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My Faith: The danger of asking God ‘Why me?'
August 4th, 2012
10:00 PM ET

My Faith: The danger of asking God ‘Why me?'

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.

As a minister, I’ve spent countless hours with suffering people crying: “Why did God let this happen?” In general I hear four answers to this question. Each is wrong, or at least inadequate.

CNN’s Belief Blog: The faith angles behind the biggest stories

The first answer is “I guess this proves there is no God.” The problem with this thinking is that the problem of senseless suffering does not go away if you abandon belief in God.

In his Letter from Birmingham Jail, the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. said that if there was no higher divine law, there would be no way to tell if any particular human law was unjust. Likewise, if there is no God, then why do we have a sense of outrage and horror when suffering and tragedy occur? The strong eat the weak, there is no meaning, so why not?

Friedrich Nietzsche exemplified that idea. When the atheist Nietzsche heard that a natural disaster had destroyed Java in 1883, he wrote a friend: “Two-hundred-thousand wiped out at a stroke—how magnificent!”

Because there is no God, Nietzsche said, all value judgments are arbitrary. All definitions of justice are just the results of your culture or temperament.

My Take: This is where God was in Aurora

As different as they were, King and Nietzsche agreed on this point. If there is no God or higher divine law then violence is perfectly natural.

So abandoning belief in God doesn’t help with the problem of suffering at all.

The second response to suffering is: “While there is a God, he’s not completely in control of everything. He couldn’t stop this.”

But that kind of God doesn’t really fit our definition of “God.” So that thinking hardly helps us with reconciling God and suffering.

The third answer to the worst kind of suffering – seemingly senseless death – is: “God saves some people and lets others die because he favors and rewards good people.”

But the Bible forcefully rejects the idea that people who suffer more are worse people than those who are spared suffering.

This was the self-righteous premise of Job’s friends in that great Old Testament book. They sat around Job, who was experiencing one sorrow after another, and said “The reason this is happening to you and not us is because we are living right and you are not.”

At the end of the book, God expresses his fury at Job’s ”miserable comforters.” The world is too fallen and deeply broken to fall into neat patterns of good people having good lives and bad people having bad lives.

The fourth answer to suffering in the face of an all-powerful God is that God knows what he’s doing, so be quiet and trust him.

This is partly right, but inadequate. It is inadequate because it is cold and because the Bible gives us more with which to face the terrors of life.

God did not create a world with death and evil in it. It is the result of humankind turning away from him. We were put into this world to live wholly for him, and when instead we began to live for ourselves everything in our created reality began to fall apart, physically, socially and spiritually. Everything became subject to decay.

But God did not abandon us. Only Christianity of all the world’s major religions teaches that God came to Earth in Jesus Christ and became subject to suffering and death himself, dying on the cross to take the punishment our sins deserved, so that someday he can return to Earth to end all suffering without ending us.

Do you see what this means? We don’t know the reason God allows evil and suffering to continue, or why it is so random, but now at least we know what the reason isn’t, what it can’t be.

It can’t be that he doesn’t love us. It can’t be that he doesn’t care. He is so committed to our ultimate happiness that he was willing to plunge into the greatest depths of suffering himself.

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Someone might say, “But that’s only half an answer to the question ‘Why?'” Yes, but it is the half that we need. If God actually explained all the reasons why he allows things to happen as they do, it would be too much for our finite brains.

What we truly need is what little children need. They can’t understand most of what their parents allow and disallow for them. They need to know their parents love them and can be trusted. We need to know the same thing about God.

The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of Timothy Keller.

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Christianity • God

soundoff (3,664 Responses)
  1. AtheistHuman

    When will these religious fanatics open their eyes and acknowledge that this GOD business is just that, a very lucrative business, and a way to control the weak. There is no reason for anything, it is ALL just a freak accident.

    August 5, 2012 at 9:00 am |
    • TrollAlert

      "Everything is a freak accident"

      Now there is some critical thinking I can get behind.

      August 5, 2012 at 9:10 am |
  2. Chris Mankey

    What god?

    August 5, 2012 at 8:59 am |
  3. Anne S.

    I was taught that you should never question God. For everything there is a reason. He sends us things to bear, but with each one we become more mature. When my husband was ill with cancer, he also asked why God was doing it to him. He wanted to know what he had done in his life that God was punishing for. It is my firm belief that some of us suffer our hell on earth, while others don't. And yes there is a hell, and it was shown to the children of Fatima when Our Lady appeared to them in the 1900's. Our Lady opened up the ground to expose hell at that time. This was not a myth, as you will find that 70,000 people witnessed it that day. Maybe God doesn't answer all our prayers, and there could be a reason for it, as maybe he knows what lies ahead in the future for us. Our Lady also said that until there is Peace among nations all over the world, God would not come. She emphasized that we should all pray for peace.

    August 5, 2012 at 8:59 am |
    • G. Zeus Kreiszchte

      What has any fetus (that gets born with any of the numerous birth defects that we know of today) done to pi$$ off "god" to deserve the awful lives they have to endure?

      August 5, 2012 at 9:09 am |
    • sn0wb0arder

      never question god? they have you bamboozled.

      August 5, 2012 at 9:19 am |
    • sn0wb0arder

      "And yes there is a hell, and it was shown to the children of Fatima when Our Lady appeared to them in the 1900's. Our Lady opened up the ground to expose hell at that time. This was not a myth, as you will find that 70,000 people witnessed it that day."

      this ia a blatant lie. 70,000 people certainly did not witness the supposed vision.

      August 5, 2012 at 9:24 am |
    • Anne S.

      sn0wb0arder,,,Maybe before you blast your mouth off you better go look it up. The same to all you other non-believers. It did happen. Also a letter was given to the children to give to the Pope at that time. The instructions were that it not be opened until a certain date. I believe it was back in the 1980's it was opened up by the Pope then. When he opened it he wept. I don't know if the Pope revealed what was in the letter or not. But I imagine it told of the future to come in our world.

      August 5, 2012 at 9:43 am |
    • Ted Zissou

      It's too bad you weren't taught to think for yourself.

      August 5, 2012 at 10:41 am |
  4. mike

    It's too bad that so many people are worried about the next world instead of the one they inhabit.

    August 5, 2012 at 8:59 am |
  5. revolting peasant

    If you read the bible, you realize that God is an angry vindictive dude who has no problem messing up someone's life just to make a point. God smacks his flock around. That's what he does. It should be no surprise that God created cancer, psychos, AK47s, etc.

    August 5, 2012 at 8:57 am |
    • G. Zeus Kreiszchte

      Yes, the good old story of Job, where "god" made a bet with "satan" that his prized follower wouldn't turn away no matter what amount of suffering "he" imposed on Job. Just gotta love a "god" that cares so much that he uses you as a pawn in a bet with the "devil". HA HA HA!

      August 5, 2012 at 9:06 am |
  6. Psuedoknot

    God is NOT necessary for morality. Natural law does not exist, only the laws man creates himself. Religion is a source of comfort and control for those weak-minded people who can't make decisions for themselves. Religion and God are just more laws that man created. For some people, morality is inate and obvious. For most people, morality needs to be taught behind a pulpit.

    August 5, 2012 at 8:56 am |
    • NoTheism

      I definitely agree with your first statement, but strongly disagree with the rest. What about the laws of physics? Science discovers, it doesn't make up laws.
      Morality is most certainly not innate in the way you mean it. We have things such as empathy which serve as a guide, but empathy doesn't determine what is or should be right any more than your preference for a particular ice cream flavor does.

      August 5, 2012 at 9:01 am |
  7. Garp

    This article is just a ramble. He answered the first question wrong. There is no such thing as as "god" in the first place. Then there's no need to ask questions 2-4, which assume there is a "god".

    With respect to the first question, there is no god any more than imaginative creatures which haven't been shown to exist. There's no supreme being that allows death if it loves people (otherwise, it's not 'supreme'). That's like trying to justify an apathetic bystander or even a murderer.

    In fact, the question itself is a false dilemma: the choice isn't between a "god" or "no god", when they're millions of other gods which humans have created. He is atheist with respect to all these other millions of gods, and yet his argument that not believing does not lessen suffering and death applies to all other religions. Further, his argument assumes that one MUST be able to judge human laws – he never answers why that's necessary. This is wrong: (1) it might not be possible to "judge" human laws in a supernatural way, especially when the supernatural hasn't been shown to exist; (2) we as humans judge human laws all the time – we do it through philosophy, political science, and economics, for instance. Finally, meaning exists for people who don't believe in a "god". It's offensive to think, as he seems to do, that meaning doesn't exist outside of "god".

    August 5, 2012 at 8:56 am |
  8. JCCopeland

    As CNN continues to troll the sea for bottom fish to address the horrific event at Aurora, it finds some of the most interesting forms of "catch" .The right reverend Timothy Keller, writes a book called "The Reason for God – Belief in the Age of Scepticism". He answers no real question in the above editorial as the Redeemer Presbyterian still holds on to the belief that Jesus is coming back. The first major downfall of any of the "2 billion" Christians in this world today id the belief that Jesus Christ did not really finish what he had in mind for us and is coming back to make a service call. Of the above responses I have input to read i find fantastic input from seemingly intelligent people. I believe the Old testament was a "primer" to the New. I believe that Jesus, who left because he stated that he had to in nocder to allow the Comfortor to replace him, left for good but the comforter was then and is now in each of us. Sin is gone, guilt is gone, evil is gone. We each make our destinyWhy would God create us and then forsake us? Answer me this, There was only one commandment put forth by jesus. LOve thy neighbor as thyself. If Jesus is in us and we love him, we love ourselves. If we love ourselves then we can love our neighbor. Why would he make it complicated? He did not, but those 2 Billion Christians who belong to 500 plus different denominations are conned each day of their lives to contribute to the church so the church stands. Constantine, way back when, saw his coffers diminish due to the Disciples preaching the simple word of Jesus. He created the trinity and the 3 Catholic Churches to bring that money back. 2 thousand years later, the 500 plus "Christian" denominations are still trying to bring that money back. They forget it really is all about us. Those who ask "God, why or why not me" ask the question because of our innate love for our neighbor.

    August 5, 2012 at 8:53 am |
  9. PsiCop

    Re: "If there is no God or higher divine law then violence is perfectly natural."

    Sorry, but no. Not true. Consider if this really were the case: There are millions of non-believers in the US. If "violence is perfectly natural" for them, they'd long ago have killed off everyone else and would already have been killing each other wantonly.

    The cold fact is there is a perfectly rational, and totally-non-theistic, basis for people not to prey on everyone around them: The Ethic of Reciprocity. No one wants to be preyed on, so it behooves people not to prey on others. The benefit to all is mutual. Ironically, the founder of Christianity is reported to have taught this principle to his followers, who know it as "the Golden Rule": Do unto others as you'd have done to you. (Sound familiar, Christians?)

    Time for believers, especially of the Christian sort, to get off this notion that not believing in their deity is a mandate to rob, steal, maim and kill. It's not, quite obviously. Theists need to grow up and stop lying in their deity's name.

    August 5, 2012 at 8:53 am |
  10. Dave

    Man, you got lucky. You may have been healthier in certain ways, but God had nothing to do with your survival. Stop blaming her for this sort of stuff.

    August 5, 2012 at 8:53 am |
    • Angie

      Dave...I agree with you. I got Pancreatic Cancer and never said why me....However, I did ask my Surgeon Why I got PC because I never smoked, didn't drink and ate healthy...His Reply "that is what your Problem was"...I love a doc with a great sense of humor...and I have been laughing at life ever since.

      August 5, 2012 at 9:08 am |
  11. D McDowell

    People don't abandon faith in the hope that it will end pointless suffering. Belief in God is rejected because it is a fantasy. Make believe stories on par with Santa Claus and the Greek myths. The concept of good and evil (or justice) can exist without religion, it is foolish to believe otherwise.

    August 5, 2012 at 8:53 am |
  12. Reality

    Starting the morning with a 21st century prayer:

    The Apostles' Creed 2012: (updated by yours truly and based on the studies of historians and theologians of the past 200 years)

    Should I believe in a god whose existence cannot be proven
    and said god if he/she/it exists resides in an unproven,
    human-created, spirit state of bliss called heaven??

    I believe there was a 1st century CE, Jewish, simple,
    preacher-man who was conceived by a Jewish carpenter
    named Joseph living in Nazareth and born of a young Jewish
    girl named Mary. (Some say he was a mamzer.)

    Jesus was summarily crucified for being a temple rabble-rouser by
    the Roman troops in Jerusalem serving under Pontius Pilate,

    He was buried in an unmarked grave and still lies
    a-mouldering in the ground somewhere outside of
    Jerusalem.

    Said Jesus' story was embellished and "mythicized" by
    many semi-fiction writers. A descent into Hell, a bodily resurrection
    and ascension stories were promulgated to compete with the
    Caesar myths. Said stories were so popular that they
    grew into a religion known today as Catholicism/Christianity
    and featuring dark-age, daily wine to blood and bread to body rituals
    called the eucharistic sacrifice of the non-atoning Jesus.

    Amen
    (references used are available upon request)

    August 5, 2012 at 8:52 am |
    • TrollAlert

      Fools mock

      August 5, 2012 at 9:00 am |
  13. Irvin

    Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. For by it the elders obtained a good testimony. By faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that the things which are seen were not made of things which are visible. By faith Abel offered to God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain, through which he obtained witness that he was righteous, God testifying of his gifts; and through it he being dead still speaks. By faith Enoch was taken away so that he did not see death, and was not found, because God had taken him ; for before he was taken he had this testimony, that he pleased God. But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him. (Hebrews 11:1-6 NKJV)

    August 5, 2012 at 8:51 am |
    • Reality

      Letter to the Hebrews (from Father Raymond Brown's epic NT review, p. 684. "Author not identified; later church attribution to Paul now abandoned."). Probably written in Italy for new members of the Jewish cult.

      August 5, 2012 at 9:00 am |
  14. jimbo

    "The first answer is 'I guess this proves there is no God.' The problem with this thinking is that the problem of senseless suffering does not go away if you abandon belief in God.
    It most certainly does go away! You stop thinking of suffering as "senseless" as soon as you realize that suffering is not supposed to "make sense", it just IS. As soon as you abandon this silly belief in an all-powerful sky dweller with a special plan for your life, you lose the "why me" pity plea at every appearance of misfortune.

    August 5, 2012 at 8:51 am |
    • NoTheism

      excellent point

      August 5, 2012 at 8:54 am |
    • TrollAlert

      Atheism trolls - they get up early in the morning

      August 5, 2012 at 9:04 am |
  15. DW

    Isaiah 45:22-23 .. Look unto me and be ye saved all the ends of the earth for I am God and there is none else. I have sworn by myself the word is gone out of my mouth in righteousness and shall not return That unto me every knee shall bow every tongue shall swear... Rom. 14:11-12 For it is written As I live saith the Lord every knee shall bow to me and every tongue shall confess to God. So then everyone of us shall give account of himself to God... Phil.2:9-11 Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him and given him a name which is above every name That at the name of Jesus every knee shall bow of things in heaven and things in earth and things under the earth And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord to the glory of God the Father. If you have read this you are responsible for your knowledge of it and your response to it. REPENT FOR THE KINGDOM OF HEAVEN IS AT HAND! Save yourself from this untoward generation. Jesus said the day you hear my voice harden not your heart.

    August 5, 2012 at 8:50 am |
    • Reality

      Then there is this:

      Jesus was an illiterate Jewish peasant/carpenter/simple preacher man who suffered from hallucinations (or “mythicizing” from P, M, M, L and J) and who has been characterized anywhere from the Messiah from Nazareth to a mythical character from mythical Nazareth to a ma-mzer from Nazareth (Professor Bruce Chilton, in his book Rabbi Jesus). An-alyses of Jesus’ life by many contemporary NT scholars (e.g. Professors Ludemann, Crossan, Borg and Fredriksen, ) via the NT and related doc-uments have concluded that only about 30% of Jesus' sayings and ways noted in the NT were authentic. The rest being embellishments (e.g. miracles)/hallucinations made/had by the NT authors to impress various Christian, Jewish and Pagan sects.

      The 30% of the NT that is "authentic Jesus" like everything in life was borrowed/plagiarized and/or improved from those who came before. In Jesus' case, it was the ways and sayings of the Babylonians, Greeks, Persians, Egyptians, Hitt-ites, Canaanites, OT, John the Baptizer and possibly the ways and sayings of traveling Greek Cynics.

      earlychristianwritings.com/theories.html

      For added "pizzazz", Catholic theologians divided god the singularity into three persons and invented atonement as an added guilt trip for the "pew people" to go along with this trinity of overseers. By doing so, they made god the padre into god the "filicider".

      Current RCC problems:

      Pedophiliac priests, an all-male, mostly white hierarchy, atonement theology and original sin!!!!

      Luther, Calvin, Joe Smith, Henry VIII, Wesley, Roger Williams, the Great “Babs” et al, founders of Christian-based religions or combination religions also suffered from the belief in/hallucinations of "pretty wingie thingie" visits and "prophecies" for profits analogous to the myths of Catholicism (resurrections, apparitions, ascensions and immacu-late co-nceptions).

      Current problems:
      Adulterous preachers, pedophiliac clerics, "propheteering/ profiteering" evangelicals and atonement theology,

      August 5, 2012 at 9:02 am |
    • TrollAlert

      Dead give away for a troll - the multiple exclamation point!!!!!!!!

      August 5, 2012 at 9:08 am |
    • DW

      My Opinion about Jesus has not changed 🙂

      August 5, 2012 at 9:37 am |
  16. G. Zeus Kreiszchte

    If it is the will of "god" to make/allow man to suffer, then it must be the will of "satan" for doctors to try to cure man of disease.
    If it is the will of "god" to cure man (through doctors, of course, because otherwise it wouldn't happen), then "god" is a schizophrenic, bi-polar b@st@rd!

    August 5, 2012 at 8:46 am |
    • cyberhackster

      Convoluted reasoning due to the possibility of inbreeding

      August 5, 2012 at 8:56 am |
    • Joe

      This is where most people go wrong in their understanding. God does not create disease, he does not "allow" a child to catch cancer or a tornado to destroy hundreds of homes.

      When Jesus died on the cross, he said "It is finished" and that is what it is. God's intervention in peoples lives was finish. God defeated sin and paid the price for all sin.

      Things like the Aura shooting, cancer and our weather, etc is a product of man and what we are doing to the planet and what we have done to morality. Nothing else

      Jesus gave us the choice to try and live as he did, try and do God's will and strive to be perfect. Everything else is a man made issue that we all can control the outcome.

      God's job was finished a couple of thousand years ago.

      August 5, 2012 at 8:59 am |
    • G. Zeus Kreiszchte

      Joe, ha ha ha! You take a 3-word sentence that is alleged to have been said by Jeebus at the end of his life and apply it to any old thing you imagine. Well, gee, it MUST mean whatever you want it to mean....whatever is convenient for you at the time. HA HA HA HA!

      Right! And tornadoes never happened before man came around. Sure.

      If "god"'s intervention in people's lives is finished, then why pray?

      August 5, 2012 at 9:03 am |
  17. ricky

    QUOTED ABOVE:
    We don’t know the reason God allows evil and suffering to continue, or why it is so random

    ANSWER:
    To find out why God allows suffering, we need to think back to the time when suffering began. When Satan led Adam and Eve into disobeying Jehovah, an important question was raised. Satan did not call into question Jehovah’s power. Even Satan knows that there is no limit to Jehovah’s power. Rather, Satan questioned Jehovah’s right to rule. By calling God a liar who withholds good from his subjects, Satan charged that Jehovah is a bad ruler. (Genesis 3:2-5) Satan implied that mankind would be better off without God’s rulership. This was an attack on Jehovah’s sovereignty, his right to rule.
    11 Adam and Eve rebelled against Jehovah. In effect, they said: “We do not need Jehovah as our Ruler. We can decide for ourselves what is right and what is wrong.” How could Jehovah settle that issue? How could he teach all intelligent creatures that the rebels were wrong and that his way truly is best? Someone might say that God should simply have destroyed the rebels and made a fresh start. But Jehovah had stated his purpose to fill the earth with the offspring of Adam and Eve, and he wanted them to live in an earthly paradise. (Genesis 1:28) Jehovah always fulfills his purposes. (Isaiah 55:10, 11) Besides that, getting rid of the rebels in Eden would not have answered the question that had been raised regarding Jehovah’s right to rule.
    12 Let us consider an illustration. Imagine that a teacher is telling his students how to solve a difficult problem. A clever but rebellious student claims that the teacher’s way of solving the problem is wrong. Implying that the teacher is not capable, this rebel insists that he knows a much better way to solve the problem. Some students think that he is right, and they also become rebellious. What should the teacher do? If he throws the rebels out of the class, what will be the effect on the other students? Will they not believe that their fellow student and those who joined him are right? All the other students in the class might lose respect for the teacher, thinking that he is afraid of being proved wrong. But suppose that the teacher allows the rebel to show the class how he would solve the problem.
    13 Jehovah has done something similar to what the teacher does. Remember that the rebels in Eden were not the only ones involved. Millions of angels were watching. (Job 38:7; Daniel 7:10) How Jehovah handled the rebellion would greatly affect all those angels and eventually all intelligent creation. So, what has Jehovah done? He has allowed Satan to show how he would rule mankind. God has also allowed humans to govern themselves under Satan’s guidance.
    14 The teacher in our illustration knows that the rebel and the students on his side are wrong. But he also knows that allowing them the opportunity to try to prove their point will benefit the whole class. When the rebels fail, all honest students will see that the teacher is the only one qualified to lead the class. They will understand why the teacher thereafter removes any rebels from the class. Similarly, Jehovah knows that all honesthearted humans and angels will benefit from seeing that Satan and his fellow rebels have failed and that humans cannot govern themselves. Like Jeremiah of old, they will learn this vital truth: “I well know, O Jehovah, that to earthling man his way does not belong. It does not belong to man who is walking even to direct his step.”—Jeremiah 10:23.
    WHY SO LONG?
    15 Why, though, has Jehovah allowed suffering to go on for so long? And why does he not prevent bad things from happening? Well, consider two things that the teacher in our illustration would not do. First, he would not stop the rebel student from presenting his case. Second, the teacher would not help the rebel to make his case. Similarly, consider two things that Jehovah has determined not to do. First, he has not stopped Satan and those who side with him from trying to prove that they are right. Allowing time to pass has thus been necessary. In the thousands of years of human history, mankind has been able to try every form of self-rule, or human government. Mankind has made some advances in science and other fields, but injustice, poverty, crime, and war have grown ever worse. Human rule has now been shown to be a failure.
    16 Second, Jehovah has not helped Satan to rule this world. If God were to prevent horrible crimes, for instance, would he not, in effect, be supporting the case of the rebels? Would God not be making people think that perhaps humans can govern themselves without disastrous results? If Jehovah were to act in that way, he would become party to a lie. However, “it is impossible for God to lie.”—Hebrews 6:18.
    17 What, though, about all the harm that has been done during the long rebellion against God? We do well to remember that Jehovah is almighty. Therefore, he can and will undo the effects of mankind’s suffering. As we have already learned, the ruining of our planet will be undone by the turning of the earth into Paradise. The effects of sin will be removed through faith in Jesus’ ransom sacrifice, and the effects of death will be reversed by means of the resurrection. God will thus use Jesus “to break up the works of the Devil.” (1 John 3:8) Jehovah will bring all of this about at just the right time. We can be glad that he has not acted sooner, for his patience has given us the opportunity to learn the truth and to serve him. (2 Peter 3:9, 10) Meanwhile, God has been actively seeking sincere worshipers and helping them to endure any suffering that may come upon them in this troubled world.—John 4:23; 1 Corinthians 10:13.
    18 Some might wonder, Could all this suffering have been prevented if God had created Adam and Eve in such a way that they could not rebel? To answer that question, you need to remember a precious gift that Jehovah has given you.

    August 5, 2012 at 8:46 am |
    • NoTheism

      the entire thing is packed with false premises or at the very least monstrous assumptions...

      August 5, 2012 at 8:52 am |
    • Mike

      "Some might wonder, Could all this suffering have been prevented if God had created Adam and Eve in such a way that they could not rebel? To answer that question, you need to remember a precious gift that Jehovah has given you."

      I imagine you are referring to free will. There is yet ANOTHER problem with this. At a minimum, an all knowing God would have known PRECISELY how Eden and the rest would play out. The more I think about the potential of a God, the more convinced I am about the whole demented, sick game that this being plays........and some people actually buy into.

      August 5, 2012 at 9:08 am |
    • Angie

      Ricky you are so long winded who has time to read all this jibberish.

      August 5, 2012 at 9:11 am |
  18. Kenny

    So WHAT IF – the bible is really just a compilation of what ever was equivalent to the NYTimes best sellers at the time and people liked the books so much they read it over and over again and some people even got carried away and treat it as if it was a religion.......oh wait....doesn't that notion sound a lot like Scientology? lol

    August 5, 2012 at 8:46 am |
  19. Thomas

    Wow. This column offers no new ideas at all. But it is a tough subject on which to write. Biblical solution: Cain kills Abel, moves to the Land of Nod and gets a wife. Hmmm. The second marriage stems from the first murder.

    August 5, 2012 at 8:45 am |

  20. [youtube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MtX_R-V5Cws&w=640&h=360]

    August 5, 2012 at 8:44 am |
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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.