward or the pagan. We are to fear God not with a servile fear like that of a prisoner before his tormentor but as children who do not wish to displease their beloved Father.
Holiness of God is free on Kindle right now. If you haven’t read it I highly recommend it. If you have read it I recommend reading it again. It’s a great book.
When the need is great, love isn’t love unless it actually does something . . . Jesus’ death on the cross is an act of love only if it actually accomplishes something. It’s not enough to say that it inspires us to do something. (pp. 94–95)
To use Bell’s example of the courageous firefighters on 9/11, their sacrifice is a heroic act of love only because they were actually trying to rescue victims. If I race into a burning building to save a child’s life, people will praise me for my selfless love for others. But if the child is standing in a warm blanket beside me, it would be foolish for me to say, “Look how much I love you!” and run into the flames. Likewise, the cross is the greatest act of foolishness—not the greatest act of love—unless it actually rescues us. No rescue, no love. No love, no example. (p. 102)
If we think that a cross which only inspires is nevertheless an act of love, then we must not think that we need much help.
via Andy Naselli