Bart Ehrman’s book, “God’s Problem: How the Bible Fails to Tell Us Why We Suffer”

I read Ehrman’s book recently and strongly recommend it. I liken Ehrman to an intelligent chess player who puts the squirming reader (who may not, at first, be inclined to agree with him) into methodical and logical checkmate. Ehrman shows why all the traditional moves that people make to explain suffering are, ultimately, inadequate, unsatisfying, or inhumane. He takes the reader on a guided tour of how different biblical authors attempt to explain suffering, beginning with the prophets Amos and Hosea and concluding with Revelation. Naturally, no Biblical author gives an adequate answer to the problem of suffering, and most give a rather reductive or simplistic answer. In many cases the Biblical authors’ answers cannot, logically, cohere together. Periodically Ehrman points the reader to literature that dramatizes the problem of suffering (recommending, for example, the poems of Wilfred Owen and a play about Job written by Archibald MacLeish titled “J.B”). In short, Ehrman’s book is a well written, honest reflection on the problem of suffering. It makes clear the logical and ethical issues posed when one turns to the Bible for “help” on this issue.

Here’s the amazon.com link to the book:  http://www.amazon.com/Gods-Problem-Answer-Important-Question-Why/dp/0061173975/ref=pd_bbs_sr_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1214247429&sr=8-1

About Santi Tafarella

I teach writing and literature at Antelope Valley College in California.
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1 Response to Bart Ehrman’s book, “God’s Problem: How the Bible Fails to Tell Us Why We Suffer”

  1. Martin Elderling says:

    Ehrman is certainly to be commended for his book, but his embarrassingly obscurantist (to put it mildly) take on the Dead Sea Scrolls controversy gives pause for thought. See http://biblicalraleigh.wordpress.com/2008/07/17/unc-professor-admits-hes-not-a-scrolls-expert-defends-biased-museum-exhibit/

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