I just returned from an international trip. Over 10 days I traveled through London, Nairobi, Mumbai and Jakarta. In some of the places I visited, I saw people who experience severe discomfort and suffering everyday. Outside the West, many people are habituated to suffering because they think it is inevitable. We Westerners don’t. Unlike our ancestors, and people in the developing world, we regard suffering as having no legitimate place in the universe, and that’s a sign of progress.
Even so each of us, at some point in our lives, will find ourselves staring death in the face. We all have stories of suffering in our own lives or those near to us. For some people, experiences of suffering can turn them away from God, creating “wounded theists,” while others turn towards God.
More than any other religion, the Christian tradition vigorously debates suffering. If suffering is a problem that arises most keenly within Christianity, is there a Christian solution? I believe that there is, and that the depth of the problem and the solution are essentially related.
Godforsaken addresses this problem in a fresh way (you can read the first chapter online) that brings a better understanding of why God designed the world in the way he has. In an interview with Publishers Weekly, titled “A New Look at an Old Problem,” I explain why I wrote the book and what I hope readers will gain from it.
Thanks to so many of you who responded to last week’s email. After you’ve read the book, or even the first chapter, let me know what you think by leaving a comment on my Facebook page.