When God’s People Suffer: A Biblical Perspective on Pain and Evil

Dr. Vern Steiner
Instructor
Dr. Vern Steiner
When God’s People Suffer: A Biblical Perspective on Pain and Evil

Ever since the Fall, suffering has been common to human experience. Everyone suffers, even good and innocent people. Does suffering cast doubt on the existence of God? Is it a reality at odds with belief in a benevolent and omnipotent God, and so a defect or embarrassment to Christian faith? What are the causes of suffering, why does God permit it, and how does it serve God’s purposes? Why do some Christians suffer more than others, and is it their fault? What can the Bible possibly mean when it regards suffering as a grace? How should God’s people cope with suffering, and how should we pray in the midst of it? Does God ever suffer?

These are some of the questions for which this course will seek biblical answers. Along the way we will explore such topics as the relationship of suffering to sin; why even the righteous suffer; suffering, unanswered prayer, and the crisis of faith; institutional failure as a cause of suffering and what to do about it; familial suffering; sickness and disability as forms of suffering; suffering as a means of participation with Christ; rejoicing in the midst of suffering; suffering and the New Creation.

When God’s People Suffer is not a series of counseling or therapy sessions, nor is it a support group for a particular category of individuals experiencing grief or pain, nor is it a biographical case-study of famous saints and martyrs, nor is it a survey of philosophical reflections on suffering, nor is it a Lenten devotional on this topic (although timely). While the content will be relevant to all of the above, this course, as the subtitle clarifies, will explore A Biblical Perspective on Pain and Evil, with a view to understanding suffering by grasping its place in Sacred Scripture and in the purposeful plan of God. As such, it will provide God’s answers to many of the questions most of us ask in the midst of suffering, enabling us to be less baffled and more consoled as we experience its painful reality.

Register for this Course


Classroom Location & Directions