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Subject:  God is Good Date:  10/3/2001  2:41 PM
Author:  Bonhoeffer Number:  61641 of 197784

I'm currently reading Reaching For The Invisible God by Philip Yancey (as recommended by someone on this board) and discussing it with some buddies of mine, and Yancey offers an excellently worded train of thought on God and tragedy in the world. It was published last year, but it couldn't possibly be more relevant to the events of recent days.

The following is from a book published last year. Though it is a long passage, it is but a tiny blip in a much longer book, so please, any copyright gestapo that might be hanging around, relax. I've seen entire chapters of books published on the web by the book publishers themselves before. This is far from being even an entire chapter.

I am learning that mature faith, which encompasses both simple faith and fidelity, works the opposite of paranoia. It reassembles all the events of life around trust in a loving God. When good things happen, I accept them as gifts from God, worthy of thanksgiving. When bad things happen, I do not take them as necessarily sent by God--I see evidence in the Bible to contrary--and I find in them no reason to divorce God. Rather, I trust that God can use even those bad things for my benefit. That, at least, is the goal toward which I strive.

A faithful person sees life from the perspective of trust, not fear. Bedrock faith allows me to believe that, despite the chaos of the present moment, God does reign; that regardless of how worthless I may feel, I truly matter to a God of love; that no pain lasts forever and no evil triumphs in the end. Faith sees even the darkest deed of all history, the death of God's Son, as a necessary prelude to the brightest.

A skeptic will respnd that I have just presented a classic rationalization: beginning with a premise, I proceed to manipulate all evidence in support of that premise. The